Acupuncture and Herbal medicines for anxiety and night terrors: What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome. There are different types of anxiety: generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobia, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Case study: Child, boy, 6 years of age, main complaint: Anxiety and Night terrors

In July, the mother presented with her young son stating that he suffered from anxiety mostly expressed at bed time. He also started developing a tick which was similar to a snorting and heavy breathing through the nose. He had great difficulties getting to sleep.

When I questioned him about the reasons for his insomnia, he said he was scared and fearful of monsters. He clearly looked distressed at the simple thought of it. He had dark circles under his eyes and what I call the ‘frightened animal look’. There weren’t any other symptoms, just a bit hot and sweaty at night. The mother also confirmed that he was not allowed any TV throughout the week. The family made a point of having dinners early in the evening.

I put him on a Chinese herbal formula (to anchor the active Yang) and also offered him acupuncture. He was very reluctant to have acupuncture on this first consultation, so we deferred until the follow up appointment.

After three follow up appointments – and he had acupuncture on every single one – we were able to take him off the herbal formula. He looked relaxed and joyful and was excited about school (which he wasn’t before). His snorting tick had disappeared and there was a rosy pink to his facial complexion. Overall, he sleeps much better and only experiences occasional night mares. He looks happy and content and is much more at ease with going to bed.

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