Acupuncture For Stress Reduction

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What is stress?

Prominent psychologist Richard Lazarus defines stress as "…any event in which environmental demands, internal demands, or both tax or exceed the adaptive resources of an individual…"

Simply put it is the body’s ability to regulate its inner environment. When the body loses this ability, disease occurs.

Why does this matter? 

Because no matter what diet you follow, how much you exercise you do and what supplements you take, if you’re not prioritizing to manage your stress you will still be at risk for modern degenerative conditions like heart disease, diabetes, hypothyroidism and autoimmunity.

Recent research shows that chronic stress can not only increase cortisol levels but more importantly, it disrupts the natural cortisol rhythm which can run havoc on your body by:

·        raising your blood sugar

·        weakening your immune system

·        impacting your gut health 

·        increase sugar craving

·        reducing your ability to burn fat

·        causing mood and hormonal imbalances

·        and much more!

What does science say about acupuncture and it's affect on stress?

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A 2013 article in the Journal of Endocrinology presented the results of a series of animal studies done at Georgetown University Medical Center which showed that rats who endured stress conditions and then received acupuncture had lowered blood hormone levels secreted by the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis (which controls reactions to stress and regulates processes like the immune system, digestion, emotions and moods and sexuality.)  They also measured the levels of NPY, a peptide secreted during a “fight or flight” response.

Researchers discovered that the "...electronic acupuncture blocks the chronic, stress-induced elevations of the HPA axis hormones and the sympathetic NPY pathway,” Eshkevari said in the statement. This finding adds to a growing body of evidence demonstrating acupuncture’s protective effect against the stress response. 

So Acupuncture can help, but is it relaxing?

Yes, yes, and yes! During the treatment, patients often describe feeling a profound relaxing sensation throughout the body that can result in taking a much needed nap during the treatment or having 30 minutes to relax and meditate. 

By having a direct affect on the our body's fight or flight response, acupuncture in turn promotes the activation of our parasympathetic nervous system, also known as our rest and digest response.  

Ready to try acupuncture?

Grace Acupuncture and Integrative Health makes it easy to start with either a full comprehensive assessment or 1on1 drop in sessions. To find out which treatment is right for you call (484) 241-4220.