Acupuncture & Stress

It seems like chronic stress is the norm for most of us these days, but long term chronic stress can wreak havoc on our bodies. If you can check the box on more than a couple of these common stress-related symptoms, then it might be time to make an appointment for acupuncture, which can help you manage them.

   Irritability, frustration, anxiety
   Changes in appetite
   Neck, shoulder & jaw tension
   Weight gain or loss
   Trouble sleeping



The role of Cortisol

There has been a lot of buzz lately about cortisol imbalances in relation to all kinds of health conditions. But what is it, and what does it do? Cortisol is a hormone that is produced by the adrenal glands, and it's primary responsibility is to help manage stress responses in the body. There are cortisol receptors in every part of our bodies, and they help control things like weight gain and loss, metabolism, blood sugar regulation and blood pressure, inflammation, and sleep regulation.

When we think further about stress, there are three main types of stress: acute stress (a sudden dangerous situation that is short in duration - like avoiding a car accident), chronic stress (an ongoing state like chronic illness or job difficulties), and traumatic stress (in response to a traumatic event like a natural disaster or war, these can frequently lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

Chronic Stress

In the world that we live in, most us experience high levels of stress throughout our days and lives; more acutely many of us are living in a state of chronic stress, which can be incredibly harmful over time. Essentially it means that our "fight or flight" is always turned on, and our bodies are producing high levels of cortisol around the clock with our adrenals working overtime. Think "feeling exhausted even when I got 8 hours of sleep," "experiencing unexplained weight gain around my stomach without changing my diet and exercise routine," "irregular, heavy menstrual cycles and difficulty conceiving."

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Sudden, traumatic events have lasting effects on our stress responses, frequently leading to PTSD with symptoms that can be debilitating. If there is no off switch to the body's perceived sense of imminent danger, there is no opportunity for the body to rest and regenerate, leading to a negative feedback loop. It can lead to poor digestion, insomnia, inflammation, and further psychological symptoms like anxiety and depression.

Acupuncture & Cortisol

Recent research studies have shown that acupuncture helps turn off runaway "fight or flight" reactions and it turns on the "rest and digest" response by regulating the autonomic nervous system and decreasing Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis excitability. A systematic review published in 2018 found that acupuncture reduces feelings of anxiety and depression, and acupuncture has also been shown to reduce systemic inflammation

Multi-faceted Approach

We treat stress, anxiety and other psycho-emotional conditions with a combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine, and acupressure. We frequently recommend dietary and lifestyle changes to support the treatments. Acupuncture has a unique ability to relax the nervous system, creating an almost meditative calm throughout the body. Most people tell us that they feel very relaxed after an acupuncture treatment, and we often hear about how well people sleep when they receive regular treatments. If you are dealing with any of the symptoms we mentioned here, an appointment with us could help! We can custom design a treatment plan for you that addresses your unique situation, that it manageable for you to follow. The last thing we want to do is make an unachievable  protocol that causes more stress!


Side effects may include...
A sense of ease, improved sleep, enhanced digestion, bowel regularity, and generally greater health!