How Acupuncture Can Help You Lower Your Stress Level
For thousands of years, acupuncture has been used to treat all manner of afflictions of the mind, body, and spirit. Traditional Chinese medicine believes that the human body is fueled by its qi (pronounced chi) and that it needs to flow freely throughout the body. If your qi is blocked, that is when illness, stress, and mood issues arise.
An acupuncturist will ask you for a detailed health history and will also conduct an examination of your tongue to help uncover any underlying issues that might exacerbate your symptoms. The acupuncturist will then use hair-thin needles at certain pressure points on the body to release the qi and correct the ailment from which you are suffering.
There are many theories as to why acupuncture works, but for millions of people, it does. A better question might be this: Why use acupuncture instead of, or in conjunction with, Western medicine.
While traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as freeing the flow of your qi, western medicine says there are a couple of reasons that acupuncture may help certain physical and mental health ailments.
One of the explanations is endorphin release. The stimulation of certain areas of the nervous system will initiate endorphin release. Endorphins are a chemical in your body that when released can work as a natural pain reliever as well as experience less negative physical effects of stress.
While endorphins alone may not be enough to combat the level of stress you are experiencing, acupuncture can lower the amount of medication you may need to take. People are turning to acupuncture for stress more today in order to stave off the negative effects that taking pharmaceutical drugs can bring.
Acupuncture Heals Where Western Medicine Cannot
Western medicine may prescribe medicine and therapy for stress and anxiety, but sometimes patients still come up short. A recent study discovered that people who had generalized stress and anxiety who had not experienced relief from other forms of treatment experienced a “significant reduction in their anxiety, even 10 weeks after their acupuncture”.
There is disagreement among researchers on what acupuncture does, how it does it, and whether or not it helps people. However, what is universally agreed upon is that there is little to no risk to your health if you try it. As with all medical treatments, you should be fully honest about your health issues with your acupuncturist, as there are people who are not good candidates for acupuncture, such as those with a bleeding disorder or who have a pacemaker.
For those not on the very short list of people who shouldn’t do acupuncture, the only side effects are possible slight soreness or bruising. When compared to the possible side effects of most antidepressant or anxiety relieving medication, these seem extremely minimal.
Is your stress level getting to be too high? Have you tried other things? Do you work out and eat right? Is medication not helping? Are you wary of taking medication to begin with? Acupuncture may be the answer you are looking for.
If you want to use acupuncture to supplement medication you are taking for stress, or to negate the use for medication, the doctors at Hoboken Integrated Health are ready to get your questions answered. Call our office to make an appointment, and start on the path to better overall health and wellness through the reduction in the negative effects of stress in your life.