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Acupuncture and Stress

According to Health and Safety Executive 2011 report, up to half a million people in the UK experience work-related stress every year, which often results in illness. There are many  factors that affect stress levels including alcohol, smoking, exams, pregnancy, divorce, moving, death in family, lifestyle, drugs, poor nutrition and unemployment.

Lead author Dr Ladan Eshkevari, of Georgetown University, In the first study of its kind,  found the ancient Chinese therapy reduces levels of a protein linked to chronic stress. This is reported by Daily mail.

The Time reports how acupuncture works to relieve stress:

The body’s stress response is triggered by two main pathways, one of which involves the HPA axis, or hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, in which these areas of the brain are activated to release peptides and proteins such as corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH). They, in turn, launch the production of other hormones such as cortisol and norepinephrine that rev up the anxiety meter. Once activated, the system causes the heart to beat faster and the senses to go on alert. It also diverts the body’s energy away from background operations such as digestion to prime and fuel the muscles into a state of readiness.

 

Huffington Post reports the same research and gives good news to Acupuncture fans.

In Chinese medicine, stress, anxiety, depression or any strong emotion interrupts the smooth flow of energy throughout the body.  According to Chinese medical theory, energy flows through our body through a network of “roads”, almost like a highway system.  Stress, anger, or any intense emotion acts like a traffic jam, blocking the free flow of energy in the body.  For example, many people who are very stressed out complain of upper back, shoulder and neck pain.  This is because stress is causing tension in those areas, blocking the free flow of energy, causing pain, tightness, and often leading to headaches.

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