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Needles Can Make You Less Stressed

Even though the ancient Chinese practitioners who developed acupuncture never envisioned the hurried pace of modern-day life, this centuries-old method can help to reduce your stress level.  Years of research show that acupuncture helps problems and chronic conditions such as neck, lower-back and knee pain, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. But, what about that nagging feeling of tension that everyday stressors cause?

Hormonal Connection

Whether you're stuck in rush hour traffic and are running late for a major meeting or you're feeling queasy when you pick up that big stack of bills sitting in the mailbox, stress has a biological basis. When the tension mounts, your brain releases stress hormones such as cortisol. A 2013 study published in the Journal of Endocrinology showed that electroacupuncture treatments could prevent stress by decreasing the levels of stress hormones.

Although the study was conducted using rats, and not humans, the researchers found that electric acupuncture stimulation could interfere with the biological pathway that produced stress hormones. This provides hope that the same methods can have similar effects on people.

Stress-Relief Safety

If you're already stressed, adding on safety concerns won't help to ease your daily worries. Provided that a qualified, trained practitioner provides the acupuncture, this procedure is relatively safe. Although complications can result, this is a non-medical method that doesn't carry the same side effects of taking pills.

Physical Stress Symptoms

Stress doesn't only manifest in mental ways. The physical symptoms of tension often include headaches, back pain or neck pain. Acupuncture has been shown to relax the body and relieve these signs of stress. Likewise, this ancient technique may relieve tension headaches.

A study in the 2012 Archives of Internal Medicine found that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of painful conditions such as chronic headaches.  The study also found differences between the effects of sham, or fake, acupuncture and the real thing. Instead of chalking the pain-relieving results up to the placebo effect, researchers at the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center found more notable positive results with the true acupuncture practices. If you're suffering from the ill physical effects of stress, considering this type of alternative therapy can make a difference in how you feel.

When fast-paced life puts the pressure on, acupuncture is a way to de-stress without having to get a prescription. As long as you choose a qualified professional, this ancient Chinese method is safe and beneficial to your health. Aside from relieving the general tension that you feel, this alternative technique can help to reduce the physical side of stress. Visit an acupuncturist like Relief Acupuncture today for more information.