Article by Jihae Ko
In this article, I would like to introduce how Acupuncture and Body awareness therapy can help and improve anxiety.
For the last 10 years, studying and working in holistic medicine & body therapy field, anxiety is one of the most prominent complaints in my practice.
In a way, we all experience certain levels of anxious feelings and uneasiness in our daily life. Sometimes anxious feeling can even uplift mood and give extra energy. There is also a strong will power to deal with certain situations however this unsettled state continues for a long period, it turns into a barrier and difficulty in life.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, constant worries and fearful thoughts with physical symptoms such as increased blood pressure, tensed body, short of breath, spontaneous sweating, restlessness, difficulty in sleep and digestion etc.
Psychosomatic aspect of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine)
TCM practitioners believe that physical health issues are connected to a person’s emotional state (and vice versa). Practitioners of TCM view emotions as an integrated aspect of organ functions, and sometimes the root cause of disease. TCM classifies emotions into seven categories, with each emotion corresponding to a particular organ. For example, the lungs are commonly linked to grief and the ability to let go. Liver with anger, Heart with joy, Kidneys with fear and Spleen with worry.
What is the perspective of TCM on Anxiety?
In TCM theory on anxiety is that a person can have excessive energy, also referred to as heat or energy (qi), in the head. Symptoms of anxiety akin to this idea include insomnia, racing thoughts, and excessive worry. In such a case, the treatment would consist of inserting needles into various points on the body, such as the limbs and the head, in order to redirect the patient’s energy for calming the mind and promoting better sleep.
How does acupuncture treatment work?
In TCM, internal organs are working as a network. 5-element theory is the framework to explain how the organs are interconnected.
Heart belongs to Fire, emotions of joy and manifesting dreams. Liver belongs to wood element that is a mother of fire, nourishes the heart and ensures the free flow of energy. Kidney is water element that is an oppositional element of fire, playing important roles as a root of life, balancing water and fire (Yin & Yang balance) and governing human reproduction & development through life time.
TCM treatment focuses on harmonising the internal organs by reconising excessive & deficient condition and treating imbalance.
In Acupuncture treatment, The practitioner takes a careful investigation on each client’s condition by verbal intake, pulse & tongue observation and body palpation to diagnose and treat the individual condition.
Anxiety and Body Awareness
Body awareness is a body-mind practice to work with internal physical perception to feel and sense the body in the present moment through breath and touch in order to promote rest and deep relaxation.
Anxiety clients struggle with constant worries and fear, working with body awareness to feel safety and trust is essential. Breath awareness can help to get in touch with the body, conscious deep breathing can ease the nervous system and reduce fight or flight responses.
Most of clients mention that they want to get rid of anxiety. Since improving anxiety is a process rather than fixing or removing the problem right now. When we can embrace this aspect, healing process begin to unfold.
About Jihae Ko
Jihae Ko is an licensed acupuncturist, energy therapist and somatic movement practitioner based in Amsterdam. She explores health of body, mind and spirit by integrating the knowledge of acupuncture, energy healing and somatic awareness in her treatment. She helps her clients to feel at rest and assist healing process where clients can connect to their own self- healing capacity.
She grew up with Traditional Korean Medicine; her father is a life long Korean medicine practitioner in South Korea. Initially she worked as a professional dancer and choreographer. She brings years of body knowledge into her therapy and movement practice. Her work embodies a holistic healing and somatic awareness approach to alternative medicine practice.
She is a co-owner of Medicine Body Studio in Amsterdam.