The summer holidays are over; its back to work and your inbox is overflowing with emails. How do you feel? Tension in your neck and shoulders, aware of that niggly back pain as you sit at your desk, or feel one of your tension headache’s coming on? Well you won’t be alone. Work-related stress, according to the Government’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE), accounts for over a third of all new incidences of ill health. Acupuncture can help you cope.
Research shows acupuncture helps relieve stress
Stress can be caused by any number of things, including family, relationships and financial concerns. At a time when many people have lost their job, or fear it may happen or had their salary frozen, the accumulation of these stresses can be overwhelming. Links between stress and poor health include high blood pressure, allergies, migraines and depression. In extreme cases it can cause psychological problems such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or Cumulative Stress Disorder.
How can acupuncture help?
Traditional Chinese philosophy states that our health is dependent on the body’s motivating energy, known as qi, moving in a smooth and balanced way through a series of channels beneath the skin. Stress, anger, or any intense emotion acts like a traffic jam, blocking the free flow of energy in the body.
We may add to this blockage by drinking too much alcohol, eating a poor diet of fatty sugary foods and getting quick-caffeine fixes. Many people who are very stressed experience upper back, shoulder and neck pain. This is because stress causes the ‘snarling up’ of the energy passing through channels in these areas causing pain, tension and stiffness – often resulting in headaches as well.
Through acupuncture, these energy blockages can be addressed. Acupuncture can help energy flow smoothly, and alleviate not only the symptoms of stress and anxiety, but the stress and anxiety itself. In addition, acupuncture improves circulation of blood throughout the body. The calming nature of acupuncture also helps decrease heart rate, lowers blood pressure and relaxes the muscles. Many people fall asleep during an acupuncture treatment. One patient who had experienced disrupted sleep for many months due to the death of her husband, slept for 14 hours the night after her treatment (I also used SCENAR therapy). Her body was catching-up. Acupuncture allowed her body to begin healing.
Research by JC Butler et al (2005) was conducted on 55 patients suffering from stress-related emotional disorders. All patients were treated with acupuncture for the condition and the total effective rate for the reduction of symptoms in all 55 patients was 95.4%