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Acupuncture for Stress

Acupuncture for StressStress triggers the “fight or flight” response, which prepares the body for escape or combat by increasing the heart rate, halting digestion, and directing blood to arms and legs. Occasional short bursts of this response are not a problem. However, when stress becomes a long-term way of life, that set of biological responses can cause serious health problems.

Modern life has many stress factors, such as money problems, time constraints, an employer who expects too much, or a spouse who contributes too little to the household. Some factors cannot be avoided or if they are, only lead to different stressors. For example, quitting a job one hates to get away from an aggravating boss really trades employment-related stresses for money problems and uncertainty about one’s job future.

Neither Western medicine nor traditional Chinese medical (TCM) practices like acupuncture can remove all of life’s stresses. They can, however, provide ways to handle that stress and the symptoms long-term stress can generate. Such signs of stress overload may include chest pains, insomnia, panic attacks, moodiness, and overeating, just to name a few. Many of these signs can develop into further health problems. Western physicians may prescribe medications for stress symptoms. Some of the more progressive ones may recommend exercise or meditation.

The TCM approach uses acupuncture, Chinese body work called Tui Na, dietary recommendations, and meditation among other modalities to help a patient reduce stress. Acupuncture, which releases endorphins, in particular has a calming effect and helps increase blood circulation while lowering blood pressure. The idea behind acupuncture is to clear Qi (energy) blockages throughout the body, enabling Qi to flow smoothly. Thin, sterile needles are inserted at points along meridians. The acupuncturist selects points, as well as accompanying herbal remedies, based on his or understanding of the patient’s history, stress sources, and symptoms.

Acupuncturists often study nutrition and offer patients dietary recommendations based on their symptoms. For example, stress hormones like cortisone deplete the body’s supply of key nutrients like B vitamins. Therefore an acupuncturist would recommend that a patient suffering stress consume more foods rich in these nutrients, such as salmon which has B12 or cauliflower, which has lots of B vitamins, particularly B5.

If you, a friend, or family member is needlessly suffering, OR just wants to live a healthier, happier life, contact us today to learn how we can help – (215) 900-6850 or