Category Archives: Stress

Acupuncture for Stress Management & Stress Relief

Acupuncture for Stress Management & Stress Relief

by Justine Myers, Lic. Ac.

This is part 2 of a series on acupuncture for stress.  Our first article addressed acupuncture for stress-related health conditions.  Now we’d like to talk about the use of acupuncture for acute stress relief and chronic stress management/prevention.

Acupuncture is an effective treatment for the relief of acute stress as well as the prevention and management of chronic stress.  For acute stress – days when you feel stressed out, overwhelmed, edgy, irritable, annoyed, tense, etc. – popping in for an acupuncture treatment is almost certain to soothe your nerves, leaving you feeling more relaxed and comfortable in the world and in your skin.  Acupuncture is very calming for the nervous system – activating the parasympathetic nervous system’s “rest and digest” function and relieving the sympathetic nervous system’s “fight or flight” response.  This occurs instantly during your treatment and puts your body into a more relaxed mode, particularly for the first 24 hours following a treatment.

Acupuncture is also a helpful tool for stress management when received on a regular basis.  Regularly scheduled acupuncture could be once a week, twice a week or once every other week, depending on your needs and response to acupuncture.  With regular acupuncture it is likely that you will find that the things that used to make you feel stressed, tense or angry will not affect you so strongly.  When you’re feeling more relaxed in general it’s easier to handle difficult situations without strong emotional responses or bodily symptoms associated with stress.  Others around you may also notice something different about you, too – in a good way!

If chronic stress is a problem for you, why not experiment with some regular acupuncture to see if you notice an improvement?

Or, if you don’t necessarily suffer from chronic stress, but you do (as everyone does) experience the occasional bout of stress, remember that acupuncture is a great way to relieve stress.  We usually have same day appointments available on short notice, so if you’re feeling stressed and want to get some acupuncture for quick relief, just make an appointment and we’ll be happy to treat you and help you to feel better as soon as we’re able.

 

Acupuncture for Stress and Stress-Related Health Conditions

Many health conditions can crop up as a result of chronic stress and/or worsen due to stress.  Some examples are indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS); weakened immune function (i.e. frequent colds); hypertension (high blood pressure); headaches and migraines; menstrual irregularities, menstrual cramps, PMS and PMDD; anxiety, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression; insomnia; fatigue; low libido; and muscle tension and pain.  Stress is often a factor in these conditions and others because it affects the nervous system and various hormones that are released in times of stress, affecting various systems of the body.

Acupuncture is helpful for stress and stress-related ailments because it helps to regulate the nervous system and hormones.  There are also acupuncture points used for particular health conditions and symptoms, whether those symptoms are related to stress or not.  The holistic approach of acupuncture takes into account both the “root,” meaning issues underlying one’s health condition(s), and the “branch,” or symptoms one experiences stemming from the root.  With each treatment points are selected to treat both the roots and branches.

What can you do about ongoing stress, particularly when it’s situational (work-related, family-related, caretaking, etc.)?  Take care of yourself as best as possible and find outlets for stress relief when you can.  Exercise, deep breathing, time outside and talking with loved ones are all healthy ways to manage stress on a day to day basis.   Acupuncture once every week or two is a great way to de-stress and stay healthy.  If you have a health condition that is linked to stress, it’s helpful to obtain acupuncture regularly depending on the severity: once a week when mild, twice a week when moderate, and 3 or more times if severe.  You can always ask an acupuncturist for a recommended course of treatment, and feel free to experiment with frequency for yourself to obtain an outcome that feels helpful for you.