Acupuncture for Anxiety

Acupuncture for Anxiety

Anxiety is currently the most common mental health condition in Australia, with one in four people suffering from the condition (Beyond Blue 2016).

Anxiety can manifest in many physical forms, and can be triggered by almost anything experienced in everyday life. Changes to routine, social situations, increased pressures at work, school deadlines, or even forming new relationships can be enough to evoke feelings of anxiety for anyone, particularly those that are prone to feeling overwhelmed or stressed.

A tight chest, difficulty breathing or swallowing, shaking/trembling, sweating, blushing, feeling emotional upset, insomnia, feeling on the verge of tears and dizziness are some of the many symptoms that can arise when we are engulfed in Anxiety.

Many people are unsure as to how they should best process these emotions and are often left feeling alone and isolated. When the body feels it is under stress, the sympathetic nervous system switches on and it goes into a state of panic or “fight or flight”.  Anxiety is experienced as a result, and can become chronic with prolonged exposure to this stress.

Acupuncture may help by stimulating the nervous system to release neurochemical messenger molecules helping to regulate the body’s homeostatic mechanisms resulting in a physical and emotional change. Aus Acu treatments also aim to activate the parasympathetic nervous system (or the “rest and digest” function of the body) to maximise self-healing (Arranz 2007).

Research has shown Acupuncture may positively impact on the symptoms of anxiety disorders by:

  • Promotiong relaxation (Hui 2010)
  • Deactivating the ‘analytical’ brain, responsible for anxiety and overthinking/worry (Hui 2010)
  • Positively altering and benefiting the brain’s mood chemistry to combat negative mindset. This is achieved via the regulation of hormones and neurotransmitters related to our mood. (These include serotonin, dopamine, GABA, neuropeptide Y and ACTH) (Lee 2009; Samuels 2008; Zhou 2008; Yuan 2007).
  • Reversing stress induced changes in behaviour and biochemistry (Kim 2009).
  • Enhancing the beneficial effects as well as reducing/managing unwanted side effects of conventional treatment approaches including medication and psycho-educational therapy (Courbasson 2007) (Yuan 2007)

With the right approach to healing, one that encompasses environment, lifestyle and dietary changes, living with anxiety does not need to adversely or negatively affect your lifestyle. Aus Acu treatments are designed to facilitate healing by reducing the frequency and severity of the symptoms you are experiencing, and help you to heal at the source of the problem.

Book in for a New Client Consultation and Treatment today to come in and discuss your concerns, and to see just how effective and enjoyable Aus Acu treatments can be for you. Or, for specific queries or to request more information, email us at Aus Acu.


  1. Beyond Blue 2016:
  2. Arranz L et al. Effect of acupuncture treatment on the immune function impairment found in anxious women. American Journal of Chinese Medicine.  2007;35(1):35-51
  3. Courbasson CM. et al . Acupuncture treatment for women with concurrent substance use and anxiety/depression: an effective alternative therapy? Family & Community Health.2007;30(2):112-2
  4. Hui KK et al. Acupuncture, the limbic system, and the anticorrelated networks of the brain. Auton Neurosci. 2010 Oct 28;157(1-2):81-90.
  5. Lee B et al. Effects of acupuncture on chronic corticosterone-induced depression-like behavior and expression of neuropeptide Y in the rats. Neuroscience Letters 2009; 453: 151-6.
  6. Samuels N et al. Acupuncture for psychiatric illness: a literature review. Behav Med 2008; 34: 55-64.
  7. Yuan Q. Li J.-N. Liu B. Wu Z.-F. Jin R. Effect of Jin-3-needling therapy on plasma corticosteroid, adrenocorticotropic hormone and platelet 5-HT levels in patients with generalized anxiety disorder. Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine.2007; 13 (4):  264-268.
  8. Zhou Q et al. The effect of electro-acupuncture on the imbalance between monoamine neurotransmitters and GABA in the CNS of rats with chronic emotional stress-induced anxiety. Int J Clin Acupunct 2008 ;17: 79-84.
Gregory Dunn is a Doctor of Chinese Medicine; registered Acupuncturist with the Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association (AACMA). Greg is one of the directors of Australian Acupuncture Clinics and enjoys treating a variety of concerns, specialising in Dermatology, Digestive Health and Mental Health. Greg also writes and instructs Yoga therapy online, and you can find his classes and eBooks via At home, Greg lives on the Gold Coast with his partner and their two miniature Dachshunds, Porsche and Alexa.
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