Research Update: Acupuncture and Stress

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stress relief acupunctureStress is defined as a state of mental or emotional strain resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.

Here are some facts from the Global Organization for Stress:

  • Americans report higher levels of stress than most countries around the globe.
  • Surveys show that nearly one out of 75 people worldwide experience panic attacks.
  • Stress in American teenagers is now one of the top health concerns and it is being found that teenagers experiencing stress are more likely to develop long-term health problems.
  • We all experience stress in our lives.
  • But learning how to deal with it can be crucial for a happy, healthy life.


One way to deal with stress involves the use of the 3,000 year old medical system, known as Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM. TCM uses many different modalities or tools to treat the human mind and body. The most commonly used modality is acupuncture and it is gaining ground in the United States.

Studies show acupuncture can reduce stress when used regularly. The Journal of Endocrinology published a study showing stress hormones, like cortisol, were lower in rats that had received acupuncture. The use of acupuncture actually blocked the chronic stress hormones in the rats. It does the exact same thing for humans.

A study published in the Annals of Yoga and Physical Therapy looked at how acupuncture treatments affect stress levels in administrative workers at a local hospital.  The study included 58 participants who reported high levels of stress associated with their jobs. The participants were treated with eight weeks of  acupuncture.  After the eight acupuncture sessions, the workers reported their stress levels had decreased from high to moderate. The study shows that reduced stress levels are associated with regular acupuncture treatments due to the release of neurotransmitters in the body. This study and many others are providing evidence that acupuncture can indeed decrease stress levels and improve overall health.

Specific acupuncture points on the body are better for relieving stress and are used frequently by licensed practitioners. One of these points is Yin Tang. Yin Tang is located directly between the inner edges of the eyebrows and is a reflex point of the pituitary gland. Yin Tang calms the mind and relaxes the body by helping control hormone secretions.

Another acupuncture point, Kidney 1, can work wonders for decreasing stress. This point has amazing properties. Kidney 1 can sedate and calm the mind, while also regulating blood flow to the upper part of the body including the brain.

There are other tools used at our Edina acupuncture clinic that can relieve your stress, such as cupping and Chinese herbs. Call us at 952-831-8080 or go to our contact page  to find out more.



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