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) and having profound effects on internal organs, which are either yin or yang.
Traditional Chinese medicine also recognizes the mind and body interacting as one, meaning that emotions have a physiological effect on the body. Five emotions are represented by the five elements:
- Water (fear)
- Wood (anger)
- Fire (happiness)
- Earth (worry)
- Metal (grief)
Western medical practitioners traditionally have questioned the validity of traditional Chinese medicines such as acupuncture. More recently, acupuncture has been recognized as a legitimate treatment for some conditions and is growing in popularity.
Anxiety is one of the most common mental illnesses worldwide. Many people suffer some form of anxiety occasionally but others cannot manage this natural response to a stressful situation. When a person experiences a highly stressful or threatening scenario, the mind can be overloaded and fail to develop ways of coping.
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
- behavioral, 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 include:
- generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- panic disorder
- social anxiety disorder
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
There are a variety of 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.