How dry needling may be beneficial in reducing anxiety

Barry Harpur Principal Osteopath Kinesis Clinic
Barry Harpury
Principal Osteopath
Date Posted
November 5, 2016
Category

Anxiety disorders come with many emotional and physical symptoms such as worry, lack of sleep, poor concentration, sweating, nausea, palpitations, dizziness, muscle tension and aches, tension headaches and back pain, to name but a few. The majority of us will have suffered from one or more of these symptoms in the past.

Whilst there are many psychological therapies and medication recognised as useful for the treatment of anxiety disorders, I was pleasantly surprised to read that acupuncture dry needling could be considered as one of the possible therapeutic options alongside the existing repertoire.

Western medical acupuncture or dry needling, is a form of treatment involving the insertion of fine needles directly into a myofascial trigger point, basically contracted knots in the muscle tissue which cause pain and tightness. Theses trigger points are directly related to the production and maintenance of the pain cycle.

Dry needling is an adaptation of Chinese acupuncture using current knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology and the principles of evidence based medicine.

So how does dry needling work? It stimulates the neural pathways which blocks pain by disrupting pain messages being sent to the central nervous system.

This then causes the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body’s homeostatic mechanisms (body temperature, body fluid composition, blood sugar, gas concentrations and blood pressure), thereby promoting physical and emotional well-being.

Research has shown that acupuncture dry needling may specifically benefit anxiety disorders and symptoms of 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 (Hui 2010)
  • Regulating levels of neurotransmitters and hormones such as serotonin, hence altering the brain’s mood chemistry to help to combat negative affective states (Lee 2009; Samuels 2008; Zhou 2008; Yuan 2007)
  • Stimulating production of endogenous opioids that affect the autonomic nervous system (Arranz 2007). Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, while acupuncture dry needling can activate the opposing parasympathetic nervous system, which initiates the relaxation response
  • Reversing pathological changes in levels of inflammatory cytokines that are associated with anxiety (Arranz 2007)
  • Reversing stress-induced changes in behaviour and biochemistry (Kim 2009)

As with all treatments and medicines, acupuncture dry needling, will be more effective for some people than others, in the reduction of anxiety.

Safely combined with conventional treatments such as medication or therapy, it can possibly enhance their beneficial effects and reduce unwanted side-effects.

