We all know that stress is just a part of life. We all have moments of feeling anxious or depressed, but when those feelings become more of a permanent fixture in our lives, it is time to get some help. Many people do not know how effective acupuncture can be in providing relief to the mental and physical symptoms associated with anxiety and depression.
In fact, a 2010 study states: “Depression and anxiety together constitute a significant contribution to the global burden of disease. Acupuncture is widely used for treatment of anxiety and depression and its use is increasing. The theoretical basis for acupuncture diagnosis and treatment derives from traditional Chinese medicine theory. An alternative approach is used in medical acupuncture which relies more heavily on contemporary neurophysiology and conventional diagnosis.”
The Balance of Qi & a Physiological Response
The pressures of life that lead to too much stress can impact the balance of Qi in the body. Qi is often defined as the body’s energy or life force and it flows through channels in the body called meridians. When our body is balanced, Qi flows smoothly through the meridian network and our bodily systems operate at its optimal level of functioning. When Qi is not balanced, we can experience a host of physical symptoms including high blood pressure, digestive issues, and loss of appetite, all of which impacts our nervous system.
Acupuncture can balance the nervous system and train it to behave as optimally as it should to relieve those symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. Studies have shown that acupuncture can have a positive impact on heart rate variability which then leads to a balanced central autonomic nervous system.
It is also important to note that anxiety and depression can elicit both emotional and physical symptoms. Emotional symptoms include feeling overwhelmed, agitated, moody, trouble quieting the mind, feelings of worthlessness that then lead to avoiding social situations and other people. Physical symptoms include lack of energy, headache, digestive issues, body aches and pains, rapid heartbeat, insomnia, nervousness, frequent sickness, and cold sweats, just to name a few of the most common complaints.
If you suffer from feelings of anxiety and depression, talk to your acupuncturist to develop the appropriate treatment plan. Studies have shown that the right “dose” of acupuncture is the key in helping patients see results and a reduction of the symptoms of stress and depression. “Dose” is defined as both the number of treatment sessions overall, as well as the number of acupuncture points addressed in each session. Studies have also shown that acupuncture can help to keep your heart rate variability in the optimal range which can help improve issues with heart disease, hypertension, anxiety and depression, insomnia, migraines, and muscle pain — all physical signs of stress.
In addition to regular acupuncture treatments, your practitioner can also recommend nutrition and dietary changes that can balance your energy. Let acupuncture get you back on track.