Acupuncture for Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety are perfectly natural reactions to events that take place in our lives that we can’t control. Unfortunately, stress and anxiety beget stress and anxiety. It seems to be a vicious circle that, once in it, is hard to escape.
Stress and anxiety can become more than just a reaction to certain events or occurrences in our lives; they can become a chronic condition and start to affect even the simplest of our daily tasks leading us to suffer both mentally and physically.
There are a number of ways to deal with the pressures that we are bombarded with on a daily basis. Many are turning to alternative medicine like acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine to address these issues. It is well known that stress, anxiety and depression as well as other emotional issues can be successfully treated using acupuncture. So, how does acupuncture work?
How Acupuncture Works
Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine has been used for over 2500 years. Acupuncture refers to the technique of inserting fine needles into specific points on your body as a means of relieving pain, tension and easing the effects of certain medical complaints. The treatment is based on the concept of Qi (pronounced CHEE) – the energy which flows through our bodies. For example when we start to suffer negative / intense emotions it is said that this flow of energy is partially blocked. Having an acupuncture treatment should restore this flow of energy and the symptoms should resolve.
Untreated anxiety and stress levels over long periods put the subject at risk of developing problems such as migraines, fatigue and even depression as well as the chance of high blood pressure.
Acupuncture is now a popular alternative medical treatment in the United States. It is a proven method to reduce stress and anxiety and with regular treatments it can kept at bay.
Studies Prove that Acupuncture Stops Headaches
Cochrane Researchers conducted two different studies to prove that acupuncture is indeed an efficacious treatment to prevent and mitigate migraines and headaches.
The goal of both studies was to discover if acupuncture is able to reduce how often headaches occur in a person. The first study was more focused on mild, yet frequent headaches while the second studied more painful and chronic, yet less frequent headaches, or migraines. Both trials together involved over six thousand patients in total.
The studies lasted around eight weeks. The first showed that those who received acupuncture had fewer headaches than those who took standard pain medications. The second reported the same results.
In one case that involved about three hundred patients, acupuncture was shown to reduce headaches by as much as two hundred percent. These results initiated a similar test to be conducted for those who suffered chronic tension headaches. In this test the people involved were split up into three different groups over an eight week period. One group received no treatment, the second group received minimal acupuncture (which is when needles don’t fully activate the point targeted), and the third received normal acupuncture. The group that received no treatment suffered one and a half fewer days of headaches, the minimal acupuncture group had around six and a half days of no headaches, and the full acupuncture group had a whole week of no headaches.
Headaches Treated with Acupuncture
These results show a strong correlation between acupuncture treatment and reduction in headaches. In addition to acupuncture, there are some lifestyle changes that can be made to help reduce and treat headaches:
Lifestyle Change #1: Stress Management
Stress is the number one cause of tension headaches. Meditation is an excellent way to reduce stress.
Lifestyle Change #2: Sleep
Sleep is more important than you think. Most people need at least eight hours of sleep per night in order to maintain optimal mental and physical function.
Lifestyle Change #3: Eat Healthy
Small, regular, healthy meals are best for maintaining energy and managing blood sugar. If you aren’t eating properly, then blood sugar can fall quickly which will result in a headache. Foods that can induce headaches include red meats, salty refined foods, and alcohol.
Lifestyle Change #4: Keep a Headache Journal
Keeping a headache journal will help your healthcare provider figure out the triggers of your headache as well as how to prevent them from happening. When you have a headache record how much sleep and water you’ve had in the last 24 hours, meals, supplements, exercise, etc.
Lifestyle Change #5: Exercise
Exercise is actually necessary for the healthy functional body. It is not optional. If you want to feel good, exercise. If you don’t want to exercise, be prepared not to feel good. Exercise optimizes all of your body’s functions, specifically blood flow which figures greatly in the realm of headaches.
Acupuncture For Exercise Injuries
Reports have showed that acupuncture is not only effective for motivation, but can also treat common injuries such as sprains in the shoulder, neck, wrist, knee, hip, and elbow as well as inflamed muscles and overall body strain.
Injuries and pain can certainly reduce motivation to exercise and clean up the diet.
Oriental medicine can both reduce pain and prevent the injury from developing further. Research has showed that acupuncture has aided in the healing process of sports injuries by decreasing pain and by increasing blood flow to and away from the injured area. This increases the speed of healing as well as lessens the effects of bruising or swelling. Acupuncture can also prevent further injury by strengthening the area around the injury. Even some professional sports teams have acupuncturists on staff for emergency situations.
Acupuncture For Weight Loss
Back to the subject of weight loss, acupuncture and oriental medicine can help you reach your goal. These treatments can soothe the emotions such as the ones that promote giving in, reduce food cravings, increase the metabolic rate, and aid in the digestion process.
Weight loss acupuncture points involve both the liver and spleen, which are believed to be directly linked with weight loss. If there is an energy imbalance in either of these of these organs, then this will create dis-order that can cause the body to gain weight.
Studies have shown that acupuncture and oriental medicine affects the endocrine system, metabolism, digestive system, and nervous system. The benefits of optimizing these systems include increasing natural energy, decreased appetite, reduced stress, improving the absorption of nutrients, and boosting the metabolism.
In conclusion, Oriental medicine and acupuncture is an excellent adjunct to your fitness and weight loss plan.
If you are having trouble in your quest to shed those extra pounds, then acupuncture may be just what you need. To boost your energy, suppress your appetite, and lose that extra weight contact us to set up an appointment.