Acupuncture for Stress Relief and Strengthening your Immune System
Acupuncture is proven to reduce stress and even reverse the effects of stress. Research shows that acupuncture stimulates the release of oxytocin, a hormone that signals and regulates the parasympathetic nervous system. Acupuncture also addresses the effects of stress, such as high blood pressure, elevated blood glucose levels, and insomnia.
So how does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture is part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and dates back 1000s of years. Fine needles are inserted into identified acupuncture points on “meridians” that run through the body and correspond to certain organs. Meridians can be thought of as a highway of energy, or “Qi” in traditional Chinese medicine.
Acupuncture is theorized to work by getting rid of the "roadblocks" on this energy highway. When there is congestion on the highway, energy gets backed up. When the meridians are clear (no roadblocks), the Qi flows freely. Each meridian influences an organ and each organ has certain associations, such as emotions or body parts.
In Chinese medicine, the emotion of the liver is anger. When the Qi is blocked, it can cause Liver Qi Stagnation, which can result in anger. It goes both ways, when you’re angry a lot, you can block the flow of liver Qi. Chinese medicine sees acupuncture as improving function by correcting these meridian blockages. Western medicine has shown that acupuncture releases endorphins, and activates natural pain killers. Now we see that it affects other biological functions as well, such as improving digestion and overall immunity!
Scientific evidence acupuncture relieves your stress
Research studies show that acupuncture stimulates the central nervous system and helps to release natural bodily chemicals such as endorphins, to alter biological processes, including the way a person feels pain, anger and stress. In fact, a 2003 WHO Acupuncture study reported that acupuncture affects the body on many levels. These include activation of a person's natural opioid system and the body's natural pain killers.
Acupuncture blocks the chronic, stress-induced elevation of the stress hormones (fight-or flight mode) and brings the body into para-sympathetic rest-and relax mode. A good acupuncturist will treat you, not your symptoms. So not only will your stress improve, but all aspects of your life such as sleep, digestion, pain, and energy.
Regardless of your lifestyle or career, finding the appropriate stress treatment and management strategy is critical to maintaining a healthy you and a higher quality of life. Acupuncture is a great tool to combat the stress in your life!