Acupuncture for the Treatment of Stress

When you visit your doctor and she/he tells you that your condition is being caused by stress, what does that really mean? A person can feel “stressed” at work or by their relationships; yet, stress is more than just an emotion that arises in certain situations. It is a state of being that, over time, can have a serious physical impact on your health. Continuous stress can cause physical pain, insomnia, high blood pressure and any number of problems. If you are someone who deals with stress on a regular basis and are starting to feel its consequences, you may benefit from acupuncture’s stress-reducing and restorative effects.

How Does Acupuncture Treat and Reduce Stress?

There are several ways that acupuncture reduces stress and its side-effects. The first is that acupuncture is very relaxing. Once the needles are inserted, you lie on a massage table and rest for 15-30 minutes. The lights are low and soft music plays and many patients fall into a state of deep and total relaxation. After treatment, many people feel calm and at the same time restored to their more natural self. Secondly, while you are resting, the acupuncture needles are working to balance your whole body. For instance, if, because of stress, you experience chronic neck and shoulder pain, the treatment will focus on relaxing muscle tension and increasing circulation to tight, ischemic areas. Or, if your reaction to stress is more emotional, treatments will help to balance mood swings and release pent-up feelings. If your health is beginning to suffer because of stress and disease is occurring, acupuncture can treat and reduce or eliminate the problem (see specific disease conditions on this site to understand how acupuncture treats these problems). Finally, often times, because of long term stress, many different symptoms are occurring at once. Acupuncture helps to address the origin of the problem, while at the same time reducing the painful symptoms that are affecting your health and well-being.

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

The effects of an acupuncture treatment for stress are immediate. After your first treatment, you will have a sense of feeling more relaxed. This feeling can last anywhere from one to several days. You may also notice an immediate improvement in muscle tension and your overall energy level. With regular treatments, the effects will be longer lasting and more cumulative. In most cases, coming for treatment once a week is sufficient. Duration of treatment depends on the individual. The severity of symptoms and the effects stress has had on your health determine how quickly your condition will be resolved. Once you come for a few visits, you and your acupuncturist will see how you are responding and a more definite treatment plan can be established.