Wellness Tips

The Science of Stress and Severe Impact on Your Health

Published on
September 8, 2021

General stress levels are at an all-time high.

The American Psychological Association acknowledges what many have been feeling since 2020. People are stressed. COVID-19 fear, shutdowns, cancel culture, political events, and world-wide news coverage has added varying degrees of stress to many aspects of daily life.

These worldwide events and the regular stressors we face in modern life, such as relationship stress, busy schedules, work deadlines and financial worries, all trigger our natural stress response.

“The entire world will experience the long-term effects of stress on our individual health, as well as the health of our families and communities. The mental, physical, emotional and financial challenges and unrelenting toll of the pandemic shined a much-needed spotlight on the urgent need to focus on prevention and self-care management.”

- Modern Acupuncture® CEO, Matt Hale.

Understanding the Stress Response

When you experience a perceived threat, physical or psychological, your body goes into a fight-or-flight response, and the hormones adrenaline and cortisol are released. The release of these stress hormones gives you a burst of energy, which is extremely useful to make quick decisions to fight or run in order to stay alive. This response is natural and extremely important for survival in extreme acute stress, such as escaping a burning building.

Stress can be categorized into three major types: mental, physical and chemical.

Mental stress appears in the form or intensified workload, difficulty balancing work, personal and family life and major changes in values and social standards.

Physical stress comes in the form of injury, overuse, lack of use or sedentary living.

Chemical stress includes exposure to food additives, pesticides, pollution, drugs (prescription or other) among other chemicals.

Exposure to heightened levels of these three types of stress day after day for prolonged periods has devastating health consequences. Chronic stress changes the way our body releases natural hormones and endorphins that ultimately result in major health issues.

Chronic Stress and Your Health

The American Institute of Stress attributes 90% of primary care to chronic stress.

The entire stress hormonal response is controlled by negative feedback loops mediated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in the brain and nervous system. The HPA access also plays an important role in regulating our body’s clock, the 24-hour sleep-wake cycle among other systems.

Over the years, researchers have learned how and why these reactions occur and also gained insight into the long-term effects chronic stress has on physical and psychological health.

The link between chronic stress and major health conditions is clearly stated by Harvard Medical School.

“Chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease. It can dampen the immune system, increasing susceptibility to colds and other common infections. It can contribute to asthma, digestive disorders, cancer, and other health problems. New research even supports the notion that high levels of stress somehow speed up the aging process.”

- Harvard Medical School

Stress touches all social groups, all age groups and many are negatively affected by its health consequences.

Acupuncture for Stress Relief

When the body is under stress, the HPA axis becomes hyperactive, and acupuncture can calm this response.

Research at many top international institutions show that 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.

"My favorite place for acupuncture with a side of meditation! I've been going weekly for relaxation, sleep, and to destress and swear by it. The entire team from front to back is awesome and extremely caring.”

- Tanner

In 2021, stress is a problem that effects the entire world in countless ways. At Modern Acupuncture, we are bringing the ancient benefits of acupuncture and healthy lifestyle choices to you in our clinics to greatly assist in decreasing stress.

Acupuncture Relieves Stress

Modern Acupuncture® is a natural stress relief solution and the leading provider of acupuncture in the U.S. The most studied theories show that acupuncture stimulates the body to release naturally produced “feel good” endorphins and stimulate the parasympathetic or “rest and digest” response in our body, alleviating symptoms associated with stress.

Visit the clinic nearest you today.

Got Questions About Acupuncture?

Visit our All About Acupuncture page, where we unpack everything about this ancient technique. From its inception in China over 3,000 years ago, to its gradual increase in popularity in the US.

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