Acupuncture and integrative medicine is a safe and effective way to relax the body, and lower stress.
Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine for Stress Relief
Acupuncture has been used to treat stress and related conditions for centuries. It was known to do so by balancing the mind and body and restoring physiological functioning. Research is showing a variety of mechanisms that contribute to these effects. It has been shown to do this by:
- Acting on areas of the brain known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the ‘analytical’ brain, which is responsible for anxiety and worry
- Improving stress induced memory impairment and an increasing AchE reactivity in the hippocampus
- Reducing serum levels of corticosterone and the number of tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive cells
- Regulating levels of neurotransmitters (or their modulators) and hormones such as serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine, GABA, neuropeptide Y, and ACTH; hence altering the brain’s mood chemistry to help to combat negative affective states
- Stimulating the production of endogenous opioids that affect the autonomic nervous system. Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, while acupuncture can activate the opposing parasympathetic nervous system, which initiates the relaxation response;
- Reversing pathological changes in levels of inflammatory cytokines that are associated with stress reactions
- Reducing inflammation by promoting the release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors
- Reversing stress-induced changes in behavior and biochemistry.
Acupuncture Research for Stress Relief
Studies have shown acupuncture can:
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