In the age of faster, more, now, we’re constantly stressed out and searching for ways to relax and relieve that stress – and make sure you do it quickly, because there’s not enough time! Stress unfortunately causes more than just a headache or anxiety. Stress can affect your sleep, causing lack of sleep or way too much, can cause muscle tension and aches, gastrointestinal problems, and can negatively affect your weight as well (MedicineNet). Yes, going to a spa can help relieve that stress, as can working out, or going on a vacation. However, sometimes the stress has affected your body much more than relaxation can fix, or you don’t have time or finances to go on a vacation, workout in your busy schedule, or get to a spa. Acupuncture really can help and is a viable, available, proven option! Below are just three ways Acupuncture can relieve stress:
If you’re kept awake from pain, or you’re dealing with residual pain from a surgery, accident, or – wait for it – the physical pain from stress, acupuncture can help. According to UC San Diego, “Acupuncture improves the body’s functions and promotes the natural self-healing process by stimulating specific anatomic sites–commonly referred to as acupuncture points, or acupoints.”
Sleep is one of the top areas stress/anxiety can affect: either making you so tired you have to sleep more and more, or preventing you from sleeping at all (insomnia). A preliminary report published by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto showed that acupuncture increased melatonin secretion (helps control your sleep and wake cycles), therefore reducing insomnia and anxiety.
Actual Stress Reliever
In addition to helping all the side effects of stress, acupuncture actually relieves stress in your body. How? According to a study at Georgetown University Medical Center, acupuncture was shown to block the chronic, stress-induced elevations of hormones in rats. “Our growing body of evidence points to acupuncture’s protective effect against the stress response,” says Ladan Eshkevari, PhD, an associate professor of nursing at Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies.
With this knowledge in hand, we can not only use acupuncture as an effective tool for managing our stress and reversing the damage done to our bodies, but we can also use it as maintenance as we go through our busy lives, navigating careers, balancing home, and keeping up with as much as we can.