Anxiety. It can range from a little stressed out to a debilitating full-on panic. It can affect someone for a short time or for many years to even decades.
Anxiety touches every age group and every community.
It affects not only people suffering from it, but also their family, friends, and coworkers as it spills over into relationships.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, each year about 18% or almost one-fifth of the population is suffering from anxiety. These numbers come only from what gets reported – there is a much higher percentage of people suffering from various forms of anxiety who are not being treated for it.
More worrisome is the average age of onset is now 11 years old – that’s the average age, which means there are many who start feeling anxiety even younger.
Mary is a mom of three, holding down a full-time job, taking care of the household, raising her kids with her husband and caring for her sick mother. She is irritable during the day and cannot sleep at night, unable to turn off her thoughts of worries and to-do’s. She tells herself she’ll do something about her anxiety soon, once everything else is taken care of.
James is a driven thirty-year-old, working 80 hours a week in a high-pressure job. He snaps at his employees for the slightest mistake and feels like a walking time bomb. He likes to unwind in the evening with a beer, or four, in order to feel calm enough to go to sleep.
Madison is a twenty-year-old college student who appears gaunt with dark circles under her eyes. She startles easily and gets dizzy when someone criticizes her. Every other week, she suffers from an acute panic attack that lasts about 15 minutes until she gets exhausted, followed by extreme fatigue for the next two days.
Although I changed their names to protect their privacy, Mary, James, and Madison are three real patients of mine. They are all suffering from anxiety, but the symptoms show up very differently, which means their treatments should also be different. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, I look at each patient individually – taking into account all the various symptoms and triggers, and coming up with a customized treatment specific to their pattern.
Medications are often the first approach for anxiety, but sometimes they are not enough to relieve symptoms; and people are increasingly concerned about short- and long-term side effects of brain-altering medications. Counseling can be a wonderful support for anxiety and works very nicely in conjunction with acupuncture.
Patients report feeling calmer and more grounded after an acupuncture treatment.
If you are suffering from anxiety and aren’t seeing enough improvement working with your medical support team, it is time to consider adding in acupuncture. Click here to see options for working with me.