2 million people with anxiety in Australia are suffering in silence instead of seeking remedies such as acupuncture which could treat the symptoms.
To mark World Mental Health Day on Thursday, the British Acupuncture Council and Anxiety UK have warned that anxiety is an ongoing issue, with two thirds of sufferers experiencing symptoms of the condition for five years or more.
Worryingly, the research found that 66.5 per cent – about two thirds – of sufferers admit they just ‘try and get on with things’, rather than seeking immediate and appropriate treatment.
The condition, however, can have a significant effect on the career and relationships of a sufferer, leading Anxiety UK to come forward with details of optional and alternative remedies to combat the condition.
Acupuncture, a component of traditional Chinese medicine, uses needles in the skin to stimulate areas of the body, and, while a controversial form of alternative medicine, has proven effective in the treatment of some anxiety conditions.
Despite this, the organisations have found that 96.3 per cent of practitioners do not believe these benefits are fully and properly understood.
Previous research has found that acupuncture can reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and even ‘deactivating’ the analytical brain.
Yet just 10 per cent of anxiety sufferers currently use acupuncture as a remedy, compared to the 49.2 per cent that are prescribed medication.
Nick Pahl, CEO of the British Acupuncture Council, commented: “As traditional acupuncture can be enormously beneficial for anxiety, we felt it was important to better inform those suffering with the condition about how acupuncture can help so they can make an educated decision regarding their treatment.”
Anxiety UK CEO Nicky Lidbetter added: “Anxiety UK provides its members with a wide range of support and advice regarding treatment options.
“We are aware that some members of Anxiety UK find complementary therapies, including acupuncture, helpful in the management of their anxiety condition”.