Do you have any stress in your life a the moment? Work stress? Family stress? Life stress?

Signs of stress differ from person to person. 

Some physical signs may include aches, pain and muscular tension, headaches, digestive issues (such as constipation, diarrhoea, nausea), weakened immunity, palpitations, sleeping problems.

Some emotional and mental signs of stress you may experience could include feelings of anxiety, frustration, fear, sadness.

In our brains, a small area called the Hypothalamus controls our Autonomic Nervous System, which can be separated into the Sympathetic Nervous System and the Parasympathetic Nervous System.

When we encounter stress, our bodies Sympathetic Nervous System switches into a “fight or flight” response, which may manifest as an increase in heart rate, increased blood pressure and increased sweating.

To help counteract these signs, we need to switch on our Parasympathetic Nervous System- which may also be referred to as “rest and digest”.  The PNS controls down regulation in the body, such as lowering blood pressure, decreasing heart rate and improving the digestive system.

Deep breathing and meditation can help switch on our PNS.  Both of which I actively encourage in and around an Acupuncture treatment. 

Along with focusing on our breath, Acupuncture may increase the release of endorphins in our bodies.  Endorphins are our “feel good” chemicals which play an important role in regulating our physical and emotional responses to stress. 

During an acupuncture session, it is important to find out how and when you may experience stress and what it does to your body or mind.  Questions surrounding your quality of sleep, digestive system, energy levels and general health are all vital pieces of information for designing an effective acupuncture treatment plan specifically for you. 

If you feel that you are suffering some signs and symptoms of stress in your body, and you’re looking for some ways to help decrease, or manage it, why don’t you give acupuncture a try!   Acupuncture may be claimed on health insurance if your policy covers it.  

By Dr Melanie Cowling, (TCM).