It is best known as a treatment for controlling our aches and pains but few of us know that acupuncture can also be used to treat anxiety and depression.
The research by the British Acupuncture Council and the charity Anxiety UK, revealed that only 10 percent of sufferers use acupuncture to deal with their anxiety, whereas almost half (49.2 per cent) are prescribed medication, the Daily Express reported.
Almost all participants of the study (93.8 percent), commissioned to mark World Mental Health Day on Thursday, said they would be open to trying a complementary therapy but nearly two thirds (62.7 percent) were not even aware that acupuncture could help their condition.
Anxiety UK believes this could be down to a lack of understanding of the condition, cost of treatments as well as problems accessing therapies, especially complementary therapies.
Acupuncture originated in China and has been in use for more than 2,000 years and practitioners claim that by inserting tiny needles into specific areas of the skin, they can affect the meridians - or channels of pain - that run up and down the body, blocking pain.
Previous research has shown that acupuncture can help ease anxiety by acting on areas of the brain known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the 'analytical' brain, which is responsible for anxiety and worry.
The acupuncture practitioners questioned for the study said the most common form of anxiety they treat is depression (94.9 percent) closely followed by panic attacks (86.1 per cent) with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) not far behind (50.6 percent).
--ANI (Posted on 11-10-2013)