Are you suffering from anxiety or stress and searching for traditional techniques to treat it? Have you ever heard about acupuncture points for anxiety and panic attacks? Do you want to know how it works, then you’ve reached the perfect place.
In this article, we’ll discuss what acupuncture is and how it can help in treating anxiety and panic attacks.
Acupuncture can be used as an alternative treatment of anxiety. Keep on reading to learn more about acupuncture therapy can be helpful in treating your stress and anxiety.
Acupuncture points for anxiety and panic attacks
Acupuncture is a traditional healing technique initially practiced in China that gives temporary relief from various diseases including anxiety and chronic stress. There are acupuncture points for anxiety and panic attacks that can be stimulated to provide relaxation.
Acupuncture was originated hundreds and thousands of years ago in China from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). This technique is based on the concept of energy/ pressure points which when stimulated cures the imbalance of energy.
TCM practitioners believe the human body contains life energy called chi or qi which is distributed over the body in more than 2,000 acupuncture points.
These acupuncture points of relaxation are connected by pathways or channels through which the chi flows. These pathways are called meridians.
If the flow energy, chi, or Qi (pronounced as ‘chee’) is disrupted or blocked in any way, for sale due to trauma, injury, stress, etc., our body then begins to suffer.
By applying acupuncture therapy to certain pressure points, it is believed that the flow of Qi is proved, thereby promoting better health.
How does Acupuncture work?
Acupuncture can be an effective technique to treat many conditions, but the real question is how acupuncture works?
Acupuncture is performed by inserting extremely thin delicate needles (almost the diameter of a hair) less than a millimeter away from the nerves. Generally, minimal pain is felt when the needle is inserted.
These needles are inserted to specific points to produce sensations of pressure. They stimulate the central nervous symptom and release the neurotransmitters which cause joy and relaxation.
They also decrease the markers of anxiety and stress. This will not only decrease the symptoms of anxiety and stress but also help in promoting physical and mental well-being.
In addition to anxiety, they also help in the following:
- Relieving migraines and headaches
- Boost immune symptoms
- Decrease seasonal allergy symptoms
- Sooty heartburn and acid reflux
- Relieve back pain
- Treat nausea caused by surgical anesthesia
- Decrease dental pain after surgery
- Treat menstrual cramps
Can acupuncture help with anxiety and panic attacks?
YES! In fact, acupuncture is now considered one of the effective therapy for anxiety and panic attacks. Several studies have been conducted on the effects of acupuncture on stress and anxiety which suggest acupuncture is helping in treating anxiety.
A study conducted which was conducted in the year 2015 revealed promising results about acupuncture helping with anxiety.
These people who participated in the research were found to have anxiety that did not respond to other conventional treatments of anxiety including psychotherapy and medications.
The participants underwent 30-minutes sessions of acupuncture for a total of 12 weeks. They showed promising results of a significant anxiety reduction, even within the 10 weeks of the therapy.
Another recent study in 2018 found out that acupuncture therapy relieved the symptoms of anxiety and stress in women undergoing fertility treatment. Acupressure for anxiety and panic attacks is not a definite antidote but can help in the treatment of anxiety.
What acupuncture points for anxiety?
There are 6 pressure points for the relief of anxiety. Let’s discuss them one by one.
- Hall of impression.
This pressure point is located at the glabella, right at the midpoint of your eyebrows, above the nose. You can apply pressure to this point with your finger while your eyes are closed.
Gently press the midpoint of your eyebrows and massage in a circular motion for five minutes. This will help in relieving anxiety and stress.
- Heavenly gate.
This acupressure point is located in the pinna or auricle of your ear. Pinch the upper shell of your ear, apply pressure to their point in a circular motion for 2-3 minutes.
This pressure point when stimulated will help in decreasing the symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
- Shoulder well.
This pressure point is located in your shoulder muscle. You will have to pinch your shoulder muscle and you will locate this point midway between your neck and shoulder.
Gently apply pressure with your index finger. Release the pinch when you find the point and then massage for a few seconds.
