A common response given by patients when asked the question 'What would you like to achieve with acupuncture treatment?' is 'Help with Stress!'
Traditional Chinese medicine attributes symptoms of stress to an imbalance of vital body energy that can be corrected by acupuncture treatment. Patients usually begin to feel more energetic after the first acupuncture treatment and are much improved with six or so treatments, unless suffering from a debilitating disease.
The body responds to stress with a particular set of biochemical reactions called the stress response. At stressful times, the body quickly releases chemicals into the blood. This sets into motion a series of physical changes. These include a faster heart beat and breathing rate, higher blood pressure and increased muscle tension. These physical changes give the body added strength and energy and alertness. They prepare the body for dealing with stressful events such as giving a speech, aiding an accident victim, or fighting or fleeing from attack. For short periods there is no damage, the situation is survived and the individual can relax. However, if the stress becomes chronic or out of proportion this healthy response can become pathological. Over-alertness may progress to mental strain; anxiety, insomnia and exhaustion; raised breathing rate to panic attacks; raised heart rate to palpitations and increased muscle tone to muscular tension, pain or tremor.
Some of us commonly live under a constant state of stress, continually triggering the stress response and depleting valuable reserves of energy. Those who surpass individual limits of stress suffer the consequences. Stress manifests itself in many ways. Common symptoms are headache, backache, skin disorders, gastric problems and sleeping disorders. Psychological symptoms may include depression, anxiety, poor concentration, poor memory and loss of self-confidence. There is mounting evidence that chronic stress can lead to long-term health problems, such as hair loss, strokes, asthma, skin conditions, high blood pressure, heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, etc. Some studies indicate that as many as 60-90% of visits to 'healthcare professions' are for stress-related conditions.
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There is no standard bottled formula for stress. To cope with stress, tension and strain in our lives we often use quick fixes - alcohol, cigarettes, sugar and all sorts of over-the-counter and prescriptive drugs. Food can also be used to cope with stress and emotional discomfort. Many people eat when they feel anxious, depressed and stressed. There is no magic stress-reduction pill, neither do alcohol, sleeping tablets nor antidepressants offer any real solution to reducing stress. The taking of antidepressants, although often prescribed to reduce stress, offers at best only limited short-term relief and at worst, offers habituation to and even physiological dependence on a particular drug.
Acupuncture has a number of beneficial physiological effects. It has a relaxation response with decreased heart rate, lowered BP, stress reduction and increased energy and tissue regeneration. It has been shown to produce a calming or tranquilizing action that is of particular interest to people in states of stress. Acupuncture can relieve feelings of anxiety and depression, which may be serious handicaps for people trying to cope with difficult domestic, social and work problems. It can give a person a feeling of well-being and self-confidence. It is an effective substitute for sleeping pills, tranquilizers, and antidepressant drugs. Acupuncture can be used in many cases not only as an alternative to these drugs but also to treat side effects and dependence. In fact, a number of patients start acupuncture treatment specifically to come off of their antidepressants. There is considerable evidence that acupuncture could substantially reduce the consumption of drugs such as Prozac.
Wang's Acupuncture and Herbal Clinic proudly serving the Ballantyne Piper Glen area of Charlotte for more than a decade. We also are now able to serve you from our Rock Hill, SC location. Please see our LOCATIONS for more information.