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How Does Acupuncture Reduce Stress?

Our body has so many ways of warning us that things just aren’t right.  Sometimes its hard to hear them.  While general stress is a byproduct of life it can also be a warning sign.

There is a lot of hyped-up talk about adrenal fatigue and cortisol.  In small doses the body’s natural production of cortisol is helpful (think fight or flight).  The problem is that in our modern world we are constantly being bombarded by stressors.  We are literally in a continuous fight or flight pattern.  Even just the ding on the phone, a red traffic light or too many emails in the in box will set this off in unnoticed ways.  Our bodies aren’t meant to deal with this much triggering. It puts the body in a constant stress response leading to insomnia, depression, anxiety, gut problems and even  serious mental health concerns.

While it is unrealistic to remove all the stressors and triggers from our lives there is a lot we can do to take of the edge naturally.  Not every trick works for everyone.. don’t overthink it.  Exercise, medication, arts/crafts/hobbies, good times with friends and, yes, acupuncture 😉

Here in my San Diego acupuncture practice I find so many new patients that are floored by how relaxing it can be to get poked with tiny needles (LOL) I get it!  I love seeing how people are blown away by acupuncture.  Its been around for thousands of years and is finally even being used in hospital environments to treat anxiety.

Think of acupuncture as physical therapy for the mind. The tiny needles help to retrain the nervous system and act as a “reset” button to the fight or flight response thereby getting cortisol levels and output back on track.  This isnt just new-age fluff.  Its been documented, studied and scientifically proven time and time again.  Its easily measurable and plenty of evidence is available.

As if this weren’t enough, acupuncture also works to normalize heart rate.  Under stressful situations, the heart pumps faster and stronger- unnecessarily. Left unchecked people often develop irregular heartbeats or even arterial fibrillation.  The Vagus nerve is an important control factor for heartrate.  Guess what helps to chill out the Vagus nerve- acupuncture.

Depression is a serious and often overlooked side effect to depression.  When treating my patients for depression we take a close look at what other things are going on in their lives.  90% of the time stress is a huge factor.  By looking at realistic ways of reducing stressors we get to the root of the problem and acupuncture helps deal with the depressive symptoms by addressing the body’s response to stress triggers.  Its a two for one.        

Digestive disorders are so common and I treat it all the time at my San Diego acupuncture clinic. Healthy digestion is supposed to occur during the “rest and digest” phase (rewind to high school health class LOL). When stress is introduced, the body’s natural process is interrupted leading to chronic digestion problems. Acupuncture is very effective in treating bouts of constipation and diarrhea.  

If any of this sounds familiar to you, please hit me up with questions!  I serve all areas of San Diego in my acupuncture clinics located in Banker’s Hill, North Park and Mission Hills.

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