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Acupuncture and Zero Balancing for Anxiety

Acupuncture and Zero Balancing for Anxiety

by Grace Ganel, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac., C.Z.B.

Is acupuncture really a good therapy for anxiety? Many folks who suffer from anxiety can be “needle sensitive” and prone to fainting at the sight of needles. If you’re wondering how folks with anxiety could possibly benefit from acupuncture, wonder no more. Keep reading to learn how acupuncture, acupressure, and Zero Balancing can be great supports for folks who experience anxiety.




The importance of safe touch

Many forms of anxiety come with hyper-vigilance that results in frequent startling and high levels of muscle tension. When I notice these states in an individual, I know that learning how to help this person feel safe in the presence of my touch is going to be an essential prerequisite to our work together. In this case I usually begin with Zero Balancing, and I am sure to get their consent to touch them at every step of the way.

I love to use Zero Balancing with folks who experience symptoms of anxiety because it creates an opportunity for safe, non-invasive touch. I usually start with Zero Balancing in my first appointment with every client anyway because I gain a lot of information about the person from working with their body this way. And I am particularly mindful about how I interact with bodies in which I can sense this kind of tension.



Acupuncture works on the nervous system

One factor at play in symptoms of anxiety such as as rapid heart rate and hyperventilation is an overactive fight-or-flight response. This response is part of the nervous system called the Sympathetic Nervous System. It evolved to help keep us safe in the presence of threats. Sometimes, though, this system becomes very dominant and it may feel impossible to “turn it off,” even when you know intellectually that you are safe. Researchers have found that acupuncture can help to regulate the Sympathetic Nervous System on a physiological level.


Many of the acupuncture points are intended to calm the mind

Another symptom of anxiety that can be particularly troublesome is racing thoughts. Chinese medicine offers many points to help calm the mind!