Mental health treatment has changed drastically in recent generations, thankfully. We have moved past drastic and harmful forms of “care” and now enjoy many modalities that can support optimal mental health. From counseling to massage therapy, there are many choices available. One exciting development has been discovering the long-term benefits of acupuncture for mental well-being.
The providers at Ancora Wellness believe that everyone deserves to feel well. We work collaboratively to meet your physical and mental health needs. With a range of services, including counseling, naturopathic care, and acupuncture, we can help create a unique plan for you. Connect with us today to get started. And we’re also looking for a new acupuncturist to join our team. Get more information here!
From Stigmatized to Supported
The history of mental health treatment in the US and around the world isn’t generally a happy one. Stigmatization of individuals who live with mental illness was the normal course of action for centuries. Everything from religious doctrine to misguided scientific practices played into the harmful and often deadly ways society handled mental illness.
Fortunately, we have come a long way in removing the stigmas surrounding mental health and utilizing appropriate, safe treatments. Modern mental health care is far from perfect, but it’s safer and more compassionate than ever before.
One of the biggest shifts in mental health support is recognizing that there are many ways to treat mental and emotional disorders. While medication and therapy still play significant and vital roles in appropriate care, other modalities are accepted, too.
Massage therapy, meditation, acupuncture, and nutritional help can all support optimal mental health and wellness. As the shame and stigmas surrounding mental illness continue to drop away, more and more people are getting the help they deserve.
Acupuncture as a Viable Treatment Option
The acceptance of acupuncture as a treatment for many health issues is growing. The practice of acupuncture dates back thousands of years. Originating in China, acupuncture focuses on balancing the flow of energy in the body.
Acupuncture is a key part of many treatment plans in traditional Chinese medicine. With the rise in Chinese medicine and naturopathic medicine, acupuncture has become a widely-available option. Practitioners use thin, sterile needles inserted at specific points to balance the body’s chi, or life energy.
This treatment is common when addressing chronic or acute pain such as GI issues, headaches, or post-operative pain. However, the mental health benefits of acupuncture are also becoming more apparent.
And acupuncture isn’t only a reactive treatment. It is an excellent proactive practice for physical and mental health. By balancing and unblocking the body’s energy flow, acupuncture can help you avoid inflammation and pain. And since acupuncture requires you to lie still for a while, it also provides an opportunity for peace and stillness to relax your mind and body.
Long-Term Benefits of Acupuncture on Mental Health
Unlike much of traditional Western medicine that treats symptoms, naturopathic and Chinese medicine aims to restore balance and treat root causes. As part of the ancient form of Chinese medicine, acupuncture seeks to address imbalances in the body.
People with conditions such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD frequently find support and healing through acupuncture. Here are the top three long-term benefits of acupuncture for mental wellness.
1. Relief from Chronic Pain
Acute, temporary pain serves a purpose for our wellness and survival. It tells us when something is wrong and stops us from doing more damage until we heal. The idea is that we should get better, and the pain will stop.
Unfortunately, nearly a fifth of the adult US population lives with chronic pain of some sort. From headaches to joint pain to autoimmune disorders, chronic pain impacts about 50 million adults in America. Living with ongoing pain brings a significant risk of depression and anxiety. Those with chronic pain are four times more likely to experience these mental health conditions than individuals who are pain-free.
Acupuncture is an excellent way to find relief from this long-term pain. In turn, reducing or eliminating a patient’s pain levels can help alleviate the accompanying depression and anxiety.
2. Financial Wellness
It’s no secret that mental and physical healthcare is expensive in the US. From copays to premiums to prescription costs, the amounts can add up quickly for patients.
In addition to those direct expenses, there are indirect costs as well. Someone living with chronic pain misses about ten days of work each year due to their pain. Depending on their job, these are likely to be unpaid days, adding more stress to the person’s life.
They also may need to pay for additional services like housekeeping or grocery shopping if they cannot do it themselves. These financial burdens further contribute to stress and anxiety, continuing the chronic pain cycle. When a patient receives sustainable pain relief through acupuncture, they can avoid missed work and the financial toll that it takes.
3. Healing Relationships
When someone lives with chronic pain or mental health issues, it impacts all of their relationships. Friends, spouses, parents, and children all feel the influence of a loved one’s struggles.
By addressing pain, anxiety, and depression, acupuncture allows patients to enjoy healthier, more satisfying relationships with friends and family. Supporting those relationships further removes stress and conflict that could trigger a pain flare-up. Acupuncture is excellent at disrupting harmful cycles and reestablishing beneficial ones.
New to Acupuncture?
If you’ve never tried acupuncture, you may feel hesitant because…needles. Many people feel uncomfortable with needles, but acupuncture uses very thin ones that you may not even feel.
The acupuncturist inserts these needles at various depths and at specific points to address your areas of pain. The needles generally remain inserted for about 10-15 minutes during your appointment, and you’re unlikely to feel any discomfort when the provider removes them.
Some people feel energized after an acupuncture session, while others feel relaxed. With consistent treatments, many people enjoy less pain, discomfort, and anxiety.
Acupuncture at Ancora
Our service model at Ancora Wellness is collaborative and holistic. Acupuncture is one of the modalities we offer to support your whole person. We also offer nutrition services, naturopathic care, and counseling as part of this approach. Reach out today to learn more and make an appointment to get started.