Acupuncture and Mental Health in the Age of Coronavirus

Living in the age of Coronavirus (COVID19) has presented new realities for all of us. We’re working from home, might have endured temporary unemployment, home-schooling of children, and lack of physical contact with other family members, friends and colleagues. All of these things takes time to get used to and they have caused undue stress, fatigue and depression. Adapting to lifestyle changes such as these, and managing the fear of contracting the virus and worry about people close to us who are particularly vulnerable, are challenging for all of us. They can be particularly difficult for people with mental health conditions.

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Fortunately, there are many things we can do to manage our own mental health and to help others who may need some extra support and care. Acupuncture has proven to relieve stress and, in many cases, alleviate the depression and anxiety people are facing during this pandemic.

Acupuncture treatment sessions are effective for the relief of severe anxiety, including mental health benefits for frontline healthcare workers active in the fight against COVID-19 (coronavirus). Two independent investigations confirm the efficacy of Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for relieving stress. One clinical study tested acupoint tapping self-care and determined that it effectively reduces mental stress in nurses working on the frontlines in the fight against COVID-19. Another investigation determined that acupuncture outperforms a powerful benzodiazepine medication for the reduction of anxiety.

Frontline COVID-19 healthcare workers face overwhelming tasks while handling patient care. They endure stresses, such as overall distress, depression, and general anxiety. Some workers are exhausted and are running out of patience after treating too many patients. Others worry that they and their family members may be at risk of infection due to workplace exposure. Some report feeling guilty for not spending enough time with their families due to work commitments. Without timely intervention, these psychological stresses have the potential to progress into psychological crises or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Researchers from the Chenzhou Municipal First People’s Hospital instituted the acupoint tapping method for nurses working on the frontlines fighting against coronavirus. After ten days of treatment, negative emotions such as tension and anxiety quantifiably abated. Results were determined by analysis of the Chinese version of the Perceived Stress Scale (CPSS) and the Self-rating Anxiety Scale (SAS). Researchers (Liu et al.) conclude that acupuncture is effective for the relief of anxiety.

Dana Ruben at Michigan Acupuncture Studio is available for acupuncture treatments, other Chinese Medicine treatments, and herbal consultations for those who are experiencing increased anxiety, depression or any other mental health ailment during this challenging time. Book your appointment today.