Skip to content

Effectiveness of Acupuncture for Anxiety

Effectiveness of Acupuncture for Anxiety

Table of Contents

An alternative treatment for anxiety that dates back thousands of years involves inserting needles into pressure spots on the body called acupuncture. There is some scientific proof that acupuncture relieves some anxiety symptoms. Keep reading to learn more about this treatment method.

Difference Between Anxiety and Depression – Acupuncture for Anxiety

Anxiety and depression difference: The fact that one term denotes a single sickness while the other denotes a collection of ailments is a significant distinction between anxiety and depression.

In reality, depression is one illness. There are numerous distinct symptoms (see below). And different people may experience it very differently. However, the term “depression” only refers to one illness.

The word “anxiety” can indicate a number of different things. We all experience anxiety occasionally, and the word “anxiety” can be used to describe that feeling simply. However, when we use the word anxiety in a medical context, it actually refers to anxiety disorder.

Some less frequent conditions are included under anxiety. These include panic disorders and phobias. However, generalized anxiety disorder is the most prevalent (GAD). In the US, a generalized anxiety disorder may affect four to five out of every 100 persons. In this post, we’ll concentrate on generalized anxiety.

What is Anxiety Disorder?

According to The National Institute on Mental Health, periodic anxiety is a standard component of life. When faced with a challenge at work, before a test, or before making a crucial decision, you could experience anxiety. However, anxiety disorders involve more than just passing apprehension or terror.

Anxiety and depression difference: It’s critical to get anxiety treatment as soon as possible since, for someone with an anxiety condition, the anxiety does not go away and can worsen over time. The symptoms might affect daily tasks like work performance, academic progress, and interpersonal connections. Generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and various phobia-related disorders are only a few of the several types of anxiety disorders.

Anxiety and depression difference: People with a generalized Anxiety disorder (GAD) display excessive Anxiety or worry, most days for at least 6 months, about many things such as personal health, work, social interactions, and everyday routine life circumstances. Fear and Anxiety can cause significant problems in areas of their life, such as social interactions, school, and work. 

What is Depression?

Depression (also known as Major Depressive Illness or Clinical Depression) is a common but significant mood disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. It produces severe symptoms that interfere with your ability to function on a daily basis, including sleeping, eating, and working. The signs of depression must last for at least two weeks before a diagnosis may be made.

Depression treatment is required when depressive symptoms are chronic and do not go away since some types of depression are slightly different or may arise in unusual situations.

Types of Depression

  • Persistent depressive disorder (also called dysthymia): is a depressed mood that lasts for at least two years. A person diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder may have episodes of major Depression along with periods of less severe symptoms, but symptoms must last for two years to be considered a persistent depressive disorder.
  • Psychotic Depression: occurs when a person has severe depression plus some form of psychosis, such as having disturbing false fixed beliefs (delusions) or hearing or seeing upsetting things that others cannot hear or see (hallucinations). The psychotic symptoms typically have a depressive “theme,” such as delusions of guilt, poverty, or illness.
  • Bipolar disorder: is different from Depression, but it is included in this list because someone with bipolar disorder experiences episodes of extremely low moods that meet the criteria for major Depression (called “Bipolar Depression”). But a person with bipolar disorder also experiences extreme high – euphoric or irritable – moods called “mania” or a less severe form called “hypomania.”
  • Postpartum Depression: is much more serious than the “baby blues” (relatively mild depressive and anxiety symptoms that typically clear within two weeks after delivery) that many women experience after giving birth. Women with postpartum Depression experience full-blown major Depression during pregnancy or after delivery (postpartum depression). The feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that accompany postpartum depression may make it difficult for these new mothers to complete daily care activities for themselves and/or their babies.
  • Seasonal affective disorder: is characterized by the onset of Depression during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight. This Depression generally lifts during spring and summer. Winter Depression, typically accompanied by social withdrawal, increased sleep, and weight gain, predictably returns every year in seasonal affective disorder.
  • SAD Seasonal Depression (Depressed SAD): A form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is triggered by the changing of the seasons; it starts and ends about at the same periods each year. If you have SAD like the majority of people do, your symptoms begin in the fall and last through the winter, draining your energy and making you cranky. Typically, these symptoms go away in the spring and summer. SAD less frequently results in depression in the spring or early summer and clears up in the fall or winter. SAD treatment options include medications, psychotherapy, and light therapy (phototherapy).

