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Restoring Calm: Treating Panic Attacks and Anxiety with Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture

Updated: Apr 14



Panic attacks and anxiety disorders are pervasive mental health challenges that can affect anyone, severely impacting daily life. While Western medicine offers several effective treatments, Chinese medicine and acupuncture provide an alternative approach, harnessing the body's innate healing abilities. In this blog post, we will explore the holistic benefits of Chinese medicine and acupuncture for treating panic attacks and anxiety, backed by evidence.


Understanding Panic Attacks and Anxiety


Panic attacks are intense surges of fear or discomfort, often accompanied by physical symptoms like rapid heartbeat, sweating, and trembling. Anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder, involve excessive worry and fear that can be debilitating.


Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture: A Holistic Approach


Chinese medicine and acupuncture are rooted in thousands of years of tradition, emphasizing the balance of energy (qi) and the harmony between the body and mind. These ancient practices can offer holistic solutions to address panic attacks and anxiety disorders.


Conditions Treated by Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture


1. Anxiety Disorders:


Chinese medicine views anxiety as an imbalance in the flow of qi and often involves the Liver system. Acupuncture can help regulate this energy flow, reducing anxiety symptoms. A meta-analysis published in the "Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine" in 2019 demonstrated the effectiveness of acupuncture in reducing anxiety scores and improving overall well-being.


Reference: Amorim, D. et al. (2019). "Acupuncture and Electroacupuncture for Anxiety Disorders: A Systematic Review of the Clinical Research." Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 25(4), 325-335.


2. Stress Reduction:


Stress is a significant contributor to anxiety disorders and panic attacks. Acupuncture promotes relaxation by releasing endorphins, the body's natural stress relievers. A study in the journal "Psychoneuroendocrinology" in 2013 found that acupuncture decreased stress hormones and improved psychological well-being in patients.


Reference: Eshkevari, L. et al. (2013). "Acupuncture at the Sanyinjiao Point Reduces Anxiety and Hyperactivity in Ovarian Hormone-Induced Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder." Psychoneuroendocrinology, 38(5), 551-559.


3. Regulating the Nervous System:


Chinese medicine and acupuncture focus on balancing the autonomic nervous system, which plays a vital role in anxiety regulation. A clinical trial published in "Complementary Therapies in Medicine" in 2019 found that acupuncture led to significant improvements in heart rate variability, suggesting that it can regulate the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.


Reference: Lima, A. et al. (2019). "Effect of Acupuncture on Heart Rate Variability in Primary Dysmenorrhea." Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 42, 228-232.


4. Emotional Balance:


Chinese medicine addresses the emotional aspects of anxiety. It's not merely about symptom reduction, but rather, achieving a balance in emotional well-being. Research in "Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine" in 2017 reported that acupuncture can have a positive impact on mood and emotional health, contributing to overall anxiety reduction.


Reference: Kurebayashi, L. et al. (2017). "Acupuncture for Anxiety in the Perioperative Setting: A Randomized Controlled Trial." Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2017.


Running Piglet


Yes, you heard right!


In the ancient books (1,800 years old) that we use to diagnose and treat disease, the name for panic attacks was called "Running Piglet Qi". It sounds strange, but we have to remember that language was different 2,000 years ago. The image of a running piglet refers to a sense of energy rushing up from the belly or the heart into the throat and head, causing a sense of panic.


In these books, 3 particular formulas were mentioned to treat three different types of panic attacks.


If you are interested in learning more about panic attacks and anxiety and how Chinese medicine and acupuncture can help, please feel free to reach out and contact us.

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