Osteopath Reviews

Keeping people active and pain free in Guildford
Jason treated a debilitating back injury that had left me in pain for more than a year. Prior to this, I had seen every specialist going and nothing seemed to be working, I had almost given up hope that it would ever get better. I am so glad that I came here on recommendation, as I am now almost completely pain free and can manage any twinges at home with the exercises provided.Jason was very well informed and knowledgeable, able to explain everything very clearly and talked me through treatment and what to expect every step of the way. He used a mixture of laser therapy, dry needling and manipulation and sent follow up exercises, amending my treatment plan as time went on - a completely tailored service that was adapted to my personal recovery. I felt in completely safe hands and couldn’t believe that finally, after such a long time I was seeing progress.If you’re considering seeking treatment and have tried lots of different avenues to no avail, I highly recommend giving this a try, I’m so glad that I did. The difference it has made to my day to day life is unbelievable, and I’m extremely grateful!
Lily Csombor
Lily Csombor
1717479382
Five years ago I had spinal surgery following a fracture. Whilst relatively successful giving a better range of movement initially, by year three years post op intense pain had returned. I could not walk very far and only with the support of a cane.On recommendation, I booked an appointment with Barry Harpur at Kinesis Clinic in October 2023. The scar from my spinal operation is approximately eight inches long and was, in Barry's word's, like concrete. No wonder I couldn't move much.Under his care and more recently Zaneta Kwiecien, things have much improved. Zaneta has a special interest in scar tissue and has worked hard on mine, additionally giving me exercises to improve my core and general mobility and introduced me to acupuncture which I believe has been beneficial.My mobility has much improved and the scar tissue itself has improved so much that it no longer restricts my ability to bend. I only wish I had attended the clinic sooner.Today I spent four hours walking around RHS Wisley Gardens, without once resorting to the support of my cane. It is difficult to express how this feels and how grateful I am to the Kinesis Team for getting me this far in improving both my physical and mental health. I have had a particular walking goal for the last three years, and I know that this year I will achieve it.I would encourage anyone with scar tissue that has an adverse affect on health and mobility to consider a consultation at Kinesis Clinic
Chris Costa
Chris Costa
1712779072
I injured myself weightlifting and my backpain was waking me up and preventing sleep. Jason was fantastic, very professional, calm and great at explaining everything he was doing and why, which made me feel very comfortable and literally 'in safe hands'. He not only manipulated the injured area but also used a laser therapy which felt amazing. He kept the exercises I needed to do at home simple, and sent a video for future reference. Having had an awful experience of another osteopath who literally sat behind his desk, lectured me and did nothing re actually treating my injury beyond a few at home exercises, Jason and Kinesis were brilliant. The pain gradually got better and now I simply come in for a top up if anything tweaks.I cannot recommend them highly enough.
Sally Davis
Sally Davis
1711782111
Six years ago I fell out of a raft whilst white water rafting, bouncing over some rocks I cracked some vertebrae.The following year having fallen again I started to have severe pains in my hip and leg making it painful to walk.Over the next years I tried all sorts of treatment, painkillers, injections and manipulation. Nothing seemed to work and I was beginning to give up.In October last year a friend suggested I try once again with a practice in Guildford called Kinesis Clinic.I made an appointment for an initial assessment and met Miss Zaneta Kwiecien. Having been assured that something could be done to lesson the pain I booked for treatment to begin.I could not believe it but after just a few sessions I began to feel an improvement. Now months on I walk my dogs for a hour or more a day with only a little discomfort and some days NO pain.The mixture of laser, aquapuncture, manipulation and most important designed exercises has changed my life.Many, many thanksRobin Gardner
robing
robing
1711465023
I came to Zaneta with severe lower back pain and symptoms of sciatica. She was able to quickly diagnose the root cause as weakness stemming from pregnancy and labour. The treatments provided significant relief from the pain and she has been equipping me with functional exercises to improve strength and ensure that it doesn't flare up again. I've been amazed by the results so far, Zaneta has been fantastic.
Hannah E
Hannah E
1700852974
I cannot recommend the Kinesis Clinic highly enough. Earlier this year I came to Barry on the recommendation of my son for muscle pain in different areas of my body. To date he has worked a miracle and seem to be relatively pain free. Throughout this process I have tried other practitioners and none compare with Barry and his in depth knowledge. One of the most impressive things is the knowledge of his individual patients and the attention he gives you. I must also add that Lucy on reception is a real asset and is always willing to help in any way for the benefit of the clients.
Maureen kulik
Maureen kulik
1700686071
There's simply no one better than Kinesis. If you're looking for an osteopath, you've found the answer! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Marc Gorman
Marc Gorman
1700459240
I had been in pain for 7 years and thought that was what life had to be like, and then I found Barry! He worked out immediately what my issue was (a long list of people had failed!!) and in one session reduced my pain significantly. Over 4 sessions he has made significant progress on my hip and shown me what the plan is going forward. Finding Barry literally changed my life and I couldn't be more grateful to him.
Ellie Apperly
Ellie Apperly
1693281266
I went to see Barry for rehab after fracturing my spine. He’s an excellent Osteopath, taking time to understand the issues, and provide the right treatment and a tailored home exercise program. His YouTube exercise videos are also very helpful to follow. My mobility and strength improved significantly as well as much less discomfort. Thank you Barry!
Tom
Tom
1692120023
I had a reoccurring shoulder dislocation injury due to playing various contact sports and after numerous operations my shoulder was weak, the muscles trembled as I tried to strengthen it. After struggling with it for over 10yrs I went to see Zaneta in the clinic. The main problem for me was the trembling and shaking as I tried to exercise and lack of flexibility. Zaneta used some instrument (big stainless-steel spoon in my non-medical world) to breakdown the scar tissue. After a few weeks my shoulder was unrecognisable. I can now exercise without the shaking, meaning I can strengthen it. Interestingly, I now have a greater range of movement than my ‘good’ shoulder.
Richard Leader
Richard Leader
1692114852
Ms Zaneta helped me a lot, especially when my back was falling apart after pregnancy! Huge thanks!
Ola Dos
Ola Dos
1688457910
Gareth has provided to me a fantastic and very personal service regarding my shoulder and lower back problems. I would thoroughly recommend him – well done
Peter Craig
Peter Craig
1660667097
I can't praise Jason highly enough, I've been seeing him for a few months and he's helped me so much, he's much more than my osteo, he's also a counsellor, business coach and all round great listener.Whenever I leave our session I feel better inside and out.
Susan Walsh
Susan Walsh
1652885930
Cannot rate Barry and the clinic higher, I have met everyone there and they are all professional but very friendly. They have been great at fitting me in, supporting me and making me feel like a valued customer. Have recommended to a number of friends that have had the same experience.
Lisa Collins
Lisa Collins
1636450785
I am so grateful to the whole team at Kinesis Clinic for all of the treatment I have had with them over the past 2.5 years following an accident. For the past year, Barry has helped me to heal my neck, and the dizziness associated with the injury. I feel that he really cares about his patients' recovery, and has so much wisdom to share. He has helped me to see how my mind and emotions also play a role in recovering, and this has prompted me to change patterns in my life that were worsening my symptoms. His approach to treatment has been gentle, but very effective. I can't recommend Kinesis Clinic enough. Thank you :)
Megan McInnes
Megan McInnes
1632602100
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Barry Harpur

Principal Osteopath

Taking the first steps to becoming pain free is a commitment that we respect.

My team and I are here to reassure you that you will be treated with respect, care and honesty.

Please book your appointment and we’ll be ready to help you become pain free, move and feel great again.

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