Anxiety Treatment

Anxiety Management With Acupuncture

In modern Chinese comprehensive Medicine, Acupuncture is frequently used to treat conditions like Anxiety

Acupuncture is an ancient form of traditional Chinese Medicine. It works on the principle of stimulating points in the body to correct imbalances in the flow of energy(QI) through channels known as meridians. This belief is based on the interaction of the five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal and water) having profound effects on internal organs, which are either yin or yang.

As with pain, mood disorders- arising as they do from a complex and poorly understood combination of biochemical (primarily neurochemical), hormonal, nervous system and brain processes, often including a significant psychological component-are an area where conventional therapeutic approaches, including pharmaceutical and psychological treatments, often struggle to achieve satisfactory results.

Traditional Chinese medicine recognizes the mind and body interacting as one meaning that emotions are seen to have a physiological effect on the body. Five emotions are represented by the five elements:

  • Water (Kidney) (fear)
  • Wood (Liver) (anger)
  • Fire (Heart) (happiness)
  • Earth (Stomach & spleen) (worry)
  • Metal (Lung) (grief)

My experience treating people with anxiety using Acupuncture

In my medical practice in China I was frequently called upon to treat mood disturbances and psychological conditions such as insomnia and lethargy, disorders including various forms of depression as well as anxiety and psychological trauma.

Anxiety is one of the most common mental illnesses worldwide. Many people suffer some form of anxiety occasionally, but others can’t manage this natural response to a stressful situation or have been under ongoing stress and reduced their ability to cope. When a person experiences a highly stressful or threatening scenario, the mind can be overloaded and fail to develop ways of coping, even with simple tasks.

Although the symptoms can be as manageable as an ominous feeling in the pit of the stomach, some suffer much worse. Anxiety can trigger the following responses.

  • Physical, such as an irregular heartbeat
  • Cognitive, which can cause negative thoughts
  • Behavioural, which may include uncharacteristic aggression or restlessness
  • Emotional, such as fear

Depending on which of these symptoms are suffered, different anxiety disorders may be diagnosed. These can include:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder(GAD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder(OCD)

There are various causes of anxiety: all have different treatments.

A person’s personality, behavior or thinking style can cause them to be more susceptible to anxiety. Research has proven it also can be hereditary. Biochemical factors such as a chemical imbalance in the brain also has been proven to cause anxiety.

Acupuncture meridian theory relates anxiety to an imbalance to of the heart and kidney. Fire represents the heart and joy according to the five elements. The diagnosis is that too much heat in the heart will imbalance the interaction with the kidney (represented as water and fear). This will result in the water organ failing to contain the fire organ rising to the mind, leading to anxiety. Acupuncture on points around the heart, kidney, spleen and ear are used to treat anxiety.

Acupuncture also operates on the nervous system and is known to be effective in chemical and hormonal imbalances. Nevertheless, if your condition is acute, you should examine all your options, including pharmaceutical options, particularly if your condition includes thoughts of self-harm.


In a comprehensive literature review appearing in a recent edition of CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics, it was proved that acupuncture is comparable to cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT). Which psychologists commonly used to treat anxiety (Errington-Evans, 2011). Another study published in the Journal of Endocrinology in March 2013 discovered stress hormones were lower in rats after receiving electric acupuncture (Eshkevari, Permaul and Mulroney, 2013).

Our Specialists

acupuncturist wellington

Summer Xue

Acupuncture & Addiction recovery

Bachelor of Medicine (China) Graduate Diploma of addiction, alcohol and drug studies (NZ)