Get Help. Get Better. Get Your Life Back.

Searching for Accredited Dual Diagnosis Mental Health Centers Near You?

Even if therapy failed previously, or are in the middle of a difficult crisis, we stand ready to support you. Our trusted behavioral health specialists will not give up on you. When you feel ready or just want someone to speak to about counseling alternatives to change your life call us. Even if we cannot assist you, we will lead you to wherever you can get support. There is no obligation. Call our hotline today.

FREE 24/7 Dual Diagnosis Mental Health Services Hotline

Anxiety Fact Sheet

Anxiety Overview

A mental health condition marked by intense feelings of worry, anxiety, or fear that interfere with daily activities. Panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder are a few examples of anxiety disorders.
The inability to put aside worry, restlessness, and stress that is out of proportion to the severity of the incident are among the symptoms.
Counseling or medicine, including antidepressants, are used as forms of treatment.


Anxiety Symptoms

Behavioral: hypervigilance, irritability, or restlessness.

Cognitive: lack of concentration, racing thoughts, or unwanted thoughts.

Whole body: fatigue or sweating

Also common:  anxiety, excessive worry, angor animi, fear, insomnia, nausea, palpitations, or trembling

Anxiety Treatment

  • Support group: A place where those pursuing the same disease or objective, such as weight loss or depression, can receive counseling and exchange experiences.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: A conversation treatment that aimed to change the negative attitudes, actions, and feelings connected to psychiatric discomfort.
  • Counseling psychology: A subfield of psychology that handles issues with the self that are connected to work, school, family, and social life.
  • Anger management: To reduce destructive emotional outbursts, practice mindfulness, coping skills, and trigger avoidance.
  • Psychoeducation: Mental health education that also helps individuals feel supported, validated, and empowered
  • Family therapy: psychological counseling that improves family communication and conflict resolution.

Anxiety Statistics

It’s critical to understand the distinction between anxiety and depression. Anxiety, in its most basic form, is an excessive feeling of worry, whereas depression, in its most basic form, is an excessive feeling of worthlessness and hopelessness. It is conceivable for someone to experience depression and anxiety simultaneously.


6.8 million

GAD affects 6.8 million adults or 3.1% of the U.S. population, yet only 43.2% are receiving treatment.

Source: National Institute on Mental Health

19 million

19 million adults experience specific phobias, making it the most common anxiety disorder in America.  

Source: ADAA2020

17.3 million

Major depressive disorder affects approximately 17.3 million American adults or about 7.1% of the U.S. population aged 18 and older.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health


Generalized anxiety disorder and depression can both have emotional and physical symptoms.
Generalized anxiety disorder and depression can both have emotional and physical symptoms.

Acupuncture For Anxiety And Depression

Depression and anxiety are considered warning signs in Eastern philosophy because they are signs that something more serious is going on inside the body. Traditional Chinese medicine refers to this source of life energy as “qi,” and when it is out of balance, it causes sickness, which can show up as depression and anxiety.

Although acupuncture is not a panacea, it can help with the symptoms of depression and anxiety when used as a part of an integrative strategy to make the entire body healthy.

A licensed practitioner places thin, thread-like needles into particular bodily nerve sites during acupuncture for anxiety and depression.

Each needle pokes and activates a sensory nerve, causing it to become active and begin communicating with the brain. Endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, are then released by the brain, causing the immune system to react and promoting healing throughout the body.

Acupuncture treatments typically last about 30 minutes. The needles will then be positioned all over the body, and the practitioner will either manually move them or stimulate them with electrical currents to encourage the body’s neurochemical activity.

When working with our team, one of our qualified practitioners will work with you to assist reduce your symptoms because they are familiar with acupressure sites for anxiety and depression.

Acupuncture And Anxiety: Acupuncture Benefits For Anxiety

Acupuncture Anxiety: Can Acupuncture Help With Anxiety?

Anxiety acupuncture: The impact of acupuncture on anxiety has been the subject of numerous investigations. Acupuncture may be effective in treating general anxiety, according to this research, which has mostly focused on generalized anxiety disorder.

