How acupuncture helps you to conquer stress and fear
“[Acupuncture] can significantly decrease the levels of anxiety , tension/muscular discomfort and pain.”
Researchers at the Georgetown University Medical Center made a major contribution to understanding how acupuncture helps fear and stress at the cellular level. They discovered that this treatment interferes with the very mechanism of stress. It blocks the chronic, stress-induced elevations of the HPA axis hormones and the sympathetic NPY pathway. See this study. This has also been covered in the Time magazine.
Other recent studies on mechanism of acupuncture have shown that it triggers an increase in neurotransmitter adenosine an incredible 24-fold, it normalises the sympathetic nervous system to help PCOS patients and restores ovulation.
“The rats who had acupuncture had levels of cortisol in their blood comparable to the control rats that weren’t stressed—and lower cortisol levels than the other stressed-out rats, including the rats who received sham (fake or placebo) acupuncture. Likewise, the stressed-out rats who didn’t receive the treatment showed more anxiety, depression and hopelessness through the behavioural tests, while the acu-treated rats behaved a lot more like the normal rats that hadn’t been exposed to anything.”
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety disorder that can develop in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. People with PTSD may experience symptoms like flashbacks, nightmares, intense anxiety, and avoidance of situations that trigger memories of the traumatic event. They may also have difficulty sleeping, have angry outbursts, and may feel irritable or on edge. The symptoms can be severe and last decades. It’s vital for people who are experiencing symptoms of PTSD to seek help from a primary healthcare provider.
Acupuncture has shown promising results in the treatment of PTSD. In fact, a case series study has recently suggested that acupuncture treatment may be useful in emergency conditions involving PTSD and emotional trauma, highlighting the clinical importance of this natural therapy.
In this clinical experiment, women receiving acupuncture reported significant improvements compared to those in the control group. Specifically, the women noticed reduced physiological cravings for substances. They felt significantly less depressed and anxious and were better able to reflect on and resolve difficulties.
The researchers found that acupuncture, as an adjunct therapy in a comprehensive psychoeducational treatment program. It is a promise of being an effective, more viable treatment alternative to anti-anxiety drugs anxiolytics for women with addictions.
This study was published in Family & Community Health April/June 2007 Volume 30 Number 2 Pages 112 – 120.