Acupuncture for Stress Relief, Acupuncture Treatment Andersonville
Acupuncture for Stress and Anxiety
Many people are aware of the benefits acupuncture can provide in instances of physical distress, but not as many realize that it can also be used to alleviate mental and emotional distress as well.
When we experience stress or anxiety, our body has a very consistent and predictable response, known familiarly as the “fight or flight response”. When this occurs, the sympathetic nervous system kicks into gear and the individual instantaneously begins experiencing many of the following symptoms:
- the heart starts beating more rapidly
- blood flows to the extremities
- the palms may start to sweat
- breathing becomes shallow and stilted
- the pupils dilate
- blood pressure elevates
- digestion shuts down
All of these physical reactions to stress are designed to enable us to take immediate and decisive action in response to the trigger. But in the case of daily living, neither a fight nor flight response is a particularly appropriate way of dealing with the stressor, in which case we are left with these uncomfortable feelings and no obvious, practical means of alleviating the stress. When this stress response persists over a period of time, it can lead to anxiety, a persistent, underlying experience of these symptoms of stress. And if further left untended, it can lead to more serious problems like tension headaches, depression, fatigue, and digestive upset.
Fortunately, acupuncture can help greatly in managing these feelings of stress and anxiety, and relieving the symptoms associated with them. Stress and anxiety interrupt the free flow of Chi, or life force energy, much like a traffic jam on a roadway interrupts the free flow of traffic. When this happens, energetic backups and deficiencies are created, both of which can lead to symptoms of pain and illness in other parts of the body.
Acupuncture can restore that free flow of Chi and thereby promote a return of health, vitality, and well-being. Sticking with the traffic metaphor, the approximately 2,000 acupuncture points in the body act as the ramps on and off the highways that are the energy meridians through which Chi ordinarily freely flows. By stimulating these points through the proper and delicate insertion of fine, hair-like metal needles, it serves like a traffic cop, directing traffic to continue to flow freely in the proper pattern and direction.
A Western perspective on the Eastern medical practice of acupuncture explains its effects on stress and anxiety another way. As Western medicine sees it, acupuncture helps release endorphins in the brain, chemicals responsible for relieving pain and distress. It also encourages improved circulation of blood which, in turn, oxygenates the body’s tissues, and moves stress hormones and other waste products through and out of the body.
Acupuncture also has a secondary effect which also relieves stress and anxiety, namely its power to facilitate calming and relaxation, one of the most effective and efficient means of managing stress and anxiety. When the body and mind are relaxed, as acupuncture helps them to become, the heart rate lowers, blood pressure decreases, and the muscles release their tension, all of which promote a calmer, healthier, and happier state of body and mind.
To schedule an appoinment to see how acupuncture may help you feel more relaxed, call us at 773.878.7330. We are here 6 days a week with Same Day Emergency, Evening, and Weekend appointments available. We are located in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago near Lincoln Square.