Anxiety. It’s real. And unfortunately, many people are not unfamiliar with feelings of anxiety. Especially right now. But good news is, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)- acupuncture, auricular acupuncture (ears), herbs, food therapy, cupping, guasha, and tuina can all be really effective to help get rid of and prevent feelings of anxiety.
But one question that is really important for your TCM practitioner to know is HOW your anxiety manifests. Irritability? Sadness? Feelings of overwhelm? Racing thoughts? Insomnia? Heart palpitations? Tightness in your chest? Do you get a pain in your ribside? Do you get headaches? This helps us determine which Traditional Chinese Medicine organs are involved and which channels or meridians are being affected.
Based on your answers to how your anxiety manifests and the TCM 10 questions, we can better determine which points to choose (if we’re doing acupuncture- both body and auricular), what herbs to give you (if we’re doing TCM herbal therapies), which foods to suggest you add in or take out of your diet (if we’re doing TCM food therapy), and if bodywork such as cupping, guasha or tuina are appropriate for your case.
At EastWest acu we want to give you the tools to heal- the body has an innate ability to HEAL ITSELF. Which is really cool. We want you to understand where your anxiety is coming from and what you can do to either prevent it from happening in the first place OR deal with it more effectively if it inevitably comes up during your day due to circumstances outside of your control.
Here are a few things that you can do at home to help reduce and prevent anxiety:
We often use breathing techniques with patients for a variety of reasons. Box breathing is a simple but powerful breathing exercise you can do at home. Sit comfortably in a quiet space. Take a deep breath to the count of four. Then hold that breath for the count of four. Let go of that breath to the count of four. Then hold that exhale to the count of four. Repeat a few times or until the feelings of anxiety lessen.
Ask your TCM practitioner if ear seeds would be appropriate for your condition! Ear seeds are tiny seeds on a small piece of tape or band-aid that we adhere to various auricular acupuncture points on the ear. All of the body’s systems are represented on the ear- which is pretty amazing. Your TCM practitioner will put the ears seeds on different points on your ears that reflect your TCM pattern. You then leave these in for a few days and press on them a few times throughout the day and once before bed. These can do wonders in help relieving feelings of anxiety.
Try not to eat late in the evening, this can disrupt your sleep and poor sleep can lead to more anxiety! If your anxiety manifests with insomnia, dream disturbed sleep and heart palpitations you could try eating a few Chinese dates after dinner/before bed. Chinese dates help calm our shen, which in turn relieves anxiety. If your anxiety manifests as irritability, try drinking mint tea throughout the day. Mint helps move our stuck liver qi, which can help reduce/prevent anxiety.