• Facebook
  • Twitter

Our recent News & Blog


Loading

How to Reduce the Symptoms of Stress and Anxiety

The pressures of modern- day life are having a detrimental effect on our health and well- being, causing increased stress and anxiety. More and more people are suffering with stress related illness, with up to half a million people in the UK experiencing work-related stress every year (Health and Safety Executive 2011).

Increasing financial and social pressures contribute to this, with factors such as alcohol, smoking, exams, pregnancy, divorce, moving, death in family, lifestyle, drugs, poor nutrition and unemployment all playing a major role. The signs and symptoms of stress can be varied and will differ from one person to another and the effects can be far reaching (NHS Choices 2011).

In the treatment room, stress and anxiety has become a common complaint and are often the root cause of illness. The signs and symptoms can include: insomnia, headaches, depression, back pain, mood swings, tight muscles, IBS, urinary incontinence and PMT. Often patients will not be aware that health issues can be related back to stress and anxiety.

The British Acupuncture Council has provided research findings on the role of acupuncture in treating stress. They have found that, in general, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body’s homeostatic mechanisms, this in turn promotes physical and emotional well-being.

Research has shown that acupuncture treatment may specifically benefit anxiety disorders and symptoms of anxiety in the following ways (BAcC 2018):

  • 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 (Hui 2010; Hui 2009);
  • Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, while acupuncture can activate the opposing parasympathetic nervous system, which initiates the relaxation response; (Arranz 2007).
  • Reducing inflammation, by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory (substances that affect the immune system) factors (Kavoussi 2007, Zijlstra 2003);
  • Reversing stress-induced changes in behaviour and biochemistry (Kim 2009)

People are often surprised when they come for treatment and find it to be deeply relaxing and will often fall asleep on the couch. In acupuncture we treat the whole person, focusing on treating your mind and body as one. The effects continue outside of the treatment room and successful treatment can reduce stress related symptoms and improve well being of the mind and body.

Acupuncture appointments are available at the Health Hub now, please feel free to contact me to discuss treatment or if you have questions about how acupuncture can help you. You can email me on emily@emilyjanetherapies.co.uk or call on 07788 286216 or visit my website for more information on how acupuncture works www.emilyjanetherapies.co.uk.

 

References

British Acupuncture Council, Stress Fact Sheet [online] available at www.acupuncture.org.uk

Health and Safety Executive, 2011.Stress-related and psychological illness [online]. Available: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/stress/scale.htm

NHS Choices, 2011. Stress Management [online]. Available: http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/stressmanagement/Pages/Stressmanagementhome.aspx