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If You're Feeling Stressed Acupuncture Could Help

Mar 1, 2008
Are you finding that your day-to-day life is becoming more stressful? Are you looking for a release from the stress and mental tension you may be feeling? If you are, acupuncture could provide the answer.

Acupuncture is a therapy that has been practised for thousands of years and originates from the Far East. The treatment involves an acupuncturist inserting fine needles into various parts of the body to unblock channels (known as meridians). These channels are believed to be essential in maintaining our life-balance and the flow of energy around our body.

The medical benefits of acupuncture and the physical conditions that can be treated with the therapy are widespread and varied. It can be used to treat respiratory, digestive and urinary disorders whilst also providing pain relief. However, more and more people are turning to acupuncture to lower stress levels caused by busy lives, issues at work or emotional and mental problems.

To understand what acupuncture can do for stress, it's important to understand the body's response to stress and the chemical reaction to it. At stressful times, chemicals are released into the bloodstream which set in motion a physical chain of events. Our heart rate increases, breathing becomes rapid and our muscles tense up. All these changes are the body's way of preparing for the stressful situation we are entering into, whether it is fight or flight from attack, dealing with an accident or having a job interview.

For short periods, these physical responses are harmless and we usually relax after a while. However, if these levels continue over a prolonged period then stress becomes chronic and pathological problems ensue. Being in this state of continued alertness can lead to mental strain, anxiety and panic attacks.

Prescription drugs from your GP or remedies from your local chemist can provide quick-fix solutions to stress. Many people find they turn to alcohol, cigarettes or even drugs. Food is also a common answer to stress-related problems, helping some people cope with their anxiety or depression. All these common solutions to stress, however effective in the short-term, can lead to habitual behaviour and at worst dependency on a certain drug.

Acupuncture provides an alternative to these solutions in a safe and effective way. The process involved with the therapy brings about a physical relaxation response lowering heart rate and blood pressure. Many people feel a calming sensation during the treatment. This is of particular importance to those suffering with stress as it helps to relieve the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

One area of your body that an acupuncturist may target is the ear. Ultra fine needles are inserted and then removed after 20 minutes or so, during which time the body has released its natural painkilling chemicals known as endorphins. This pleasure chemical gives the same response as exercise can give some people, or as eating chocolate can for others!

With stress at work costing industry billions every year, working parents carrying the double load of stress at work and at home, and many people struggling with the anxiety of trying to achieve goals and desires, acupuncture can prove to be a suitable and healthy solution to alleviating your mental tension.

While acupuncture alone can't alter your circumstances, you could find the relief from all your stress will give you clarity of thought, make you feel invigorated and give you the self-confidence to help make lifestyle changes for the better.
About the Author
Shaun Parker is an expert on therapy and alternative medicine. He helps people that are looking for acupuncture find acupuncturists near them.
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