Stress is a common complaint cited by acupuncture patients, with a variety of possible associated symptoms. The most prevalent of these is anxiety, for which there is information about acupuncture treatment in the Anxiety Fact Sheet. There are also factsheets on other conditions that are affected by stress, such as back pain, chronic pain, depression, headache, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, menopausal symptoms, migraines, premenstrual syndrome and urinary incontinence.
- Improving stress induced memory impairment and an increasing AchE reactivity in the hippocampus
- Reducing serum levels of corticosterone and the number of tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive cells
- Regulating levels of neurotransmitters (or their modulators) and hormones such as serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine,
- Stimulating production of endogenous opioids that affect the autonomic nervous system. Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, while acupuncture can activate the opposing parasympathetic nervous system, which initiates the relaxation response;
- Reversing pathological changes in levels of inflammatory cytokines that are associated with stress reactions
- Reducing inflammation, by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors
- Source: British Acupuncture Council (//www.acupuncture.org.uk)