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Oakland, CA – Can Acupuncture Help an Anxious Teenager Relax? Yes It Can!

SYNOPSIS: Is your teenager struggling with anxiety about friends, school work, sports, or family life? Acupuncture, herbal medicine, and some at-home practices can help your teen gain a new sense of calm.

Acupuncture and herbs can help anxious teens relax

BY: JANET THOMSON, Inspire Family Acupuncture

Is your teenager struggling with anxiety? Are they having a hard time going to school or social events? Do they worry consistently about performance at school, sports, or other activities? Acupuncture, herbal medicine, and lifestyle changes can help control anxiety.Anxious teenager struggles to relax

Teenage years are so difficult with pressures to fit in, excel, look a certain way, gain independence, and create a great resume for college admission. By 2020, nearly 10% of teenagers were diagnosed with anxiety — and that number doesn’t include those who suffer but do not see a therapist or doctor to receive help.

There are so many ways to support teenagers with anxiety. Let me share a few that your family can try!

Reduce Activities and Increase Unscheduled Time

For some teenagers, an excessively busy schedule with no down time is a big contributor to anxiety. Children of all ages need unstructured time so that they can process emotions and decompress.

Consider helping your teen select the top 1-2 activities that provide them with enjoyment, social support, and an appropriate level of learning or movement, and then remove the rest. Help your teen fill the new time with activities proven to support mental health — time in nature (a backyard tree or small local park is just fine!) or any form of exercise. Then use the remaining time to let your teen do whatever fills them with pleasure.

Take a Look At Diet

Research shows that nutrition has a big impact on our mental health. Foods that contribute to anxiety include:

  • Foods high in “bad fats “ such as red meat and fried food.

  • High glycemic index carbs such as white rice, potatoes, pasta, and foods made with white/refined flour.

  • More than 400mg of caffeine per day. Think about your teen’s use of energy drinks in addition to coffee or tea.

  • Alcohol – hopefully this is not a factor for your teenager, but if it is, see if you can help them reduce consumption.

  • Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and saccharin.

  • Gluten — check for celiac disease and consider a trial of removing gluten as some people have non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Foods that will help if you have anxiety include:

  • High fiber foods such as beans, brown rice, bananas, berries, apples, pears, carrots, almonds, walnuts, oats, barley, and more.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, and others, or through supplements.

  • Fermented and cultured foods such as yogurt, kombucha, miso, tempeh, pickled vegetables, sauerkraut, and kimchi.

  • Tryptophan from sources like turkey, other meats, and chickpeas (best when eaten with carbs to maximize absorption).

  • Vitamins D, B1, B6, A, C, and E — consumed by eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Sun exposure is key for Vitamin D production and also helps to improve mood!

  • Turmeric – remember to combine it with black pepper to improve absorption.

  • Herbs including lavender, passionflower, and chamomile — either consumed as teas or in tincture or flower essence format.

Add Acupuncture and/or Herbal Medicine

Acupuncture is known for helping people feel relaxed! Using certain acupuncture points helps the body to move from sympathetic “fight or flight” mode into parasympathetic “rest and digest” mode. This means that after an acupuncture appointment you will be breathing slower, feeling less stress and anxiety, and your overall tension will decrease.

Acupuncture is a great tool for teens as it can be done in a massage-like style, with or without needles. Acupuncture points can also be selected that will help with mood, sleep, emotional processing, digestion, and more.

If it’s right for your family, herbal medicine is another fantastic option. Several Chinese herbs have been proven to calm anxiety and others are sedatives that can support healthy sleep habits. Your practitioner can provide you with a customized herbal formula that is just right for your teenager.

If you’re curious about whether acupuncture and herbal medicine are right for your teenager, call Inspire Family Acupuncture for a free consultation. Here’s to your family’s health!

“Best Acupuncturist in Oakland, CA”

Top Rated Local Acupuncture / Chinese Medicine Specialist / Herbal Therapist

East Bay Area: Oakland, Piedmont, Emeryville, Berkeley, San Leandro, CA


“Best Acupuncturist in Oakland, CA”

Top Rated Local Acupuncture / Chinese Medicine Specialist / Herbal Therapist

East Bay Area: Oakland, Piedmont, Emeryville, Berkeley, San Leandro, CA

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Inspire Family Acupuncture

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523 47th Street,
Oakland, CA 94609, USA

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523 47th Street,
Oakland, CA 94609, USA



BIO: Inspire Family Acupuncture focuses on treating children's health, stress/anxiety/insomnia, women's health conditions, pain, and digestive disorders. I am passionate about helping my patients learn about themselves and become empowered to make needed changes to restore balance and gain strength in their physical and emotional lives.


Oakland, CA – Can Acupuncture Help an Anxious Teenager Relax? Yes It Can!