Could acupuncture help you overcome a fear of the dentist?

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Many people experience anxiety when faced with a trip to the dentist, and around 1 in 10 people have a severe fear of the dentist. If you’re scared of the dental chair, you may have come across therapies such as hypnotherapy, breathing techniques and even virtual reality, but have you ever thought about trying acupuncture? Researchers from the University of York have suggested that acupuncture could help to alleviate feelings of anxiety.

According to the research team, approximately 30 percent of people experience symptoms including dizziness and nausea when visiting the dentist. To combat feelings of unease, Hugh MacPherson, a professor of acupuncture from the University of York, suggests using acupuncture. There is growing interest in the efficacy of acupuncture as a treatment for anxiety and an accompaniment to traditional remedies. Prof Macpherson stated that recent studies have indicated that acupuncture can increase the power of traditional medical treatments for depression and long-term pain, and he believes that it could also be an effective solution for patients who are prone to dental anxiety. Further research in this area has been recommended to try and quantify the impact of acupuncture when used on anxious and nervous patients.

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