Acupuncture and Stress
At one time or another, all of us experience stress. These feelings are a healthy response to events in our lives that may feel beyond our control. When we are healthy and the stress is short-lived, we are usually able to recover without too much wear and tear to our overall health. However when the stress is extreme, or if it lasts a long time, our emotional health and ultimately, our physical health begin to suffer.
In Chinese medicine stress, anxiety or any other strong emotion interrupts the smooth flow and energy throughout the body. In Chinese medicine, energy flows through a network of pathways. Stress, anger, or any intense motion blocks the free flow of energy in the body. For example, many people who are stressed complain of upper back, shoulder and neck pain. This is because stress is causing pain, tightness, and quite often leading to headaches. Stress may affect many other parts of the body, most notably digestion, the ability to sleep and pain.
Acupuncture points serve as the on and off ramps to the energy highway, can help energy flow smoothly, and alleviates not only the symptoms of stress and anxiety but the origin of the stress and anxiety.
The Western medical explanation is that acupuncture works to alleviate stress by releasing natural pain killing chemicals in the brain called endorphins. In addition, acupuncture improves circulation of blood throughout the body, which oxygenates the tissues and cycles out cortisol and other waste chemicals.