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Acupuncture for Stress Relief


Stress is a way of life for many people these days.  When we experience a thought or event that we perceive as stressful, our bodies begin producing hormones and neurotransmitters designed to help us respond to the stressful situation by engaging in a conflict or fleeing.  This is referred to as the “fight or flight” response.  This response is mediated by the sympathetic nervous system, the hypothalamus and pituitary glands, both located in the brain, and the adrenal glands, located above the kidneys. 


Some common symptoms of stress

  • anger, irritability, frustration

  • stiffness in the muscles, commonly neck and shoulders

  • trouble sleeping

  • depression

  • irregular menstrual cycle

  • premenstrual symptoms, breast distension, bloating

  • migraine or tension headaches

  • chest tightness, anxiety

  • frequent sighing/shortness of breath

  • gastrointestinal disorders

  • poor concentration

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome


With continued or repeated stress without adequate time and resources for our bodies to recover, the “fight or flight” response can become chronic.  This leads to persistent elevation of adrenal stress hormones including cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.  Over time, the adrenal glands may become fatigued and stress hormone production may decrease or the daily pattern with which they are released may become disrupted.  Disruptions in the production of adrenal stress hormones contribute to imbalances in other hormones and neurotransmitters including serotonin and dopamine, which can lead to symptoms of anxiety and depression.


It is known  that acupuncture treatment could decrease stress hormones(ACTH and cortisol)level and so that  you can cope better with the big or small stresses and handle challenges of life with greater ease.


Acupuncture for Anxiety

Anxiety comes in a variety of forms, from mild worrying about an upcoming speech or exam to phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a nervous stomach, and even panic attacks. Some anxiety is a normal healthy response to the stresses of daily life and new situations; however, anxiety that occurs randomly or in an excessive manner is a sign for concern. Fortunately, acupuncture can help balance both the mental and physical manifestations of this condition returning you to an easy-going life.


There are a variety of causes of anxiety; all have different treatments. A person’s personality, behavior or thinking style can cause them to be more susceptible to anxiety. Research has proven it also can be hereditary. Biochemical factors such as a chemical imbalance in the brain also has been proven to cause anxiety.


According to Traditional Chinese medicine, most conditions of anxiety are related to imbalances of the Heart and Kidney, referring the energetic aspects of these organs.Fire represents the heart and joy according to the five elements. The diagnosis is that too much heat in the heart will imbalance the interaction with the kidney (represented as water and fear). This will result in the water organ failing to contain the fire organ rising up to the mind, leading to anxiety.


Previous research has already shown that acupuncture can help ease anxiety by acting on areas of the brain known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the ‘analytical’ brain, which is responsible for anxiety and worry.


Acupuncture for Depression


Depression can feel like a form of extreme exhaustion. You want to get better, but just don’t feel like you have the energy to do that. While the symptoms of each individual may vary, each case has a common thread: a poor state of mind that you can’t quite climb out of. Breaking out of this stuck place is the key to feeling better.


It is estimated that approximately one in five people will experience clinical depression at least once in their lifetime. Because of its prevalence, many professionals consider depression to be the “common cold” of psychology. While there are effective medications for the treatment of depression, the possible side effects make considering a natural therapy such as acupuncture worthwhile.


One recent study conducted at the University of York in the UK and published in September 2013, in the online journal PLOS Medicine, found that acupuncture is as effective as counseling and much more effective than antidepressant medication alone in the treatment of depression.


Depression is considered to be a problem with circulating Qi around your body, according to traditional Chinese Medicine. The main organ responsible for circulating Qi is recognized as the liver with the heart and spleen playing supporting roles.Acupuncture treatment for depression will focus on circulating the Qi and balancing the flow of energy to relieve specific symptoms.Once your Qi is circulating properly and your energy levels are normalized, you can begin to have the strength to lift yourself back into the swing of life, leaving your depression behind.




While modern life has helped make so many aspects of daily living easier, many people still suffer from emotional distress. Subsequently, Anxiety and Depression are two of the most common mental-emotional conditions affecting individuals today. The good news is that Acupuncture can provide a natural form of relief from these feelings, helping you return to a happier life.

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