As the COVID pandemic wreaks havoc on our world, levels of anxiety and depression have soared, as people try to adjust in this new world. In the next two blogs, we will be looking at these two common mental health conditions, to understand more about the causes and symptoms, and how acupuncture can help.
In this blog, we will look at anxiety.
What is anxiety?
Everyone experiences feelings of stress or anxiety at some time in their lives. However, according to Beyond Blue, when anxious feelings don’t go away, happen without any particular reason or make it hard to cope with daily life it may be the sign of an anxiety condition. (1)
What are the common signs and symptoms of anxiety?
Common anxiety signs and symptoms include:
- Feeling nervous, restless or tense
- Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
- Having an increased heart rate
- Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
- Feeling weak or tired
- Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
- Having trouble sleeping
- Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems
- Having difficulty controlling worry
- Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety (2)
What are the types of anxiety?
There are several types of anxiety, including:
- Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – feeling anxious most days for a variety of reasons
- Social Anxiety – an intense fear of even everyday social situations
- Phobias – an extreme fear of a specific object or situation
- Panic Disorder – panic attacks with often overwhelming physical symptoms
What causes anxiety?
Anxiety can be caused by several factors and is often a combination of these. It is thought some people might be genetically predisposed to anxiety conditions. Certain personality types also seem to be more prone to anxiety. Perfectionists, the extra-conscientious, the super-empathetic can all experience high levels of anxiety. Life events, family and relationship problems, work stress, pregnancy/childbirth, abuse or trauma, death of a loved one – all these can lead to a person developing an anxiety condition. Certain other health conditions can also cause anxiety, so it is good to be checked by a medical practitioner to rule out other causes.
How is anxiety treated conventionally?
Conventional approaches to treating anxiety conditions include:
- Psychological treatments like Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Behaviour Therapy.
- Medicines – anti-depressants, minor tranquillisers
- Anxiety management strategies including mindfulness, breathing, challenging self-talk and maintaining a healthy lifestyle
How can acupuncture help with anxiety?
Research has shown acupuncture may have a positive impact on the symptoms of anxiety disorders. Acupuncture may work by enabling the energy to move more efficiently, creating homeostasis, balancing the organ systems, helping the person to manage stress and to steady emotion  deactivating the ‘analytical’ brain, responsible for anxiety and overthinking/worry as well as managing unwanted side effects of conventional treatment approaches.
How can Ondol Clinic help?
At Ondol Clinic, we can help you manage your stress and anxiety in a relaxed and caring environment. Using gentle Japanese acupuncture, we work on the parasympathetic nervous system to reduce anxiety. Sometimes called the rest and digest system, the parasympathetic system conserves energy as it slows the heart rate, increases intestinal and gland activity, and relaxes sphincter muscles in the gastrointestinal tract.
If you would like to find out more about how we can help with anxiety conditions or to book an appointment, visit our website or call us on (07) 3371 0100
- Beyond Blue, The Facts: Anxiety https://www.beyondblue.org.au/home
- Mayo Clinic, Anxiety Disorders Symptoms and Causes https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anxiety/symptoms-causes/syc-20350961
- Sifflet S; Can TCM Help Anxiety and Depression; 2018 [www.onemedical.com]