Stress and Anxiety

Today is National Stress Awareness Day. If stress is getting the better of you acupuncture can help.

Stress and anxiety affects many people. Stress is usually used to describe a feeling that the demands made on people are greater than their ability to cope. People can feel overloaded, under intense pressure and very tense or emotional. Stress affects everyone and is a completely normal reaction to situations that people feel under pressure in.

We can look at stress in terms of external and internal stressors. External stressors are sources of stress that we are aware of around us. These can include simple daily hassles, life experiences or traumas. Internal stressors are the sources of stress that come from inside us, our thinking and feelings that cause us to feel unease. These can inlcude unrealistic expectations and low self esteem.

Stress and anxiety can manifest itself in various symptoms, ranging from physical, psychological and behavioural. Physical symptoms can include higher hart rate, sweaty palms, muscle tension, sleep disturbances, headaches, nausea, dizziness. Psychological symptoms can include anxious thoughts, irritability, low self esteem, inability to concentrate, feeling fearful, negative and unable to cope. Behavioural symptoms can include altered sleep pattern, use of drugs and alcohol, changes in appetite or behaviour, nail biting, teeth grinding.

There are many different ways of dealing with stress and anxiety, such as relaxation and breathing exercises, tai chi and yoga practices. Looking at lifestyle can also be beneficial.

How Acupuncture can help

Research shows that acupuncture helps lower stress hormones. It also helps to release endorphins, the natural feel-good chemicals in the brain. Acupuncture increases the circulation of blood throughout the body, helping to oxygenate the whole body and flushing out cortisol and other waste chemicals. The calming nature of acupuncture decreases heart rate, lowers blood pressure and relaxes muscles.

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