For instance, a promising 2015 study discovered that acupuncture reduced symptoms in individuals with anxiety who did not react to other therapies, such as psychotherapy and medication. Ten acupuncture sessions of 30 minutes each were given to participants over a period of 12 weeks. Even ten weeks after the end of the treatment, they saw a considerable decrease in their anxiety.

However, two assessments of previous studies—one from 2007 and the other from 2013—note that many of them aren’t very trustworthy. Some, like the one previously described, had a relatively small number of players, while others were badly constructed. However, these reviews also note that acupuncture does not appear to have a detrimental impact on anxiety.

How does acupuncture help anxiety? Anxiety was found to be reduced by acupuncture in a more recent 2016 investigation on rats. According to the researchers, it may affect how the body initiates the fight-or-flight response.

The data is promising for acupuncture as a practical and secure choice, even though we still need to learn more about how it impacts anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias. Acupuncture shouldn’t exacerbate your symptoms if you have anxiety that hasn’t responded to conventional treatments or if you just want to try something different.

Ryan Zofay forming a circle and hugging friends.

End the Emotional Pain. Get Your Life Back.

Feeling Depressed, Anxious or Struggling with Mental Health Illness? Get Safe Comfortable Mental Health Dual Diagnosis High-Quality Therapy From Counselors That Care. Begin Your Recovery Now.

Hotline (855) 940-6125

Does Acupuncture Help Anxiety? Are There Any Risks?

Does acupuncture help with anxiety? Acupuncture has some potential risks and side effects, but it won’t make your anxiety worse. By making sure you see an authorized acupuncturist, you can prevent the majority of complications. State-by-state licensing standards in the US vary, but the majority call for passing an exam administered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

Soreness after a session is the main adverse impact that acupuncture patients report. Even while it sometimes leaves some bruising, this normally goes away in a few hours. During a session, some people experience sharp pains.

Acupuncturists with a license must use sterile, single-use needles. If your doctor doesn’t use adequately sterilized needles, you can get an infection. According to the Mayo Clinic, these side effects are quite rare if you go to a skilled, licensed acupuncturist.

Some medical disorders should prevent people from receiving acupuncture. Acupuncture should be avoided if you:

  • Have a pacemaker
  • Have a bleeding condition, such as hemophilia

It’s also important to keep up with any ongoing anxiety treatment, including prescribed medications while getting acupuncture. You shouldn’t stop any medications without first discussing them with your doctor.

Acupuncture Points For Anxiety (Acupuncture For Anxiety Points)

You may be wondering where do acupuncture needles go for anxiety, here are the acupuncture points for anxiety and insomnia:

Acupuncture Points For Anxiety And Depression:

Acupuncture For Stress And Anxiety: Point 1, Shen men or Heart 7

This spot is situated where your pinky finger is on the inside of your wrist, in the crease. This advice is excellent if anxiety prevents you from falling asleep or if you wake up in the middle of the night feeling anxious. This spot can be massaged to reduce heart rate and anxiety.

Acupuncture For Depression And Anxiety: Point 2, The third eye or Yintang

This spot is situated between the eyebrows and is well-known to yogis. Another helpful idea for insomnia is this. It is directly above the pineal gland, which aids in controlling melatonin. In addition to helping with insomnia, this point is renowned for easing restlessness and promoting general emotional well-being.

Acupuncture For Anxiety Near Me: Point 3, Pericardium six

This location is also on the inside of the forearm, near the center of the forearm, about two inches below the wrist crease. Although it is frequently used for nausea, it is also an excellent spot to open the chest and the heart, reversing the energy of contraction associated with anxiety.

Can Acupuncture Help Anxiety? Point 4, Chest center or Conception vessel 17

Between the nipples, in the middle of the chest, is where this spot is situated. Many people’s experiences of anxiety include chest tightness or shortness of breath. This spot expands and soothes the chest while also calming the diaphragm.

Does Acupuncture Work For Anxiety? Point 5, Hundred meetings or Governing vessel 20

Use both hands to draw a line from the middle of the top of your head to the top of your ears in order to locate this spot. With rushing thoughts and existential distress, consider this point. This is a fantastic place to let go of worry if you clench your jaw when you feel anxious. This location can also increase yang energy, which alleviates grief and depression.

