Stress is something that practically everyone experiences, and it is something we cannot prevent. We have all struggled with stress at some point in our lives, whether it was caused by our jobs, our families, our friends, or our personal relationships.
When we are stressed, our bodies release chemicals that cause us to react and feel a certain way. In contrast, when stress is constant, the stress chemicals created by our bodies have the potential to inflict long-term harm to our health.
Conventional therapies for stress include medicines such as anti-anxiety pills, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and relaxation methods, among other things. 1While anxiety medications might be beneficial for some individuals, they can also have side effects that are stressful in and of themselves, which can make them seem self-defeating in the long run.2
Stress or sickness may cause the flow of energy in the body to become sluggish or disorganised, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Muscle tension, headaches, irritation, restlessness, indecisiveness and even angst or resentment might result. Following this tradition, the flow of energy might get obstructed in certain meridians, resulting in specific symptoms or illness.
How Acupuncture Helps Relieve Stress
Acupuncture, according to TCM, promotes the circulation of Qi throughout the body, therefore relieving stress. 3Extensive research conducted around the world has revealed that acupuncture may be effective in alleviating the symptoms of stress.4
Acupuncturists work to restore the balance of Qi in the body and the general health of the patient by inserting needles at certain spots on the body.5
Acupuncture’s primary purpose is to restore the health and balance of these energetic pathways. Acupuncture seems to have a soothing impact, according to certain study findings.6
It has been shown that acupuncture lessens both human and animal stress responses, and that it may enhance heart rate variability (HRV) in the short term (minutes to hours). As demonstrated by a drop in a patient’s blood pressure measurements, some patients’ heart rate variability increased during the duration of acupuncture therapy for hypertension, which might last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. This would suggest that their physiologic stress has decreased.7
Always seek our a registered and qualified acupuncturist for safety and to minimise risks. If you want to use acupuncture to manage and help your stress and anxiety, the first step is to talk to your health practitioner.