Both anxiety and panic attacks are a problem frequently encountered nowadays. The traditional medical system does not usually find an organic substrate of these disorders (nothing comes out of tests) and patients often end up at the psychiatrist. Although there are psychiatric medications for these disorders, patients often seek alternative treatments because the side effects are plentiful, unpleasant and even dangerous to the patient’s health.
Acupuncture is a good alternative, because through its approach it is interested in reaching the deeper causes of the problems, and the system is based on helping the body heal itself, thus avoiding altogether any side effects. Moreover, acupuncture is a holistic approach that is diagnosing and treating the patient as a whole; at the end of the treatment the patient takes care of other problems besides anxiety and panic attacks.
How does the treatment work?
Depending on the causes determined by the diagnosis, acupuncture treatment will vary in complexity and therapeutic targets. In simple cases where the cause is an energetic imbalance, the treatment will be to resolve those imbalances, a process that will bring about an improvement in various physical symptoms. The patient will begin to feel better relatively quickly and the treatment will be shorter than in case of emotional causes.
In more complex cases, panic attacks or anxiety are just the tips of the iceberg. At a careful and thorough diagnosis a long history of emotional problems (or sometimes a single powerful traumatic episode), problems that usually a patient suppresses partially or completely, will come out.
The patient usually does not connect his emotional problems to their panic attacks because his problems may be on a totally different spectrum (like problems in your relationship or sadness in the loss of someone close, etc.) which do not involve fear or anxiety.
The reason is that in these cases, the subconscious acts as a buffer, taking the brunt of the trauma when it occurs, so that the patient can still function. In those moments, the suppression of emotions is constructive. The problem is that long-term suppression of emotions is both a cause of disease and a cause of unhappiness, because the patient wears the “bag” with problems with them, without giving it away, and, in more difficult cases, they do not realize how big this bag is.
When the subconscious is approaching the limit of its ability to store unprocessed emotions, it begins to pour its contents. There are two ways of letting it out: one is emotional – the most common way being through panic attacks, and the other is by autoimmune diseases because they are nothing more than the physical materialization of the internal conflicts – the body attacks itself.
Acupuncture treatment follows the strategy of a surgeon: to remove the emotional pus. It is very important that the patient understands the mechanism of the occurrence of their problems so that they can understand the treatment’s strategy as in the first phase after the treatment, the patient will come in contact with internal or repressed feelings, and these states are not at all pleasant.
The processing (being aware) of these emotions is the only way to remove them from the system. The patient must understand that as an abscess, the procedure is not pleasant at first; disliking being directly proportional to how charged they are. But the benefits are enormous, because it works directly at the cause, and besides the disappearance of panic attacks or anxiety, the patient feels relieved, liberated, and with the feeling that they were able to end some painful chapters of their life.
The duration of the treatment and its effects
Duration of treatment for simple cases of panic attacks / anxiety may be between 5 and 15 sessions. The aim is basically on a general energy balance. In cases of emotional etiology, the duration is significantly higher and can range from 15 to 30-40 sessions. The Overall treatment duration is proportional to the complexity of the problem.
The treatment strategy for emotional problems is to alternate sessions of “deep digging” with sessions of “tranquility”. The first are sessions that represent the core of the treatment, the ones which do the hard work, but also stir up the patient.
Obviously, the therapist will adjust their strategy depending on how the patient wants and can work with themselves. The calming sessions are sessions that are aimed at rather the “bandage” effect of acupuncture, the immediate emotional comfort. This gives the patient the stability and emotional comfort for them to feel comfortable to dig further to solve their in depth problem.
Acupuncture is more than apt to handle patients with problems like anxiety or panic attacks, as well as various other emotional problems, with the advantage of working on the issue. Doing so, it fills a gap in the traditional medicine that addresses only the effect, not the cause of these diseases.
The disadvantage is that through the acupuncture treatment, positive effects take longer to take effect than does the anxiolytic treatment, and can stir up the patient at first, but the advantage is that it does not have side effects and the problem once solved does not require treatment with anything, including acupuncture.