Acupuncture Really Reduces Stress

By Helen Holmes on December 22, 2011

Acupuncture has long been used to help people reduce their stress levels. But there was no scientific study that has given strong basis if this is really true. Well, not anymore. Just recently scientists affirmed what most of us believe is true. Indeed, acupuncture really reduces stress.

New Study Reveals Acupuncture Actually Reduces Stress

The study was carried out by the researchers from Georgetown University in the US. Even though the experiment was made on rats, experts agree that acupuncture in human can actually decrease the level of protein that causes stress. It’s called protein neuropeptide Y (NPY) – a type of protein that is secreted by the sympathetic nervous system in humans. To come up with the results, the researchers grouped the rats into 4. The first group was composed of rats that aren’t stressed. The second group was stressed for an hour. Third group were composed of stressed rats and were given sham acupuncture in the tail. The fourth group was composed of highly stressed rats and they were all given acupuncture through electroacupuncture – a type of acupuncture that produces painless electrical charge. This is to ensure that all rats are given the same dose of acupuncture.

After the experimental group was given acupuncture, their NPY level dramatically reduced and became almost similar to that of the control group. The other groups that were stressed and were not given acupuncture showed high levels of NPY.

Another experiment was carried out by the same researchers. This time, they continued to stress the rats in four days and didn’t give them any acupuncture treatment. Surprisingly, their stress protein levels remained low. According to the lead researcher Dr Ladan Eshkevari, this was the first time that a molecular experiment was made to determine the correlation between acupuncture and stress. Other than reducing the stress level, acupuncture also built protection from stress.

What happens when you’re stressed?

Stress is a natural human response to varying stimuli. But when we’re overly stressed, our bodies become more vulnerable to illnesses. When you feel threatened, worried, and stressed, there are a lot of bizarre things that happen inside your body. Other than the rise in your NYP, your adrenaline starts pumping up, your heart rate rapidly goes up, your blood vessels dilate, and your metabolism slows down.

Before the study on rats were made, many people have sought acupuncture to relieve their stress. Acupuncturists believe that energy (which they refer to as Qi) is distributed all over the body through the channels which are called meridians. On the other hand, stress (called Chi) disrupts the flow of energy. This makes the body susceptible to varying kinds of diseases. Acupuncture involves the insertion of needles to the meridian points which aids in balancing the flow of energy in the body by stimulating them. This in turn reduces stress and improves the overall health of an individual. Regular use of acupuncture is found to produce positive effects on the body.

Learn more about the latest study about acupuncture and stress on Daily Mail.

 

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