How to Manage Chronic Stress With Acupuncture
June 9, 2017
We all know the feeling of being stressed out and some of us are all too familiar with it. But many experts feel that most of the stress people experience today is actually an entirely new condition plaguing today’s society. It’s wreaking havoc on our physical health and mental wellbeing.
Acupuncture is an ancient treatment being applied in new ways to address this modern epidemic of our time—chronic stress. And experts are showing us that acupuncture for chronic stress may be the solution we’ve all been seeking.
What is Chronic Stress?
Generally speaking, there are two types of stress we can experience: acute and chronic. Acute stress, also known as our fight or flight mode, is a healthy form of stress intended to keep us out of danger. Acute stress is that hyper-aware, energetic feeling we get when we’re speaking in public or about to be hit by a vehicle. It sends our body into a highly reactive mode that can help us survive.
Our bodies were designed to handle and require this type of stress to make us better at running away from predators, which are of little threat to the average person today.
Today people undergo a completely different type of stress—one that our bodies were not designed to handle. Chronic stress is a condition that occurs when we are repeatedly and regularly put in situations that cause our stress hormone, cortisol, to release. Millions of Americans are reported to suffer from chronic stress. From families and finances to school and work, it’s no wonder many people are feeling a constant state of stress.
But this state of worry or anxiety that never quite leaves us is slowly damaging our bodies. It causes degenerative wear and tear, which can eventually break down certain aspects of the mind and body.
How Chronic Stress Affects the Body
Feeling like you’re always under pressure to meet deadlines, save enough money and take care of your family all while trying to maintain a social life is a heavy burden to bear. But that’s the daily reality for most people today.
When your body activates the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight mode), it causes several physiological effects, including:
- Increased heart rate
- Heightened blood pressure
- Elevated blood sugar
- Reduced immune system responses
Your body effectively shuts down the parts of your body that aren’t required for immediate survival and increases those that are.
It’s no wonder people who experience burnout get sick. Their bodies aren’t prioritizing their immune system. This is truly a vicious circle for those of us who have experienced burnout. But it’s our body’s biologically intelligent way of telling us that this track we’re on isn’t sustainable.
Instead of letting chronic stress build up to the point of demanding our bodies to rest, we should try to create more intentional practices in our lives that address chronic stress. One of these practices is acupuncture.
How Acupuncture For Chronic Stress Works
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese therapy that has long been proven to treat allergies, headaches, infertility, chronic pain and much more. But now experts are investing in studies aimed at treating chronic stress using acupuncture.
But what exactly is acupuncture and how does it help relieve chronic stress?
The healing philosophy behind acupuncture is based on the Ancient Chinese description of the body’s energy flow called Qi (chi). Qi is responsible for regulating the health of our different body systems. Qi travels through the body via meridians or pathways.
But illness, injury or stress can disrupt the flow of Qi and cause subsequent health issues. Acupuncture can help restore the proper flow of Qi within the body by targeting certain points of blockage.
An acupuncturist begins a session by placing sanitary, disposable needles at strategic points along the body. The size of needles used and where they are positioned depends on the ailment being treated.
Acupuncture for chronic stress and anxiety works on many levels within the body. An acupuncturist focuses on points in the body that stimulate endorphins and serotonin levels and relieve tension. Endorphins and serotonin are naturally occurring hormones in the body that help support a number of body functions. Specifically, they help to increase levels of euphoria and overall pleasure and provide relief from pain. This helps to counter hormones that are released in stressful situations like adrenaline and cortisol.
If you’re suffering from chronic stress, Aquarius Wellness can help. Book an appointment with Dr. Lily Liu to receive traditional holistic acupuncture for chronic stress or other conditions. Aquarius Wellness also offers massage therapy and other treatments to help relieve chronic stress. By implementing acupuncture and other therapies into your health and wellness plan, you can help restore balance in your life and improve your sense of wellbeing.
Emily Rodgers is a freelance health and wellness writer and editor. Dedicated to covering topics about natural alternatives, Emily strives to educate readers how to live healthier, more balanced lives. Emily believes that information empowers people to take charge of their wellbeing so they can become the best versions of themselves. Contact Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website HealthyContentAgency.com