Acupuncture for Chronic Stress and Anxiety
In this day and age of busy schedules, multitasking, and work overload, it’s not uncommon for people to experience the occasional anxious moment. For some people though, anxiety is a regular occurrence, something that they feel everyday – all day. When anxiety becomes chronic, the brain reacts by inducing the ‘fight or flight’ response which causes a release of adrenaline and cortisol. Continuous release of stress hormones causes a cascade of symptoms in the body. Common manifestations of chronic anxiety and stress show up as short-term memory loss, weight gain, insomnia, headaches, fatigue, and depression. When a person feels stress, a region of the brain called the hypothalamus sends a message to the adrenal glands to produce a surge of cortisol and adrenaline. Adrenaline can be helpful in acute moments of stress as it boosts physical energy, but is harmful when stress becomes chronic as it can lead to high blood pressure and rapid heart rate. Cortisol affects the immune system, brain function, and digestion and can lead to impairment of memory and learning.
Acupuncture can help alleviate the symptoms of long-term stress and anxiety by increasing dopamine and serotonin (the feel good hormones) in the brain. Regular treatment gives the body and mind a ‘rest’ and decreases the physical effects of the stress-response. If you experience chronic stress or anxiety you may want to explore acupuncture as an effective treatment approach.
If you have questions about acupuncture for stress or anxiety, feel free to contact us.