Acupuncture and the fight against stress and sickness
For centuries acupuncture has been a powerful eastern medicine tool. It’s effectiveness against fighting stress has been extraordinary for so many. Stress in and of itself is not commonly thought of as a disease, yet it is one of the major contributors to a general lack of wellness. While stress is unavoidable, depending on the severity and longevity, it can wreak havoc on our immune systems and cause many illnesses. The link between stress and sickness is a strong one and one that is rooted in behavior, preventative healthcare and general wellness maintenance. Although acupuncture’s role would be most effective as part of routine preventative healthcare, most treatment is sought after serious symptoms have presented themselves. This leaves questions open as to what and most importantly when is acupuncture most effective in the fight against stress and sickness.
Understanding the relationship between stress and sickness
Before understanding the treatment, it is important to understand the sickness. Stress, anxiety, depression all have physical negative effects on the body, but much of it starts in the mind. What this translates into is that our reaction to stress is what plays the biggest part in how our bodies will physically react. Stress hormones are released into the system as an eternal emergency response system, however when these hormones are released continually, it starts to hurt the mind and body. a Not only can these things damage the body on a physical level on their own, but the coping mechanisms that many may use are also harmful. From drugs, to alcohol, to erratic behavior, the ways many people choose to cope with stress are only a means of exacerbating stressful conditions.
Acupuncture and your body
Acupuncture has proven its usefulness in the fight against stress and its related illnesses. Acupuncture focuses on the nervous system and works to balance hormonal abnormalities. Scientists are still learning and discovering the reasons as to why acupuncture is so successful, particularly those that study the field of endocrinology. So far some of the tests that have been run on rats have shown that the effects of acupuncture directly impact the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis (HPA). This is the part of the mind that regulates important mental functions such as mood and emotions, as well as vital immediate functions such as digestion and energy storage. Although there is still much more work to be done in unlocking the mysteries of this ancient technique, we at least have a good idea of which centers of the brain acupuncture affects.
What role should acupuncture play in your life?
So, the question that remains is when should you schedule an appointment with an acupuncturist? Unfortunately, it is human nature to fix something only when it’s broken, rather than seek regular maintenance. The reality is that you should visit an acupuncturist before your symptoms reach severity. Regular visits, coupled with a healthy diet, regular exercise and a general eye on your personal wellness can help your health. In those cases where severe stress has started to take a toll on your body, it is advisable to seek the advice of your primary health physician as well as schedule an appointment with a certified acupuncturist to see what’s best for your health.