Alleviating Anxiety with Acupuncture

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Constant worry. Feeling nervous or on edge. Difficult concentration. Irritability. Insomnia. Fatigue. Muscle tension. These are some of the common symptoms of anxiety disorders as described by the National Institute of Mental Health.

Talk therapy and medications can help, but many people don’t realize that there is another treatment available, one that is natural, relaxing, and very effective . . . and one that may be covered by their health insurance: acupuncture.

Acupuncturist Dr. David Buscher, D.Ac. has made a speciality of helping people to relax, ease their minds, sleep better, and enjoy life. The motto of his practice is “Get Better,” and that’s exactly what he aims to deliver at Very Well Acupuncture in Roland Park.

“In a typical day, I’ll treat all kinds of things. Back pain, joint pain, headaches, IBS, allergies, autoimmune. It’s a complete system of medicine.” Despite some dramatic physical results in these areas, his favorite condition to treat is emotional.

“I have a fascination with stress and anxiety-type conditions.” he says. “So many people live with them and they can show up in all kinds of ways. Of course there’s the mental discomfort, the emotional distress, but anxiety doesn’t just happen in the brain. There can be full-body participation. Headaches, jaw pain, neck pain. Stuff in the chest like panic attacks, heart palpitations, shortness of breath. Digestive issues. Sleeplessness. It can be very debilitating.”

Alice* is a current patient. “I struggle with anxiety that affects my daily living . . . sleep, my stomach, and my mental clarity,” she says. “I’ve been on medication and sought out therapy. Since it also affects my digestive system, I’ve been to gastroenterologists, which had no lasting effect.” Alice, who is a school teacher, eventually began acupuncture because she heard it could help her cope with the stressful job conditions that stoked her anxiety symptoms even higher.

“Dr. Buscher’s acupuncture treatments saved me. After a treatment with him, my GI issues are completely relieved. I feel calmer and more equipped to deal with stress. He is thoughtful, caring, and listens in a way that makes me feel important and empowered . . . and is constantly adapting my treatment based on what he believes will best serve me.”

“Symptoms I thought I’d live with for the rest of my life have been relieved through [acupuncture] treatment,” she continues.

Asked if Alice’s experience is typical for his patients, Buscher says, “I don’t believe in ‘typical’ patients. Everyone’s situation is unique. I’ve been helping veterans with PTSD, professionals trying not to bring the stress of their jobs home to their families, even teens who are having trouble adjusting to college. I have some very good outcomes.”

Acupuncture, he says, is helpful on its own or for people who are already seeing therapists. It can even help mitigate some of the side effects of commonly prescribed medications. “I get plenty of referrals from physicians and therapists. I think science is beginning to rediscover the interconnectedness of all of the systems of the body and mind. That’s something we were losing in this era of specialization, but it’s that sort of holism where acupuncture has always shone.”

He points to two systemic reviews of clinical studies, in 2017 and 2018, showing the benefits of acupuncture for anxiety, some of which used psychiatric medications as controls.

“It’s my passion in life,” Buscher says. “I wish more people knew about the benefits of acupuncture. My treatments have been a game changer for so many people.”


FAQ from Very Well Acupuncture

What is acupuncture?
An ancient system of medicine that causes biochemical changes in the body via the insertion of very micro-needles into precisely mapped points.

What conditions can acupuncture treat?
Almost any sort of emotional or physical condition. Dr. Buscher commonly treats: stress, anxiety, PTSD, depression, insomnia, brain fog, allergies, acute and chronic pain (back pain, neck pain, joint pain), headaches, neuropathy, digestive issues, menstrual issues, autoimmune conditions, and others. Individual results may vary.

How long does it take to feel better?
Depending on the severity of the symptoms, maximum benefits come from one to three times per week for around a month, then less often as the body is retrained. Once the symptoms are sufficiently relieved, many people come once a month for maintenance.

Does health insurance pay for acupuncture?
Very often, yes. Very Well Acupuncture, is in network with Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Cigna, and Johns Hopkins EHP and will process claims for providers that have out-of-network benefits. Specific plans have different coverage, so Very Well will check your benefits first

How do I contact Very Well Acupuncture to learn more?
Online: getverywell.com
Phone: (410) 865-9935

* Name changed for patient privacy.

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