If your life seems to be a daily struggle
If you feel “burnt out”
If you cannot seem to truly relax
You may not realise it… but you are more than likely suffering from the effects
of STRESS and ANXIETY
Don’t suffer in silence do something about it. Stress and anxiety is very self destructive in many ways. It can affect your mood and make it more difficult to regulate emotions, causing irritability or mood swings. People who are stressed or anxious may have difficulties with concentration, decision-making, and memory, as well.
So as you can see it can affect all aspects of your life including your family relationships, your work, and the many activities you have previously enjoyed in your life.
Modern living places many demands on you and it can be difficult to keep your stress levels down. Often people do not realise the effect stress is having on them, or they do not connect their mental health with physical symptoms. For example a patient may have an exacerbation of a skin rash such as psoriasis; this reaction is most likely to be caused by stress. You may feel your sex drive has diminished a great deal lately. Or you may be suffering from ongoing digestive issues, or continual neck and shoulder tension. Symptoms like these are signs of stress!
Stress triggers the” flight or fight” response affecting the nervous system and changing hormone levels in your body. The interplay of stress hormones of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis and the sympathetic nervous system is critical in the stress response. Acupuncture has been shown to moderate this response.
DRUGS ARE NOT THE ANSWER
Drugs while relieving some of the symptoms of stress and anxiety are not considered to be a good long-term solution for this problem. Anxiety medications also come with side effects and safety concerns, such as the risk of addiction. Benzodiazepines or tranquillisers may have side effects such as clumsiness, slurred speech, confusion and disorientation, light-headedness, and a number of other side effects.
Older adults are more sensitive to the sedating effects of anti-anxiety medication. Even small doses can cause confusion, amnesia, loss of balance, and cognitive impairment that looks like dementia.
Expectant mothers should avoid anti-anxiety drugs. Since these anxiety medications cross the placenta, their use during pregnancy can lead to dependence in the baby. Following birth, the baby will then go through withdrawal, with symptoms such as muscle weakness, irritability, sleep and breathing problems, and trembling. These anxiety drugs are excreted in breast milk, so they should be avoided while breastfeeding, too.
Acupuncture is safe and effective and does not have the side effects associated with these types of medications.
Some physical signs and symptoms of stress may include;
- Headaches; due to jaw clenching, tensing muscles around the shoulders, neck, or face, and teeth grinding.
- Gut disorders; such as diarrhoea, constipation, nausea and upset stomach
- Acne; due to increased cortisol levels
- Eczema or psoriasis; increased inflammation in the skin
- Aches and pains; increased muscle tension, often in the shoulders
- Insomnia; chronic stress increases rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and decreases slow-wave or deep sleep, which is considered to be the most restful form of sleep.
- Low resistance to colds and flu; due to overproduction of hormones that regulate your immune system.
- Decreased interest in sex and reduced fertility; due to inhibition of gonadotropin-releasing hormone, the body’s main sex hormone, this can lead to reduced sperm count, ovulation, and sexual activity.
- Panic Attacks, your baseline arousal level becomes higher than normal, increasing your likelihood of experiencing a panic attack.
The science behind acupuncture for stress and anxiety
The two main hormones involved in the stress response are adrenaline and cortisol, during stress an excess of these hormones is released, causing many of the physical symptoms already discussed.
It is well documented that acupuncture can stimulate the release of endorphins; hormones that are responsible for relieving pain. It also has been clinically proven to lower stress-related cortisol levels. The theory behind this is that it modifies the autonomic nervous system to lower the release of cortisol levels during prolonged stress. The general sense of well-being may also be attributed to increased levels of mood altering neuropeptides including melatonin, serotonin, and dopamine.
There is hope! A safe and effective alternative to drugs
Acupuncture is an amazingly effective tool to reduce stress. Patients may often fall asleep on the treatment table….and leave the clinic feeling incredibly relaxed.
I cannot possibly remove all the various stresses in your life but I can change how your body reacts to stress.
During your consultation we will also discuss strategies to help lower stress levels such as diet, exercise, cutting back on caffeine and alcohol, and other ways of relieving stress. Make an appointment today 08 8376 6783
Initially treatment may be once per week until significant improvement is reached, and then an occasional maintenance treatment may be required.