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Stress and Acupuncture

Date Published: 20 Mar, 2019

At Haynes Acupuncture on the Gold Coast, we strive to provide quality treatment using the fundamentals of Traditional Chinese Medicine with Japanese needling and moxibustion techniques.

Stress: A challenge to a person’s capacity to adapt to inner and outer demands. Stress typically produces physiological and emotional arousal and elicits cognitive and behavioural efforts to cope with stress. One of the most significant sources of stress is any form of change; any event that requires you to make a readjustment can be a stressor, both negative and positive events that require re-adjustment can cause stress.

In a fast-paced world, it is easy to overwork yourself, take on too many commitments and extend yourself to the point of exhaustion. This imbalance can weaken the body. If we take care of ourselves by eating properly, getting enough rest and exercise, along with practicing techniques that release tension and balance our bodies – then our resistance is strong. If, on the other hand, we abuse our bodies, push ourselves too hard, eat poorly, don’t exercise, and fail to release tension, our systems weaken, leaving us more prone to illness.

Generally, there are three types of stressors:

  1. Life events, e.g. Death of spouse (negative); Marriage (positive).            
  2. Catastrophes: Stressors of massive proportions, these can be caused by nature (e.g. hurricanes, tsunamis, tornadoes), or can be caused by humans (e.g. civil wars, torture)
  3. Daily hassles: Everyday transactions that are frustrating or irritating, e.g. Dealing with rush hour, bickering with a parent or partner

How do we cope with stress?

  1. Problem-focused: Strategies aimed at changing the situation that is producing the stress, these strategies use problem-solving to deal with the stressor itself, e.g. trying to remove the stressor, planning ways to resolve the stressor, seeking advice or help to change the stressor and avoiding the (predicted) stressor by planning for it ahead of time.
  2. Emotion-focused: Strategies aimed at regulating thoughts and feelings associated with the situation, these strategies deal with the thoughts and feelings that the stressor elicit (instead of the stressor itself), usually used if you cannot remove or change the stressor, e.g. alcohol and drug use are common mechanisms for escaping from emotional distress.
  3. Social support: Other people in whom we can confide in, and from whom we expect help and concern, social support is beneficial to both our physical and mental well-being e.g. can improve immune system and sense of closeness to others.

In a recent study to ascertain if acupuncture reduces stress over time patients with hypertension received manual body acupuncture, some participants heart rate variability increased over weeks to months during the course of acupuncture treatment as evidenced by a decrease in their low-frequency–to–high-frequency ratio. This would indicate a relative decrease in their physiologic stress. (1)

Some stress is necessary, but if you really want to commit to your health here at Haynes Acupuncture we will tailor a specific program for you and get you back on the road to wellness. If you are wanting to find out how we can help you, an initial consultation will determine your own personal treatment plan and set you on a path back to health, please give us a call on 5531 6461 or email us on info@haynesacupuncture.com.au

Reference:

Sparrow, K., & Golianu, B. (2014). Does acupuncture reduce stress over time? a clinical heart rate variability study in hypertensive patientsMedical Acupuncture26(5), 286. doi:10.1089/acu.2014.1050

© Haynes Acupuncture Gold Coast 2019

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Covid-19 Update

Haynes Acupuncture Gold Coast are still operating standard hours to the general public. With the unfortunate circumstances of Covid-19 Australia-wide, we have put into effect strict hygienic protocols for the safety of our patients and staff. With the fluidity of the current situation, we are regularly keeping up to date with the Australian Government Department of Health recommendations.

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