Why Acupuncture is An Important Tool in the Removal of Stress

Health scientists and doctors are now learning the factors that prove emotional stress contributes in a huge to the development of certain diseases and illnesses. Human physiology is intimately related to emotional well being and when a person’s emotions and thoughts are in disharmony, the body reacts to it by sending out cortisol and other stress hormones in the bloodstream that impacts homeostatic balance in an adverse way. This lowers our body’s defense mechanisms, disrupts our normal sleep patterns, damages our endocrine health, makes us vulnerable to cardiovascular diseases and lowers our ability to think clearly. Immune system problems, gastrointestinal disorders, cardiopulmonary disease, hypertension, and even cancer have been associated with this pathological process all thanks to emotional stress.

Is Acupuncture an Effective Treatment for Stress?

Most of the time patients who have undergone acupuncture say that it helps them feel relaxed and calm. It is common for patients to experience these benefits. They say that during an acupuncture procedure, it feels that negative energy is escaping their body. Furthermore, along with this release of negative energy, the feeling of creativity and improved stamina is also experienced.

Herbal Medicine for Stress

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioners and acupuncturists have been using herbs for thousands of years as a way to relieve depression and anxiety. Considering that these herbs are all natural, they are much safer to use than Western pharmaceutical products.

How Stress is Relieved Through Acupuncture

The main goal of acupuncture treatment is to regulate the movement of vital energy known as Qi. Acupuncture can provide a person with a number of beneficial effects. They include wound tissue regeneration, energy boost, immune system modulation, and lower blood pressure and heart rate. Acupuncture helps a person experience tranquility and calmness even when he is under severe state of stress.

Recent studies have demonstrated that needling specific acupoints can initiate complex chemical processes inside the body. These processes can include increased production of Substance P, adrenocorticotropic (ACTH) hormone, serotonin, met-enkephalin, beta-endorphin and other kinds of neurotransmitters. They all help in neutralzing and reducing cortisol buildup in the body as well as restoring the brain’s neuro-chemical balance.

How Do All of These Matter to Me?

Depression and anxiety can always be resolved with acupuncture. These two negative emotions can have serious repercussions for individuals having difficulties coping with work-related, social, and domestic problems. Acupuncture can provide a sense of self-confidence and well-being in a person and it definitely is a superior choice over antidepressants, tranquilizers, and sleeping pills. This treatment is utilized in several instances not only as an alternative to medications but also to resolve dependence and side effects brought by drug use. In fact there are patients who come in for treatment just to rid themselves of dependence from the antidepressants they are needlessly taking; however, this is done only after they have been advised by their doctor. A growing amount of evidence reveals that acupuncture significantly lessens the person’s intake of medications such as Prozac.

Acupuncture is a very good way to help the mind and body rid of stress. It is also a very safe type of treatment. But it needs to be pointed out that only the individual himself can steer his life towards a certain direction where stress can be experienced to a significantly lesser degree. If we look at life as one that is fraught with tension or we look at it more as an adventure, then our body will respond accordingly to how we perceive life. One other good thing about acupuncture is that it is a very welcome tool that can help us cope with the unpleasant and heartbreaking aspects of life. We can also include other stress reducing therapies such as spiritual practice, counseling, Qi Gong, and meditation as tools that can help liberate our minds and bodies to the oppressive influence of stress.

Dr. Vickery is a licensed acupuncturist in Tarzana, CA., and the founder and clinical director of Vickery Health and Wellness.

Definition of Stress

Stress is a normal reaction of people towards different situations they face in their life.  The reaction can be emotional or physical.  The state of stress stimulates the body to release stress hormones like norepinephrine and cortisol. These hormones help one to adapt to the situation at hand.  They force physiological changes in the body like increasing blood sugar levels, as well as increasing the heart rate and blood pressure of the person.

Stress as mentioned is a normal body reaction and it helps the person to react quicker and more capably during times of emergency or potential danger. A sudden surge of strength and alertness is experienced during stress.  These benefits are normally short lived.  The prolonging of stress is actually the one that damages physical and mental health.

Stress can be experienced during negative moments; however, even happy moments can cause stress.  These moments may involve:

  • Financial problems
  • Death of a loved one
  • Severance of a relationship
  • Job loss
  • Marriage
  • Having a newborn baby

Symptoms of Stress

  • Irritability
  • Rage
  • Inability to focus
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Lack of energy

Dealing with Stress

To help minimize stress, you can do some breathing and stretching exercises that can help unwind your tight muscles.


Complications of Stress

Extensive studies done during the past years shows that stress and its other derivative effects, depression and anxiety and depression drastically result to problems in the nails, hair and skin.  The skin becomes more sensitive and the pores more open that it becomes more susceptible to infection causing all sorts of skin problems. Some of the conditions of stress-related skin disorders include unwarranted perspiration, hair loss, acne lesions, seborrheic dermatitis, herpes, brittle nails and rosacea among others. The study of stress-related skin problems is termed psychodermatology and it focuses on the effect of a person’s emotions in relation with the skin.

Stress associated skin problems can fortunately be treated and cure importantly involves some measure of attention and care. A good assessment and diagnosis of a dermatologist lead to effectual treatments that improve the appearance and health of the skin, nails and hair as well as lead to the removal of stress.

The importance of living a life, if not without, at least with a minimal amount of stress is something everyone needs to consider since it can cause all sorts of health problems. Even if you live a busy and hectic life, stress can be alleviated to a considerable extent through proper diet, meditation and regular exercise.

Nelya de Brun is a licensed acupuncturist in Boynton Beach, FL., practicing acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and Western medical pathology. She is also the founder of Classical Oriental Medicine, LLC.