Acupuncture for Anxiety


Published on 22/06/2020 by Dr Lilla Cooper

Well what a strange and challenging few months this has been.

It would have been hard to imagine on New Year’s day that this was what was going to unfold across the world. Hard to think that it could be possible for so many changes to happen in such a short time.

It’s been interesting and poignant for me to talk to my patients who have a long history of anxiety and depression and hear that for them, what many people are feeling now is a small part of what they themselves battle with on a daily basis.

Instead of making things much worse for them, the current fear around Covid-19 that is affecting the world, in some way brings the rest of the world more in line with how acutely anxious people are normally feeling. It sort of normalises fear, anxiety and depression and I guess if that’s how you feel a lot of the time it must be reassuring in a way to see other people sharing your own experience.

In some ways that shines a light onto difficult feelings. They feel a bit better when they feel more normal. More congruent with ourselves and with the rest of the world. If it were possible to stop fighting them as if they were an opposing force and instead feel able to walk alongside them, acknowledging them as an injured part of yourself then you could be a lot of the way towards being able to accept them and start looking for ways of healing.

Chinese medicine doesn’t differentiate between our physical and emotional selves. That’s one of the things I’ve always loved about it.

Acute anxiety is as disabling as a broken leg.

Almost everyone I treat falls deeply asleep on my treatment couch for the twenty minutes or so that their needles are in place. It’s one of the most extraordinary and magical things I’ve ever experienced and I feel so privileged to watch the unravelling beginning.

There are acupuncture points that calm and balance; acupuncture points that relax emotional and muscular tension. Points that settle a racing pulse and points that bring connection with ourselves and with the outside world.

It can be a long journey but it’s always one worth beginning and the changes begin right from the start.