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  • Writer's pictureClaire Norton MBaCC

A little chat with Trish O'Hara

Updated: Oct 8, 2019

Today I was chatting with my wonderful colleague Trish O’Hara from ‘The Acupuncturist NI’ in Belfast. I was surprised to learn that like myself, Trish also started her journey into acupuncture after receiving acupuncture for the treatment of anxiety and anxiety related symptoms. With World Mental Health day approaching (this Thursday) I felt that with background of both receiving relief from anxiety with acupuncture and also providing relief in our patients; it would be a lovely to share these experiences. To share with others reading this that you are not alone and acupuncture could help.

Hello Trish, Do you find that many come to you seeking treatment for anxiety in your clinic? I see many people for anxiety issues and also anxiety induced conditions. I absolutely love working with clients who experience anxiety because I can see and I know that there is an end to their unhappiness.

It’s great to hear that you find acupuncture effective in treating anxiety conditions. Could you share a little more of your experience? Acupuncture can be so effective for anxiety conditions, I know this first hand and it was one of the main reasons that I got into acupuncture in the first place and I know how horrific and terrifying these can feel. Acupuncture can really be an effective way out of anxiety. It was completely life changing for a lot of people (myself included). if you suffer with anxiety It doesn’t have to be like this for you, there is a way out.

You mentioned that you suffered with anxiety before training as an acupuncturist, can you remember how it presented itself in you? I remember when I was at the stage scared to leave the house, that even if my phone rand i was I was frozen in fear even if it was people i knew. I couldn’t explain myself. And now here I am an acupuncturist because I really believed in it.

Those that suffer from anxiety may have a tendency to be anxious about the acupuncture treatment (particularly the needles) what would you say to these people that feel nervous about the acupuncture needles? If you are afraid of the pins don’t be, it's the ultimate anti climax when ever you had an acupuncture session. It doesn’t hurt, its absolutely fantastic and how it makes you feel afterwards is just amazing. You have so many wonderful feelings and people feel so fabulous after it.

In your experience, how does acupuncture help to combat anxiety? Stress actives the sympathetic nervous system, it's responsible for our flight or fight response. Acupuncture activates the Parasympathetic nervous system, gives us a sense of wellbeing and calmness. Acupuncture also acts on parts of our brain and reduce stress and pain and well as promoting relaxation and it can reverse stress induced behaviours. Stress can cause health conditions so it's really good that we have a tool to reverse this in acupuncture. Acupuncture also alters our mood chemistry and improves how we feel inducing endorphins and how we feel. So if you haven’t thought about acupuncture for anxiety give it a try.

You can find out more about Trish at

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