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How to Treat Teen Anxiety with Acupuncture and Herbs

by | Apr 4, 2023 | Acupuncture, Health

Nowadays, there is a rising incidence of anxiety among adolescents and many parents are increasingly getting worried. The National Institutes of Health report nearly 1 in 3 teenagers ages 13 to 18 will experience an anxiety disorder. Feeling lost and defeated, parents wouldn’t know where to begin to help their children. Thankfully, Dr. Carolyn Cook, Miami Acupuncturist, MSOM, AP, Dipl Canonical Chinese Medicine, LMT offers a less daunting and healing option where they could start treating teen anxiety.

What is Anxiety?

There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to defining anxiety. Knowing the definition will help parents to know what their children are going through and adolescents to understand how they feel. There might come a time when one would ask, “Am I just feeling nervous?” That’s why it’s important that we are aware of what anxiety is.

The American Psychological Association defines anxiety as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes like increased blood pressure.” It’s an unpleasant emotion that we all have felt at some point in our lives. It’s essential to remember that having negative emotions are natural and common. However, when do we know we are experiencing anxiety? The answer may vary from person to person, but we provided the common signs and symptoms of anxiety that will help you recognize it so you could better cope with it.

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety

Someone who is experiencing anxiety may feel distressed and fearful and have worried thoughts. Anxiety is commonly felt in the body through these sensations:

  • dryness of the mouth
  • lightheadedness or feeling faint
  • hot flashes or chills
  • restlessness
  • shortness of breath
  • sweating
  • tingling or numbness
  • an increased heart rate

People often confuse anxiety with panic attacks since it has physical symptoms similar to someone experiencing anxiety. However, the difference between the two is the strong intense feeling of being endangered in panic attacks.

While it is normal that we occasionally experience these symptoms in daily life, people with anxiety disorders will experience them at persistent or extreme levels. As a parent, you are your child’s number one support system who they will turn to when they feel these often confusing feelings. Therefore, you also need to be equipped with the knowledge of the causes of anxiety in adolescents.

Common Causes of Anxiety

It’s hard to narrow down one single factor that causes anxiety in teens. Dr. Carolyn Cook recognizes that there could be a number of contributors that negatively impact one’s mental health. In addition to genetics, personality traits, environment, and life events, we should also consider that teenagers are more pressured than ever to succeed.

According to a Pew Research Center survey of U.S. teens ages 13 to 17, they ranked academic pressure as their top stressor, including the following:

  • Ability to look good
  • Ability to fit in
  • To be involved in extracurricular activities
  • To be good at sports

Since they are also the age group that is going through physical and hormonal changes, one may understand why they would feel intense and extreme levels of stress and anxiety. Sadly, some of the youth develop chronic anxiety, leading to serious mental health problems like depression, substance use, and even suicide.

Dr. Carolyn Cook could attest that anxiety can interfere with one’s ability to focus and learn, resulting in school problems that can have a lifelong impact. Hence, it is even more important that we treat anxiety before it gets worse and your healing journey may begin here at Miami Acupuncture and Classical Herbs.

Treating Teen Anxiety with Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture and herbal medicine have a long and rich history of helping people of all ages improve their moods and reduce their levels of stress. Dr. Cook believes that both healing methods are effective in treating anxiety. To support this, a 2016 study found that acupuncture reduces anxiety by affecting the body’s fight-or-flight response.

The ancient practice of herbs also has healing properties in treating anxiety. Certain herbs can help induce relaxation by altering signal processing in the brain. Remember to talk with your physician before starting an herbal treatment since some medications derived from ingredients in herbs can be potent, cause side effects, and interact with other medications.

Dr. Carolyn Cook helps people across ages including teens in living fuller and healthier lives as an expert acupuncturist and herbalist. She will talk you through the whole process and offer an empathetic ear to your physical and mental health issues. Parents come to her for guidance and they learn about the best way to help their children treat anxiety. If you want to schedule a consultation with Dr. Cook, call us at (305) 665-9711.

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