People today are more stressed than ever before. In fact, a stress study at Carnegie Mellon University that tracked 6,300 people over the past 25 years concluded that women were 18 percent more stressed, and men's stress levels had increased by 24 percent over the time period studied. When stress threatens to disrupt life, it is nice to know there are multiple ways to reduce that stress and acupuncture is very much worth considering.
Acupuncture is part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and dates back thousands of years. It is considered alternative medicine here in the United States, but its popularity is growing as more people experience the benefits. Acupuncture is centered on stimulating specific points in the body with hair-thin needles.
Acupuncture has long been used to treat many ailments that are caused by stress, dating as far back as the Neolithic age. Today millions of people use the treatment regularly, as its usefulness for treating relentless stress becomes better understood. The stimulation of acupuncture points corrects imbalances in the body and the flow of "qi," the Chinese word for vital energy.
Research studies show that acupuncture stimulates the central nervous system and helps to release natural bodily chemicals to alter biological processes, including the way a person feels pain, anger and stress. In fact, a 2003 World Health Organization acupuncture study reported that acupuncture affects the body on many levels. These include activation of a person's natural opioid system, stimulating electromagnetic signals, stimulating the hypothalamus and pituitary gland and altering neurotransmitters that positively influence brain chemistry.
According to the study, acupuncture deactivates parts of the brain and decreases neuronal activity, so that the limbic system physically alters the body's experience by shutting down pain and stress regions in the brain.
Because human bodies are hardwired to deal with what goes on around them via the fight or flight response, relaxation can be challenging at times. If a person remains on alert constantly, his or her body and health will pay the price as long-term stress elevates the risk for numerous conditions, such as digestive issues, depression, obesity, sleep problems and even memory loss. Finally, some research even says that the effects of stress age people more quickly; the stress is quite literally reflected on their faces.
Acupuncture is a great way of relieving stress naturally. Because everyone reacts differently to treatment, the number of sessions needed for relief will vary. Our licensed acupuncturists will recommend an individual treatment plan for each patient. Many people do have immediate stress reduction after only a single session. Like any major lifestyle change, patients may want to discuss the benefits of acupuncture with their doctor before getting treatment to make sure it's right for their situation. Of course, visiting the best practitioners is key to getting the best results. At Modern Acupuncture, guests will find experienced acupuncturists in a modern and serene setting. Correcting the body's balance of qi offers a sense of relaxation and calm after treatment, and many people who try acupuncture for stress relief come back for more when life's stresses become overwhelming.