Many of us don’t stop! Always on the go, work, work, work, with little time for ourselves to relax. This fast paced life can leave us stressed with symptoms including: being run down, tense, agitated, tired, and anxious. There are many ways in which we can de-stress, by finding time to do things like exercise, meditate, walking, listening to music, or relax at a spa; but when these are not enough, some of us turn to alcohol, drugs and medications to help ease the symptoms. However they come with side effects which are detrimental to our health.
Why chose acupuncture? Why not chose acupuncture? It is a very powerful therapy and can reduce the effects of stress mentally and physically with no bad side effects, win win win! Acupuncture works by regulating qi, it relaxes the mind and body, and restores the bodies’ balance naturally.
What is qi? Qi (pronounced chi) is information, a catalyst of energy which travels along channels (pathways) within the body. If we liken qi to neurotransmitters, we can see how acupuncture works by regulating the functioning of our bodies. So when there is and excess or deficiency of something relating to the functioning of our bodies, acupuncture points are stimulated by the practitioner, which signals to the body to regulate the excess or deficiency. The connection given here between acupuncture and these neurotransmitters makes it easier to explain how acupuncture works. Although acupuncture is known to regulate neuropeptides, it isn’t the only reason why and how acupuncture is so effective.
During times of stress the body releases excess amounts of adrenaline (epinephrine) and cortisol (glucocorticoids). Scientists have proven that when we are stressed, we release high levels of cortisol which is detrimental to the body and the way it functions; eventually leading to disease. Acupuncture has been clinically proven to reduce cortisol levels during chronic stress. Research has also shown that acupuncture decreases the levels of protein neuropeptide Y (NPY) which is released by the sympathetic nervous system, which is activated during the ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ modes. It is well documented that acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins (feel good hormone), dopamine (pain relieving hormone) and melatonin (regulates sleep and wakefulness). The general sense of well-being following an acupuncture treatment can be attributed to the increased levels of these feel good neuropeptides.