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Acupuncture

So does anyone out there have any experience with acupuncture? I have officially run the gamut of all anti-anxiety meds my doctor is comfortable giving me, and they all have one of two side effects that make the cure as bad as the disease (generalized anxiety disorder, if I haven't mentioned that lately.)

My doctor gave me two business cards for alternative approaches, an acupuncturist (board certified MD) and a hypnotherapist (ditto). Since my anxiety is more physical symptoms than cognitive symptoms, I went for the more physical of the two approaches. My initial appointment is tomorrow morning.

But other than what you can read on wikipedia or the doctor's website, I don't know much about acupuncture's effectiveness. I'm not particularly concerned with how much support the traditional theory behind it has; I'm too much of an empiricist to worry about that. But discussions of its effectiveness that I've read give me nothing. The usual Western medical "research inconclusive" stuff vs. how can a billion Chinese people and a couple thousand years of still being around equal "ineffective."

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

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( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
ponygirl2000
Nov. 9th, 2012 04:11 pm (UTC)
I've done it for digestive complaints and thought it helped, and my doctor brother will freely admit that it has been proven effective for pain management. I don't know about anxiety but it's not going to hurt (maybe a twinge) so you might as well give it a whirl. I think it's more a cumulative effect though so I wouldn't expect instant relief.
masqthephlsphr
Nov. 9th, 2012 04:22 pm (UTC)
Well, assuming you buy the theory behind it, cumulative effect over repeated and then intermittent is what you'd expect (for chronic conditions like anxiety especially).
mamculuna
Nov. 9th, 2012 07:37 pm (UTC)
I mentioned my back on FB. You probably know that my son went through acupuncture school (just finishing up) and in the process, he became cynical about some claims, but is truly convined that for anything related to stress or anxiety, it can be really beneficial--with the right practitioner. He does say there's a lot of variation (so don't give up if the first one you try isn't right for you, as with shrinks). I certainly know more than one young woman who feels that it definitely works for fertility issues (not yours, I know, but very empirical--they didn't get pregnant without the treatments and did with them).

To me, most persuasive is that it works for animals, not subject to placebo effect. But hey, I'll settle for a placebo if it works.
masqthephlsphr
Nov. 9th, 2012 07:42 pm (UTC)
Anxiety is a lot like pain in that it's the subjective experience of relief that matters, so placebo *can* be as good as 'cure'. However, there is an element of pain and anxiety that is subconscious and unconscious that must also be addressed in any treatment, since the placebo effect may or may not address something you're not aware of feeling but that nevertheless is dragging you down.
cornerofmadness
Nov. 10th, 2012 04:08 am (UTC)
I have for pain management and that did help but it took a while. I have no idea what it would do for anxiety
masqthephlsphr
Nov. 10th, 2012 12:55 pm (UTC)
That seems to be the consensus among those I've queried.
midnightsjane
Nov. 11th, 2012 06:24 am (UTC)
I had it for pain related to tendinitis, and it helped for that.
I think there is definitely something to the alternative (ie non traditionally Western) approaches to treating various diseases, so I don't dismiss things like acupuncture. I think it's often a case of believing in the treatment, because the mind is a huge factor in healing and health, but I think there's also a physiological affect to things like acupuncture as well.
masqthephlsphr
Nov. 11th, 2012 03:18 pm (UTC)
Well, I chose acupuncture over hypnosis of the two alternative treatments my doctor suggested because of the two it seemed the more physical/body approach, and my anxiety symptoms are more physical than cognitive/mental. So I'm banking on it being a physical thing, not just a mental one.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )