Acupuncture and Stress Relief Part 2: How acupuncture eases pain, improves mood, sleep, and body chemistry
by Dr. Betty Keller
We cannot eliminate stress from our live but we can learn to manage. That’s part of what we learned in Acupuncture and Stress Releif Part 1: How the Body Responds to Stress
Acupuncture is very effective in reducing stress and stress related conditions.
It is well documented that there is a strong connection between the mind and body. Clearly mental well-being is associated with physical well being. Acupuncture helps restore the imbalances of neurotransmitters and hormones brought on by chronic stress and thus help reduce stress and the harmful effects of chronic stress.
Acupuncture: How It Works
The modern scientific explanation is that needling stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the brain, spinal cord and muscles. These chemicals alter the experience of pain and also trigger the release of other chemicals, neurotransmitters, and hormones that influence the bodies own internal regulating system.
Acupuncture Decreases Cortisol and Other Stress-Related Hormones
Acupuncture is very effective in reducing stress and stress related conditions. It does this by modulating neurotransmitters and reducing stress hormones. Acupuncture needles stimulate the secretion of endorphins the body’s natural painkillers, as well as decrease cortisol – one of the major stress hormones.
In addition acupuncture increases serotonin, dopamine, and melatonin. These neurotransmitters help reduce pain, elevate mood, relax the body, improve sleep and help with an increased feeling of over all well being. People feel extremely relaxed during and after acupuncture treatments. Post acupuncture treatments, patients feel completely relaxed and often report improved sleep.
Multiple acupuncture treatments appear to up regulate the secretion of neurotransmitter and hormones, which explains the long-term effects of acupuncture. Acupuncture helps restore the imbalances of neurotransmitters and hormones brought on by chronic stress, and is a safe and effective way to treat stress and stress induced disorders.
What is Medical Acupuncture, and Who Can Provide It?
Acupuncture can be part of a doctor’s medical practice. It is part of my practice at the Optimal Wellness Center, in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey. Not all acupuncturists are doctors. A licensed acupuncturist can provide services without being a health practitioner.
As a professional medical doctor, I use acupuncture because the most effective treatment for some people uses contemporary Western medicine combined with complimentary techniques, including acupuncture. Sometimes the best treatment for difficult conditions, such as fibromyalgia, chronic pain, or weight loss, uses both acupuncture treatments and modern medical treatment. This is what integrative medicine is all about.
If you find that traditional medicine alone has not helped improve health for you, you may want to speak with a doctor who takes in integrative approach.