By Rick Oberg
Treating Stress with Acupuncture isn’t a new concept. Stress has been a common factor in the majority of my patients. However, stress has become a more predominant and overwhelming theme recently. The beginning of a new year always tends to be a stressful period for people. Patients are dealing with lingering holiday season stress, worrying about expenses due to holiday spending, businesses are hitting their slower season, taxes are needing to be filed, and patients are feeling the pressure to also fit in their New Year resolutions into their already busy schedule. No matter what side patients align with in the current political landscape, it seems that political fatigue from the election is causing extra stress now as the country tries to adjust.
Everyone experiences stress differently. Some people can handle great amounts of stress (and maybe even thrive on it) while others struggle and feel overwhelmed with even the smallest amount of stress. What seems to be the one constant is that everyone will reach a point when the stress becomes too much for them to deal with and causes negative effects on the mind and body. Stress can weaken the immune system, cause higher blood pressure, fatigue, inflammation, anxiety, depression, and even heart disease. In fact, we are still learning about all of the various impacts stress has on the body.
What signs should we look for and how do we know we are experiencing too much stress?
Here are some of the more common symptoms of stress:
- Inability to concentrate or complete tasks
- Getting sick more often with colds
- Body aches
- Other illnesses like flare ups of autoimmune diseases
- Trouble falling sleeping or staying awake
- Changes in appetite
- More angry or anxious than usual
Stress is an inevitable part of life, but Acupuncture is an effective treatment for patients dealing with the effects, which is good news. A new study from Georgetown University Medical Center, published in the Journal Endocrinology, studies how Acupuncture works to treat stress. In this study, it proves that Acupuncture targets the same key pathways that are effected by stress. The study found Acupuncture can block the NPY sympathetic pathway and the chronic, stress induced elevations of HPA ( Hypothalamus - Pituitary- Adrenal axis ) which is involved in the production of the stress hormone, cortisol. The study also confirms that acupuncture is not only an effective treatment for stress, but it also confirms its effects on treating anxiety and depression.
With over thirteen years experience in treating stress, anxiety, and depression, I can confirm the benefits in clinical practice. My Patients feel more relaxed immediately and feel as though they have just finished deep meditation. Patients report not only experiencing a reduction in the symptoms, but feeling a newly revived lease on life. They are more successful in their work environment, happier in their home lives, feel healthier (mentally and physically), tend to eat better, and they start taking better care of themselves. Stress can be overwhelming, but Acupuncture can effectively treat and bring about the positive changes patients need to really enjoy life again.