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ACUPUNCTURE & CHINESE HERBS      
Gillian Price MBAcC MRCHM
Extract:

Research has shown that acupuncture treatment may specifically benefit anxiety disorders and
symptoms of anxiety by:

  • Acting on areas of the brain known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as
    promoting relaxation and deactivating the 'analytical' brain, which is responsible for
    anxiety and worry (Hui 2010).
  • Regulating levels of neurotransmitters (or their modulators) and hormones such as
    serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine, GABA, neuropeptide Y and ACTH; hence altering
    the brain's mood chemistry to help to combat negative affective states (Lee 2009;
    Samuels 2008; Zhou 2008; Yuan 2007).
  • Stimulating production of endogenous opioids that affect the autonomic nervous system  
    (Arranz 2007). Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, while acupuncture can
    activate the opposing parasympathetic nervous system, which initiates the relaxation
    response.
  • Reversing pathological changes in levels of inflammatory cytokines that are associated
    with anxiety (Arranz 2007)
  • Reversing stress-induced changes in behaviour and biochemistry (Kim 2009).

Acupuncture can be safely combined with conventional treatments such as medication or
psycho-educational therapy, possibly enhancing their beneficial effects (Courbasson 2007) and
reducing unwanted side-effects (Yuan 2007).
ANXIETY
Research