Is acupuncture good for stress?

Stressed man at desk surrounded by hands with documents.

How Acupuncture Can Be Used to Relieve Stress?

Stress has the ability to affect your life in many different ways, and can often lead to one choosing an unhealthy coping mechanism. It is essential to confront the stressors in your life as opposed to ignoring it. Long time exposure to chronic stress in the form of financial, occupational, or personal issues can be predictive of major depressive disorder. It is imperative to take steps in order to reduce stress before it takes a toll on your body, whether it be psychologically or physically.

1. Why do we get stressed?

It is common for people to feel stress due to the demands of everyday life. Stress is a natural occurrence and can be beneficial to conquer life’s short-term problems. Stress puts the body into a “fight or flight” mode, which was useful when we encountered stressors in the distant past such as a wild animal. But since we are not living in woods to hunt animals, it is very important to regulate this response and have the ability to get back to the resting state.

2. What are the statistics about stress in America?

According to the American Psychological Association, 76% of adults reported they suffered health consequences due to stress. Some of these consequences are headaches, fatigue, feeling anxious or nervous, and depression or sad. 72% of adults reported feeling overwhelmed, had changes in their sleep habits, and constantly worrying, due to stress. And 15% of surveyed adults said they turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as using alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes.

3. How does stress affect our bodies?

As we all know, too much stress can begin to affect your body in unexpected ways. Studies show that long-term stress can begin to dysregulate one’s immune system. This can lead to chronic low-grade inflammation in the body and can alter the functions of your various immune cells. Having a stressful life for a long time can increase susceptibility to infections and certain types of cancer due to the immune system not functioning properly.

4. Are there ways to manage my stress?

There are various ways to decrease your stress levels, including exercise, meditation, mindfulness, tai chi and yoga. Making changes to your lifestyle can assist in reducing chronic stress. Acupuncture is another way to regulate the body and reduce stress. This is possible due to the ability of acupuncture to release endorphins in the body. An effective way to trigger the release of endorphins is through electroacupuncture. The use of electroacupuncture, which is when electrodes are attached to the needles sends a small amount of electric current through the needle into the body. Certain frequencies are used to increase endorphins in the body. These endorphins make it so that one’s reaction to pain is diminished and one’s pain tolerance increases. Endorphins act as natural painkillers and can lead to diminished stress.

 

If you have not been feeling your best recently, it could be beneficial to examine the areas of stress in your life and find the best way to relieve it. Acupuncture in combination with lifestyle changes has a positive correlation with stress relief.

Please call Pearl River Acupuncture at 845-668-1700 if you would like to seek acupuncture treatment for your stress. Dr. Lee is a licensed acupuncturist and board-certified herbalist who creates individualistic treatment plans for all of her patients, we are always here to help!

References:

A White, M Cummings J Filshie 2008 introduction of western medical acupuncture

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24798553/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK541120/

https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2022/concerned-future-inflation

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5976254/