In modern day society stress is nearly a given. Acute stress is very beneficial for our survival eg. An traffic accident can suddenly give us increased energy to open a trapped door. However chronic stress is where the problems arise. Most of the time we can not change our stressors in our life but we can change the way we react to the stress and this is where stress management plays a very important role.
Acupuncture can help lower your stress levels and help you with stress management more effectively.
What Are the Symptoms of Stress?
Emotional symptoms of stress include:
♣ Becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody
♣ Feeling overwhelmed, like you are losing control or need to take control
♣ Having difficulty relaxing and quieting your mind
♣ Feeling bad about yourself (low self-esteem), lonely, worthless, and depressed
♣ Avoiding others
Physical symptoms of stress include:
o Low energy
o Upset stomach, including diarrhea, constipation and nausea
o Aches, pains, and tense muscles
o Chest pain and rapid heartbeat
o Frequent colds and infections
o Loss of sexual desire and/or ability
o Nervousness and shaking, ringing in the ear, cold or sweaty hands and feet
o Dry mouth and difficulty swallowing
o Clenched jaw and grinding teeth
Cognitive symptoms of stress include:
♣ Constant worrying
♣ Racing thoughts
♣ Forgetfulness and disorganization
♣ Inability to focus
♣ Poor judgment
♣ Being pessimistic or seeing only the negative side
Behavioral symptoms of stress include:
o Changes in appetite – either not eating or eating too much
o Procrastinating and avoiding responsibilities
o Increased use of alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes
o Exhibiting more nervous behaviors, such as nail biting, fidgeting, and pacing
What Are the Consequences of Long-Term Stress?
A little stress every now and then is not something to be concerned about. Ongoing, chronic stress, however, can cause or exacerbate many serious health problems, including:
♣ Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety and personality disorders
♣ Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, heart attacks, and stroke
♣ Obesity and other eating disorders
♣ Menstrual problems
♣ Sexual dysfunction, such as impotence and premature ejaculation in men and loss of sexual desire in both men and women
♣ Skin and hair problems, such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema, and permanent hair loss
♣ Gastroinstestinal problems, such as GERD, gastritis, ulcerative colitis, and irritable colon.
How can acupuncture help with managing stress?
This is perhaps the most important systemic effect of acupuncture. Recent research suggests that acupuncture stimulates the release of oxytocin, a hormone and signaling substance that regulates the parasympathetic nervous system. You’ve probably heard of the “fight-or-flight” response that is governed by the sympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system has been called the “rest-and-digest” or “calm-and-connect” system, and in many ways is the opposite of the sympathetic system. Recent research has implicated impaired parasympathetic function in a wide range of autoimmune diseases, including arthritis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.
Part of Article source from webmd