This will help reduce stress, headaches, migraines, and severe muscle tension. Avoid this in pregnant ladies.
- Union valley.
This pressure point is located in the webbing area between the first and second metacarpal bones.
Apply firm pressure to this dorsum surface of the webbing area between your thumb and index finger at the radial side of your hand and massage for a few seconds while taking deep breaths.
This pressure point when stimulated reduces neck pain, headache, anxiety, and stress. Avoid if you’re pregnant.
- Great surge.
This pressure point is located on the dorsum of your foot, about ½ an inch below where your big toe and second toe meet. Apply firm deep pressure to this pressure point and massage slowly.
This pressure point helps in reducing anxiety, irritability as well as chronic stress. It is also helpful for treating insomnia and treating menstrual cramps.
- Inner frontier gate.
You can locate this pressure point on your arm, about two inches proximal, below the wrist. Gently press this point for a few seconds.
This point will help in reducing anxiety as well as relieving pain and nausea.
How long does it take for acupuncture to work for anxiety?
Since everyone has different symptoms and signs, the acupressure for anxiety and panic attacks might take a different time to work for everyone.
Generally, one session of acupuncture treatment requires staying still for around 20-30 minutes with needles retained in a peaceful atmosphere.
It’s been reported that often one or two sessions of acupuncture therapy can give a person quick effective results. But the results and number of sessions can vary for each individual.
Your doctor will decide how long your therapy plan will last and whether you need acute, transitional, or long-term/maintenance care.
Acupuncture points for anxiety and insomnia
As we’ve discussed the six reflexology points for anxiety above, here are few pressure points to treat insomnia.
- Three yin intersection
This point is located above your ankle, on the medial side of your leg (tibia bone). Apply pressure to this point and massage in muscular motion for a few seconds. Avoid if you’re pregnant.
- Bubbling spring
This point is found at a small depression on the sole of your foot. This depression is visible when you curl your toes inward.
Gently apply pressure and massage this point for a minute in an up-and-down motion.
- Spirit gate
Spirit Gate is a wrist pressure point for anxiety, located on the first crease on your wrist just below your pinkie finger.
You can apply gentle pressure on this point and massage for a minute. Repeat with your other hand. It can help you fall asleep.
- Inner frontier gate
This pressure point is similar to anxiety acupuncture point, located on your inner forearm, two to three fingers width below the hand. Apply steady pressure and massage in a circular motion.
- Wind pool
This point is found on the back of your neck. You can locate this point at the base of your neck where your head is attached to your neck muscles.
Apply gentle pressure using your thumbs, and massage in an up and down motion for five to ten seconds. Take deep slow breaths while applying pressure.
Ear acupuncture points for anxiety
There is an acupressure point for anxiety and panic attacks located at the upper outer ear. It is called the Shen Men or Heavenly Gate point.
You can find this point in the upper third part of your ear and gently apply pressure to it either with your fingers or an earbud. Take deep slow breaths while massaging the point.
Stimulating this point strengthens your overall health, relieves anxiety and stress, boosts energy, and treats insomnia.
Acupressure points for brain disorder
Acupuncture has been proven clinically significant in the treatment of neurological disorders. Many neurological diseases such as epilepsy, auto-immune disorders have shown effective treatment results with acupuncture therapy.
Acupuncture has also shown significant clinical efficacy in the treatment of psychological disorders including depression, anxiety, etc. Acupressure for anxiety and panic attacks
Acupuncture is now widely used for many neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease due to its effective results.
Moreover, many studies on acupuncture therapy of other neurological diseases, such as cerebral ischemia and chronic stress have also been successfully conducted in the last decade.
Acupuncture points for anxiety and panic attacks may be an effective temporary treatment but it’s not the cure! Make sure to follow all other stress management, psychotherapy therapy, and medications alongside acupressure.
Acupuncture is growing in popularity due to recent studies showing its efficacy and success rate. Just keep in mind that it’s not suitable for everyone! It’s important to consult a professionally trained and licensed acupuncturist for the therapy.