First-class Facilities & Amenities

World-class High-Quality Mental Health Services & Behaviroal Health Substance Abuse Treatment

Rehab Centers Tour

Renowned Mental Health Centers. Serene Private Facilities. Inpatient Rehab Programs Vary.

Mental Health Helpline (855) 940-6125

Proven recovery success experience, backed by a Team w/ History of:

  • 15+ Years Experience
  • 100s of 5-Star Reviews
  • 10K+ Recovery Successes
  • Low Patient to Therapist Ratio
  • Comprehensive Dual-Diagnosis Treatment
  • Complimentary Family & Alumni Programs
  • Coaching, Recovery & Development Events
  • Comfortable Onsite Medical Detox Center

Is Acupuncture Good For Anxiety? What to expect?

Your acupuncturist will question you about the symptoms you’re hoping to treat when you arrive for your first visit. They will also inquire about any medications you may be taking, your medical background, and any further health issues you may have. You should use this opportunity to ask any last-minute queries you may have concerning the procedure.

Long, thin needles will be inserted into various pressure sites on your body during the real session. This can take 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the pressure spots that are applied. Additionally, your acupuncturist could twist the needles or give them an electrical pulse. Before carefully withdrawing the needles, they may leave them in for up to 20 minutes.

Consuming excessive amounts of simple sugars may increase your chance of developing anxiety, mood disorders, and other long-term health problems.
Anxiety worse after acupuncture: Acupuncture has some potential risks and side effects, but it won’t make your anxiety worse.

You probably won’t experience immediate gratification. The majority of acupuncture sessions are meant to be repeated. Some people report seeing benefits right away, while the majority see incremental adjustments over time with frequent visits.

Make sure you are aware of the associated charges before you travel. Acupuncture is sometimes covered by health insurance coverage for physical or mental health issues, such as anxiety.

Ear Acupuncture Points For Anxiety

Ear acupuncture for anxiety: Your ear’s upper shell contains the heavenly gate point, which is at the point of a hollow triangle. It is thought that stimulating this area can assist to reduce tension, anxiety, and insomnia.

World-class, Accredited, 5-Star Reviewed, Effective Mental Health Dual Diagnosis Programs. Complete Integrated Inpatient Rehab with Free Post Discharge Therapy Planning.

CALL (855) 940-6125

End the Emotional Pain Rollercoaster. Gain Stability & Happiness Through Recovery Treatment. Start Mental Health Counseling Today. Get Free No-obligation Guidance by Behaviroal Health Specialists Who Understand Mental Health Recovery.

We Level Up Dual Diagnosis Treatment

The exact definition of dual diagnosis (also referred to as co-occurring disorders) can differ between institutions.  However, it is generally described as the specific treatment of someone who has been diagnosed with a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder at the same time. Treating dual-diagnosis clients is a critical aspect of our inpatient treatment experience because co-occurring disorders are strongly correlated with instances of substance abuse.

Creating a treatment plan that addresses the physical aspects of withdrawal, the psychological connection with drug use, and managing underlying mental health disorders is part of setting clients up for success.  A thorough mental health analysis identifies possibilities for treatment.  Meeting with mental health counselors and medical care providers means access to behavioral therapy and medication treatment. At our dual diagnosis treatment center, We Level Up can implement the highest quality of care. 

We recognize the fragile complexities of how mental and substance abuse disorders can influence others and sometimes result in a vicious cycle of addiction.  That’s why we offer specialized treatment in dual-diagnosis cases to provide the most excellent chance of true healing and long-lasting recovery.

It can be challenging to accept that you may be living with a mental illness, but once it is properly diagnosed and treated, treating the presenting case of substance abuse can be magnitudes easier. Only a properly trained medical professional can diagnose these underlying conditions.  If you believe you are suffering from a disorder alongside addiction, we urge you to seek a qualified treatment center to begin your journey to recovery. Call We Level Up today.

Start a New Life

Begin with a free call to a behavioral health treatment advisor. Learn more about our dual-diagnosis programs. The We Level Up treatment center network delivers recovery programs that vary by each treatment facility. Call to learn more.

  • Personalized Care
  • Caring Accountable Staff
  • World-class Amenities
  • Licensed & Accredited
  • Renowned w/ 5-Star Reviews

We’ll Call You


Search We Level Up FL Anxiety and Depression Resources