One of the most common side effects we see in our patients is a deep sense of relaxation after their treatment. Whatever symptoms the acupuncture is treating, we tend to see this result. Feedback we get includes comments about how how well people slept after acupuncture, how their partners noticed they were very chilled after a treatment, and how they seem react to things that would usually stress them out in a different way and be able to stay calm.
This is a wonderful aspect of receiving acupuncture. It is especially useful during IVF. A recent study has suggested that high stress levels may impact on IVF results, lowering the chance of success. Some fertility consultants refer directly to us during IVF and recognise that acupuncture may help to reduce stress during a potentially stressful time as well as possibly increasing blood flow, which is helpful when trying to prepare follicles and the uterus lining for implantation.
Most of us live with high levels of continual stress. The stress hormones which are essential in a flight or fight mode, are not so helpful when they become the norm for us. Whether you’re feeling like you need some time out for you, some re balancing as you’ve been through a stressful time, or you’re preparing for IVF, give acupuncture a try.
Research has shown that acupuncture treatment may specifically benefit anxiety disorders and symptoms of anxiety by:
- Acting on areas of the brain known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the ‘analytical’ brain, which is responsible for anxiety and worry (Hui 2010; Hui 2009);
- Improving stress induced memory impairment and an increasing AchE reactivity in the hippocampus (Kim 2011);
- Reducing serum levels of corticosterone and the number of tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive cells (Park 2010);
- Regulating levels of neurotransmitters (or their modulators) and hormones such as serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine, GABA, neuropeptide Y and ACTH; hence altering the brain’s mood chemistry to help to combat negative affective states (Lee 2009; Cheng 2009; Zhou 2008);
- Stimulating production of endogenous opioids that affect the autonomic nervous system (Arranz 2007). 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 (Arranz 2007);
- Reducing inflammation, by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors (Kavoussi 2007, Zijlstra 2003);
- Reversing stress-induced changes in behaviour and biochemistry (Kim 2009).
Please Call us on 0208 368 1130 for a free 15 mins phone consultation. Colette Assor Lic Ac MBAcC has 17 years experience and is a member of the British Acupuncture Council.