Since starting our Acupuncture practices we have become aware just how common it is for stress and anxiety to impact on people’s lives. Stress and anxiety affect most people at some stage of their lives; a small amount of stress can be beneficial; it may aid performance under pressure and help an individual stay focused and alert. If a person is continually stressed, however, the constant state of stress takes its toll. Cortisol, the body’s stress hormone elevates, blood pressure increases, and our immune function is suppressed. And this can develop into anxiety, depression, fatigue, digestive problems, and tension headaches. A number of strategies are available to manage anxiety and stress and Acupuncture is one of them.
How Acupuncture can help ease anxiety and stress:
Acupuncture treats anxiety and stress by identifying the individual pattern of disharmony which is strongest in the person attending for treatment, looking to treat the root cause of the problems as well as the symptoms. Acupuncture treats the underlying cause which gives rise to the anxiety itself. According to Chinese medical theory, energy or Qi flows through our bodies via a network of meridians or “roads”. Stress, anger, or any intense emotion acts like a traffic jam, blocking the free flow of energy in the body leading to a pattern of disharmony. For example, many people who are very stressed out complain of upper back, shoulder and neck pain. This is because stress is causing tension in those areas, blocking the free flow of energy, causing pain, tightness, and often leading to headaches. Through Acupuncture, theses energy blockages can be addressed.
From a Western viewpoint, Acupuncture works to alleviate stress by releasing natural pain-killing chemicals in the brain, called endorphins. In addition, Acupuncture improves circulation of blood throughout the body, which oxygenates the tissues and cycles out cortisol and other waste chemicals. The calming nature of Acupuncture also decreases heart rate, lowers blood pressure and relaxes the muscles. By mellowing out the nervous system Acupuncture will help you feel less affected and better equipped to manage the stress in your life.
How many treatments would be required?
A course of six to eight treatments is recommended, everybody reacts differently to Acupuncture and some feel the benefit of the sessions sooner.
Latest Article in the Meath Coaster Magazine, page 38, February 2013 issue. Co-written by Sharon McGinty (Sharon McGinty Acupuncture), Niamh Muldowney (that's me!) & Sabine Le Boulicaut (Shen Dao Acupuncture)
Niamh Muldowney, owner, Anam Mai Acupuncture