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Anxious Days

Last week, a family member felt a little unwell with a sore throat and sinus pain. When the doctor was contacted, he recommended that (to err on the side of caution) a Covid test was advisable. The National Covid Call Centre rang later that day to arrange a test for the following day. Following the guidelines, I cancelled my upcoming appointments and got ready of our own family lockdown. It was then that the panic and worry started to kick in. We were quite sure that it was more sinusitis than Covid, but the “What Ifs?” started playing in our heads. Luckily, at 8.30pm on Friday evening a message came through to say that there was no Covid detected. We could let go of the fear and anxiety and life could return to the current normal. But for many, letting go of fear and worry isn’t easy. People living with anxiety fight a daily battle in the effort to lead a normal life. Fear and worry, whatever the cause can have a hugely negative effect on a person’s daily life. Panic attacks, lasting from a few seconds up to ten minutes can literally stop a person in their tracks. From a Chinese Medicine point of view, each emotion is associated with an element, organ, taste, body part… The elements are interrelated, and so the emotions are too. When an element is at a low ebb, it becomes difficult for a person to deal with the related emotion. The emotion can grow further, perhaps even spinning out of control, which further hinders the element, and the body. There is truth in the expression of one having ‘knots in the stomach’ through worry. Physical pain can come about as anxiety causes unconscious tensing of the muscles. As the emotions exert their toll on the body systems, the fundamental life force (qi) is weakened and the person can be left terrified of leaving the house, feel like there is no point getting out of bed, feeling the weight of the world on their shoulders. They may feel isolated, that they have no answers. The interconnection of emotions means that they can feed off each other leaving the person in an emotional cage that they themselves may not even understand. Help is readily available, but the stereotypes are still there. Boys Don’t Cry and Women are Independent so many don’t ask for help and many don’t offer it. A person’s mental health is one of their treasures. It must be valued, respected and cared for. The understanding of the emotion, mind and body connection through acupuncture theory is, for me, the most powerful aspect of Chinese Medicine. By using very thin needles at specific points on the body, Acupuncture can address the underlying imbalances thus helping the patient deal with their thoughts and emotions. One patient recently commented “I feel like I can face the world, this morning I didn’t think I could leave the house.” If this article raises any issues or I can be of any help then please don’t hesitate to reach out. I am based in Monasterevin, Co. Kildare and can be contacted on 0864059898 or via rory@roryryanacupuncture.ieAnxiety, covid-19, Mental Health

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