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How To Help Your Stress By Acupuncture!

Updated: May 4


How Acupuncture help with Stress?

Acupuncture is a technique that Traditional Chinese medicine utilise to treat many conditions including anxiety and stress. Traditional Chinese Medicine believes in presence of a flow of energy named “QI” (vital force) all around in your body and Acupuncture stimulate the flow of QI. In their philosophy QI moves in your body like blood does, but separately. Blood circulates in your blood vessels and carries oxygen and nutrition to different organs. However, QI circulates in its own circulatory channels named Meridians. Whenever a factor blocks the flow of Qi like anxiety, different diseases or poor nutrition, the Qi will be trapped behind the block and become stagnated which is usually followed by signs and symptoms of different mental and physical diseases. To improve the diseased condition, we need to remove the stagnation of QI. For this purpose, the Traditional Chinese Medicine utilize the “Acupuncture” technique. In acupuncture your practitioner uses fine needles on especial points along the meridian, to help remove the blockage. They believe Qi is better accessible in these especial acupuncture points and can be better influenced if it be stimulated directly by needle. Therefore, by doing acupuncture, reinstate of the free movement of Qi pursues, which leads to improvement of anxiety and health status overall.

The findings of a research, published in January 2021, in Annals of General Psychiatry says that acupuncture treatment has beneficial effects compared to controls for helping anxiety in patients with Generalized Anxiety Syndrome, but still, they need more researches to better understand the role of acupuncture in helping with anxiety and stress presentations.


How often should I do acupuncture for stress?

Depending on chronicity of your anxiety and intensity of your stressful situation, your practitioner decides to do your acupuncture treatment 1-2 times per week for the first 2 weeks and then once a week might be enough depending on your special circumstances.


How long does it take for acupuncture to work for stress?

Traditionally it is a 10–12-week treatment. In a research comparing traditional acupuncture and sham acupuncture, it showed a considerable initial decrease in perceived stress in the first few weeks. At the end of treatment (12 weeks), the traditional acupuncture group had better treatment outcome than the sham acupuncture group.


A young female receiving acupuncture treatment for stress
Acupuncture can help reduce stress.

Where do my practitioner insert the needles for my stress?

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine philosophy, there are very specific locations based on your physical or mental symptoms. Stimulating these points by needling helps your vital force move properly. Points for anxiety may include somewhere on your ears, between your eyebrows, or the insides of your wrists or on the lower legs. Choice of the acupuncture points is based on the Chinese medicine comprehensive history taken and examination on your tongue and pulse.


What happens after acupuncture for anxiety?

During and after the acupuncture session, usually people feel relaxed. Some people feel energized. This relaxation depending on the patient’s especial environment and circumstances and stays with them for few days after the session. Overall, as the acupuncture is holistic approach to address the root cause of your presentation, people tend to have better sleep, mood and digestion for few days afterwards. Still, people are different. There are people who do not benefit from acupuncture. If your symptoms don’t improve after few weeks of treatment, acupuncture is not for you.


What to avoid after acupuncture?

It is recommended to choose more nutritious food to continue build up on healthier Qi. Whole food, warm cooked food is the best. It is better to avoid Alcohol, tobacco, junk food, caffeine strenuous exercise and cold weather for a while. Considering the holistic perspective of doing acupuncture, choosing better lifestyle such as avoiding stressful situations and limiting screen time is profoundly recommended,


What are the side effects of acupuncture?

Overall, acupuncture is a low-risk procedure. However, few side effects are accompanied by acupuncture such as minor bleeding in the site of needling and bruise afterwards, soreness where the needles were inserted during the treatment. Infection of the needle site is very rare, as using disposable single-use needles is the standard of practice nowadays, so the risk of infection is minimal.


Is there any contraindication for acupuncture?

Acupuncture despite being relatively safe procedure, has few relative contraindications.

1) Bleeding disorders or if you are taking blood thinners, anticoagulants. There is a greater chance of bleeding in the site of needling and bruise afterwards

2) Having cardiac pacemaker. If acupuncture treatment is accompanied by use of electro-stimulation, it may interfere with the pacemaker’s function.

3) Pregnancy. Few acupuncture points are forbidden for needling during pregnancy


a happy female patient satisfied with acupuncture treatment.
Acupuncture treatment helps you smile again!

How many sessions of acupuncture are needed for anxiety?

The chronicity of your condition primarily determines the duration of treatment you may need and the number of sessions per week and in total. Traditionally perception of stress may decline after 10-12 sessions. However, it really depends on how long you were in this condition, how chronic your anxiety is, your lifestyle factors, the environment and job factors and whether you can avoid your exposure to stressors. These are determinants that contribute to the level of your response to acupuncture.


How long do the effects of acupuncture last for me?

Generally speaking, the effects may last from a few days to 10-14 days. However, the longevity of your acupuncture treatment outcome depends on the chronicity of your symptoms, your lifestyle, your health status and your previous medical condition.


How long is an acupuncture session for anxiety?

The first session which is the Chinese Medicine comprehensive history taking, Chinese appearance, tongue and pulse examination plus point selection, is usually 60-90 minutes. The following treatment sessions are 20-30 minutes each.


How long do acupuncture needles stay in my body?

The acupuncture needles are very thin needles which are single use, disposable and sterile. During the treatment your practitioner based on your special needs decides to let the needles stay 20-30 minutes. During that period it is recommended that you relax and practice let it go.


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