Acupuncture can really help Stress & Anxiety - but how?
Everyone experiences stress and anxiety at one time or another. The difference between them is that stress is a response to a threat in a situation. Anxiety is a reaction to the stress after it has occured.
We are all familiar with the notion of fight/fight response to stress, where adrenaline is released in the blood stream and the physical response is to prepare the body to escape danger! Whether in good times or bad, most people say that stress interferes with their lives on a regular basis.
….but what if the danger is actually modern life? Bills, relationships, work… things you cant escape from?
What happens to the stress response if it cant be discharged?
This is a term I refer to as Fight-Fight-Freeze
Chronic stress can affect your health, causing symptoms ranging from palpitations, headaches, fatigue, poor sleep quality, poor concentration, tight muscles (especially in the neck and shoulders) and irritable bowels.
The long term effects are devastating. This is the reason 90% of my patients have stress as an underliying root cause.
What are the consequences of long term stress?
- Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and personality disorders
- Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, heart attacks, and stroke
- Obesity and other eating disorders
- Menstrual problems
- Sexual dysfunction, such as impotence and premature ejaculation in men and loss of sexual desire in both men and women
- Skin and hair problems, such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema, and permanent hair loss
- Gastrointestinal problems, such as GERD, gastritis, ulcerative colitis, and irritable colon
Acupuncture looks at the individual
Each patient is treated as individual. On your first visit we take an in depth list of symptoms and tailor a treatment plan based on addressing each one. The body is an ecosystem everything is interconnected, therefore from our perspective the tight chest and palpitations are directly connected to the heart burn or even the headaches! In Chinese Medicine we identify the root of the problem and in doing so we fix all the symptoms that occur from the root.
Balancing the Nervous System
In general, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body’s homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional well-being. There is a really informative British Acupuncture Council fact sheet on stress here.
Relaxing the body and mind
The experience of acupuncture is, for most of my patients, quite pleasant and relaxing. Once the needles are in, the patient lies quietly on the table with low lighting, lovely music playing and often with aromatherapy oil incorporated into the process. The patients leave feeling “blissed out” and totally relaxed, something they never usually acheive at home!
"Regular acupuncture makes me feel revitalised and more able to cope with my stressful job and busy home" - Jenny, 35
Acupuncture is a safe option
Whilst we always recommend your first port of call if you are suffering severe Stress and Anxiety problems is to speak to your Doctor, the pharmacological options can be limited and not free of side effects. A lot of people come to see me for acupuncture because they have chosen to avoid taking medications that may have side effects or long term negative effects. Acupuncture has a extremely good safety profile because we have a minimum of three years training. It is a natural, safe and effective way to heal your body from within.
Most Patients Report:
- More stable mood, calmness and centeredness
- Happier, more consistent sense of ease
- Better self-esteem
- Feeling more in control & able to perform work
- Usual anxiety triggers no longer affect them
- Higher / more stable energy
- Ease of digestion
- Free of aches & pains
- Improved libido
- Clearer thinking & decision-making
About the author
Ben Hymas graduated from London Southbank University with a degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine. He treats a wide range of health problems, but predominantly specialises in womens health. He understands the complexity of menopause, fertility and menstrual problems and has successfully helped many couples with both natural conception and also using acupuncture to increase success with assisted fertility treatment. Extended opening hours by appointment are available to enable you to prioritise your health needs without taking time out of your work day. Acupuncture is a safe, effective and pain free option to help you feel your very best.