Natural Anxiety Relief In Bellmore, NY - Ni Nan Healing Art Center

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a part of our built-in survival mechanism. It’s appropriate to feel a certain amount of anxiousness when you’re driving in a snowstorm or giving a speech to a large group. However, if you’re anxious for no apparent reason, find anxiety is taking over your life, or experiencing panic attacks, your anxiety has gone from appropriate to being a problem.

If you’re struggling with anxiety, you’re not alone. Up to 30 percent of people worldwide suffer from anxiety. Symptoms may include a racing heart, shortness of breath, chest tightness, feeling lightheaded, numbness and tingling in your extremities, and a general feeling of fear. Extreme anxiety may trigger a panic attack, with the above symptoms, plus an overwhelming fear that you may be having a heart attack or dying right now. Panic attacks often seem to come out of nowhere, and are so frightening that most sufferers worry about having another.

Anxiety can be caused by traumatic events, overwhelming stress, or constant worry. In addition, physical factors, such as a hormonal imbalance, heart problems, or the side effects of certain medications may also trigger anxiety. Some experts speculate that anxiety may be genetic, as it tends to run in families.

Treatments For Anxiety

Standard medical treatment for anxiety includes talk therapy and the use of medications. Some doctors support self-treatment in the form of meditation, relaxation techniques, developing a support network, thought-stopping exercises, and physical activity.

A large number of people who are struggling with anxiety have turned to acupuncture for treatment. There is a great deal of research to support their decision. In a 2017 review of thirteen clinical and scientific studies, researchers determined that acupuncture was an effective treatment for anxiety; similar in effectiveness to talk therapy. This review included three studies in which subjects reported more improvement in their symptoms than control subjects who received medications for their anxiety.

From a Chinese perspective, anxiety may be diagnosed as an imbalance of the Heart, Kidney, or Spleen organ systems. Your Chinese Heart houses something called the Shen, which encompasses your consciousness, feelings, memory, and spirit. Disturbances of the Shen can result in anxiety. The emotional make-up of your Kidney system is deep-seated fear, and your Spleen is associated with worry—either of which can be an underlying cause of anxiety.

There are, however, very real and measurable physiological changes that occur as the result of acupuncture; changes that can account for acupuncture’s effectiveness in treating anxiety. Scientists have found that acupuncture increases the circulation of endorphins, which are feel-good neurotransmitters that improve your mood, regulate the stress response, lower blood pressure, enhance digestion, and decrease pain. In addition, acupuncture helps slow down your brain’s release of stress neurochemicals, and helps to balance the interplay of the stress hormones of cortisol, adrenalin, and insulin.

If you choose to treat your anxiety with acupuncture, your practitioner may combine their treatments with Chinese herbs, lifestyle changes, and something called auricular (or ear) acupuncture. Originally developed to treat addictions, auricular acupuncture has been found to be so effective in treating anxiety and mental health conditions that the Veterans Administration is using acupuncture for veterans who are suffering from post-traumatic stress (PTSD).

The bottom line is that when it comes to treating anxiety, acupuncture can be an effective option. Your practitioner has a number of healing tools and strategies, and can individualize your treatment plan for the best results.

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Could Acupuncture be the Answer for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

by Ni Nan Gilbert, L.Ac. on February 11, 2019

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Relief In Bellmore, NY - Ni Nan Healing Art Center

Whenever I see a bank teller or cashier wearing a wrist brace, my first thought is that they’re suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. The nature of their work is repetitious and can be hard on their wrists and hands, and carpal tunnel syndrome is a common result.

What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a condition in which your median nerve becomes entrapped. This nerve runs throughout your arm, but near your wrist, it runs through what’s called the carpal tunnel, which is a narrow passageway at the base of your hand and wrist. When the tendons, ligaments, or tissue becomes irritated and swollen, the nerve becomes squeezed, causing symptoms not only in your wrist, but also in your hand.

The most common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are numbness and tingling in the palm of your affected hand, which may extend to the thumb, index, and middle finger. People with CTS also describe burning, itching, pain, weakness, and in severe cases inability to use the affected hand and fingers. As with most nerve-related conditions, the symptoms tend to be worse during the night. In fact, many people with CTS describe early symptoms as a sensation of pins and needles or numbness that wake them up at night.

While carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by a trauma, such as a broken bone or sprained wrist, the most common cause of this condition is performing repetitive motions. Twisting and turning your hand, working at a cash register or computer, or the use of hand tools are common culprits. However, being pregnant, having diabetes, an underactive thyroid, an overactive pituitary, or rheumatoid arthritis can also raise your risk for CTS.

How Can It Be Treated?

Traditional treatments for CTS include splinting the wrist (especially at night), avoiding overuse activities, physical therapy, Vitamin B6 supplementation, and over-the-counter or prescription medications for pain and inflammation. In some cases surgery is an option, in which the carpal tunnel is opened up to make more space for the nerve.

Acupuncture can also be an appropriate treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. In a 2017 study reported by the NIH (National Institutes of Health), researchers found that acupuncture produced measurable improvements in symptoms that the patients were experiencing. The results showed that acupuncture treatments exerted effects both locally, as well as in the pain center of the brain.

In Chinese medicine, carpal tunnel syndrome is diagnosed as something called a Bi (pronounced Bee) syndrome, which means that there’s some kind of obstruction in the affected joint. This simply means that the circulation of blood and the transmission of nerve impulses are blocked. An acupuncturist would further diagnose your CTS by the state of your overall health and the characteristics of your symptoms. For example, you may have more pain than numbness, your symptoms may be aggravated by changes in the weather, or they may come and go. Your CTS may feel better with the application of heat, pressure, ice, or being elevated. All of these are clues as to how to best treat your particular presentation of CTS.

In Chinese medicine, acupuncture is the first line of treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. Your practitioner may use electro-acupuncture, which provides a painless electrical current to the needles to enhance effectiveness. They may also prescribe an herbal formula, perform massage-like Tui Na, or recommend some at home rest or exercises as a part of your treatment plan. Their strategy for your treatment and the healing tools that they use will depend on the nature of your symptoms and your overall health.

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Ni Nan Healing Art Center
2579 Merrick Rd, Bellmore, NY 11710
Phone: (516) 442-7408
 

 

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