Acupuncture for Stress & Anxiety



The treatment of chronic stress and anxiety is extremely effective with Chinese medicine. It is incredible how well individuals cope with their life and circumstances once the body’s energetics begin to balance.

The best way to describe this is when someone can feel irritable, anxious and distressed when hungry. But once they have a satisfying meal, all the emotional issues that were so valid and uncontrollable seem to just disappear.

Over the years I have treated many individuals with these life debilitating emotional burdens. Many were cautious about taking prescription medicine as a band aid solution and most had found natural medicine minimally or only temporarily effective. 

The point of Chinese medicine is to address the imbalance. Taking St. John’s wort, B vitamins and especially melatonin is not the answer. You have to diagnose properly and treat the root of the disorder. For instance, before menstruation some women become irritable and short tempered, others feel depressed and cry often. Sometimes the appetite increases, or completely disappears. Some have headaches, others have severe cramping. The point being that everyone is different.

The treatment of someone who is anemic is different than someone going through menopause. One person may have insomnia, and another suffer from severe fatigue. These differences have to be considered to treat the individual.

Often there are also many physical manifestations such as a feeling of lump in the throat, or a suffocating feeling in the chest. Some have dizziness or numbness. Others suffer from acne or other skin conditions. Menstruation also sometimes suffers.

In general, the results begin to come rather quickly. Yes, meditation and dietary therapy can help a lot and are often incorporated to complement the treatment as much as it is doable and acceptable.

I commonly include Chinese herbal medicine to regulate the body and mind in conjunction with acupuncture. I find that to be a magnificent merging of complementary disciplines to address the condition.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), we believe that the mind and body have an inseparable connection. If the organ systems do not work well, the energetic force does not flow well. Just as a rhythmic force guides the peristalsis of the intestines and the churning of the stomach, your emotions also have a natural and smooth flow. For instance, a systemic imbalance can cause disruption and stagnation of your emotions where a small stimulus can lead to a large wave of emotional responses from one extreme to another. Sometimes the emotions become bound and cannot free flow, leading to a feeling of stagnation and the inability to move forward. 

Once we treat the system as a whole rather than the emotions themselves, individuals begin to gain a certain feeling of composure and inner balance.

If you are currently seeing a psychotherapist or a councillor, I highly encourage it. I have had many patients who have reported the positive benefits and the support they have received from trained individuals as well as friends and family. Every bit of proper help from a caring heart makes a difference.

I find that an element of the treatment involves an explanation of your diagnosis according to Chinese medicine and how to help yourself accordingly. For instance, if someone suffers from a “Deficiency Syndrome” they should moderate their rest and exercise pattern accordingly. This could involve taking a break from exercising during the menstrual cycle. Someone else may be suggested dietary restrictions.

I think we all have the ability of self-empowerment. With some help and guidance there is much we can achieve.


Written by Sarkis Makarians