Stress & Anxiety

Medical acupuncture is extremely useful in the treatment of many chronic stress and anxiety related illnesses, not only because of its effectiveness in treatment of the physical body, but also (and perhaps more importantly) because of its ability to penetrate the layers of defence and coping mechanisms which patients exhibit.

Since, the mind and the body are one inextricably connected entity which uses the emotions and their attendant neurotransmitters as the vehicles for internal communication, it is clear that by using acupuncture to illicit effects on the neurotransmitters, we can help our patients change their response to stress, and thereby enable them to heal that physical entity known as the body-mind.

Research and Studies – Stress and Anxiety

Many research studies have shown acupuncture to be useful and effective in the treatment of stress and anxiety disorders.

Sequential stimulation to certain acupuncture points has been found to be effective in the treatment of stress related physical and mental disorders.

Serotonin Release

Recent research has found that cerebral serotonin has anti-depressant and analgesic effects. Cerebral serotonin can be released by the stimulation of certain acupuncture points.

The study found that the stimulation of Acupuncture points (ST36 and GB20) increased intracephalic blood flow. Increasing intracephalic blood flow may indirectly increase the quantity of serotonin released.

The release of serotonin can be enhanced further by sequential stimulation of these acupuncture points. A marked degree of mental relaxation has been shown.

(by Department of Anesthesiology, Wayne County General Hospital, Westland, Michigan.Acupuncture & Electro-therapeutics Research [1992, 17(4):273-283]

Melatonin Secretion

Other studies have shown that Acupuncture Increases Nocturnal Melatonin Secretion and Reduces Insomnia and Anxiety.

[ Warren Spence, M.A.; Leonid Kayumov, Ph.D., DABSM; Adam Chen, Ph.D.; Alan Lowe, M.D.; Umesh Jain, M.D.; Martin A. Katzman, M.D.; Jianhua Shen, M.D.; Boris Perelman, Ph.D.; Colin M. Shapiro, MBBCh, Ph.D., FRCP(C)]

Anxiety Reduction

Furthermore, researchers have also concluded that auricular (ear) acupuncture can decrease anxiety levels. They added that “the results of the study suggest that acupuncture may be an effective treatment for individuals experiencing intense levels of daily stress and anxiety.”

Wang SM, Kain ZN. Auricular acupuncture: a potential treatment for anxiety. Anesthesia and Analgesia Feb 2001;92(2):548-553. Ramsay MAE. A survey of preoperative fear. Anesthesia 1972;27:396-402. Johnston M. Preoperative emotional states and post-operative recovery. Adv Psychosom Med 1986;15:1-22.


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