I recently read the details of an American pilot study on the use of a holistic, multi-therapy approach to treatment of Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) in American Military Personnel.
The study caught my eye because of the broad treatment approach, which included weekly acupuncture treatments alongside self-care exercises such as yogic breathing, self-massage, dietary changes and exercise.
Those that completed the programme showed significant reductions in anxiety measures, as well as reductions in pain, and use of medication.
Although this was a small pilot study, it’s very heartening to me to see this kind of research being carried out, as I’m a firm believer in a flexible, integrated way of working that unites a number of different strands of therapy, including self-care. This is a very effective way of approaching a problem from a number of different angles simultaneously, and is very effective for chronic, complex conditions, where single therapies alone often fail.
The inclusion of self-care aspects of a treatment programme (such as self-massage or acupressure, relaxation or breathing exercises, diet, meditation, etc) is also important from the point of view that these are empowering techniques that allow you to take control of your own health.
In Chinese medicine, these kinds of self-care techniques have always formed an important part self-cultivation and optimum wellness practices, and in my view, also have a very important role to play in the treatment of specific diseases and conditions…. so if you’re having acupuncture or any other kind of Chinese therapy, be sure to ask your practitioner to recommend some self-care practices that you can do at home!