Anxiety: the silent sufferers

The symptoms of anxiety are often not so different to those of when you are stressed, but more severe. A key difference is when you still feel the symptoms when the stress has passed, and often occurring at random times. Often anxiety is caused by prolonged stress, and the body simply hasn’t been able to re-balance itself.  The symptoms often affect you at night when you are trying to rest which leads to sleeping disorders and insomnia.  I see many causes of anxiety in my clinic, often triggered by family problems or stressful jobs.  While the body and mind can cope with these for short periods, over a long period of time it can lead to what we call “Heart Qi deficiency” in Acupuncture.  As our Heart houses our ‘spirit’ (what makes us unique), it can become weakened by prolonged emotion strain. Common symptoms I see in clinic are:


  • Palpitations or a feeling your heart is racing
  • Inability to cope at work
  • Crying easily and uncontrollably
  • Tight chest and inability to take deep breaths
  • A feeling of a lump in your throat
  • Trouble sleeping and night sweating
  • Constant feelings of worry
  • Lethargy and even depression


All these signs point to a Heart which has become weak and then the mind lacks nourishment, which can also lead to concentration issues and poor memory.  These last two symptoms point to the digestive involvement in anxiety, which also becomes weakened from excessive emotions.  Every case is different but often the organs of the Liver, Spleen and Heart are involved.  As discussed on my stress page, these organs are often affected by extreme emotions. When extreme emotions affect the Heart we experience palpitations or sweating. If the Spleen is affected you may experience nausea or stomach pains. If the Liver reacts then often a tight chest, headaches or dizziness can occur. As you can see, a lot of these symptoms occur when someone experiences a panic attack, often associated with anxiety.

To help provide some relief of symptoms related to anxiety, I use Acupuncture points that help calm the mind and harmonise the digestion.  These points have a harmonising affect and may give some relief from some of the symptoms. Chinese herbal medicine may be used from time to time for those severe conditions or people who needs systemic treatments. Evidence in scientific papers shows Acupuncture may have a positive effect in the treatment of anxiety and related symptoms. More research is required though to confirm effectiveness levels.

If you need help with your anxiety, give us a call at (08) 8221 5880 or book online here.

About Geoffrey He

Dr. Geoffrey He graduated in 1998 with Bachelor of Medicine majored acupuncture (Chinese medicine). He then worked as resident in Heilongjiang Province Hospital of China for five years. At the same time he furthered his education and acquired Bachelor of Medicine majored in Clinical Medicine (western medicine).He started his private practice in 2003 in Sydney and then moved to Adelaide in 2006 to pursue his special interest in pain management and fertility studies in combined Chinese medicine and traditional medicine.He has been practiced acupuncture and Chinese medicine for over twenty years treating general conditions with extensive experience in gynaecological disorders and infertility, stress related conditions and facial acupuncture, he is highly experienced in clinical medicine for pain management (Neurological Medicine), gynaecological disorders, fertility assistance (IVF) and cosmetic acupuncture. He is special interest in the area of Post Injury Management and General Practice in Chinese Medicine.Focusing on an intuitive level to suit each individual, Geoffrey's approach is rooted in the strong link between physical, mental and emotional health and the underlying cause of disharmony. Treatment is supported by additional lifestyle advice with an emphasis on empowering patients to achieve a healthy balance in their lives."I was trained in Western Conventional Medicine and Chinese Medicine with over 15 years clinical practicing experience including ten years in Australia, I combine the techniques of Modern Medicine and the art of healing from Chinese Medicine to help people get their natural and healthy life." - Dr Geoffrey x He