Acupuncture shows some potential to treating some forms of anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). There have been numerous studies on the impact of acupuncture on anxiety and a recent report published in CNS Neuroscience indicates that research has shown positive outcomes, which is good news for individuals who do not want, or can’t, use traditional treatment methods such as medication. 
Similar findings were published in 2007. In this report, 12 different studies were reviewed and “Positive findings were reported for acupuncture in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder or anxiety neurosis but there is currently insufficient research evidence for firm conclusions to be drawn.” 
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a Chinese medicine which works to promote natural healing. Needles, heat or electrical stimulation are used at precise points on the body based on your channels of energy. According to Chinese explanations, the needles unblock obstructions in your energy channels and help to correct imbalances in your body. Modern scientific explanations believe that acupuncture works by stimulating your nervous system and releasing chemicals into your muscles, spinal cord and brain, triggering additional chemicals and hormones to help the body regulate itself.
How Does Acupuncture Help Anxiety?
Acupuncture is a holistic medicine, treating mind, body and spirit. Dr. Carol Morton, an acupuncturist, explains:
Acupuncture seeks to address body, mind, emotions and spirit. It is a holistic medicine whose 5000 year old roots began in China. It is often accompanied by herbology, diet, energy-cultivation exercises and life-style counseling. The goal is to create harmony within ourselves and between ourselves and the world. It is understood that “intellect” and “feeling” reside in all the cells of the body. If a person is depressed, Chinese medicine understands this as the result of deficient or stagnant energy, or imbalance of yin and yang (the two polar opposite forces of which all things are comprised). This imbalance can take many forms, and is ultimately discerned by the acupuncturist through an ongoing evaluation process which encompasses observation of posture, gait, demeanor, skin tone, brightness of eyes, voice, smell, tongue and pulse diagnosis, palpation and asking about symptoms and history. 
According to a study completed at the Yale University of Medicine, acupuncture may help to release serotonin, one of the chemicals in the brain thought to play a role in both anxiety and depression. Researchers found that acupuncture had a calming effect on participants, with feelings of reduced anxiety beginning in as little as 30 minutes after treatment. The study also showed that acupuncture may be helpful at reducing acute anxiety episodes, such as preoperative anxiety, flying anxiety or stage fright. 
Finding an Acupuncturist