stress-reliefAccording to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions 90% of voluntary sector workers consider their job to be stressful.  Stress and anxiety are part and parcel of today’s world and we all will experience stress at some stage, but when stress takes over it can really disrupt one’s life.

Stress is a normal physical response by the body to a threat.  Known as the “fight or flight” response, it evolved as a survival mechanism to allow us to react quickly to life threatening situations.  After the danger or threat has passed our body returns to a normal balanced state.  Or so it should in theory!   Unfortunately in society today many people are under high levels of continuous stress which can be due to job insecurity, work life balance, relationships, financial worries to name but a few.  It’s certainly not surprising that since the recession hit GP’s have reported an increase in the amount of people suffering from work related stress.

And so the more the body’s stress response is on the more difficult it is to turn it off.  This constant stress can lead to physical symptoms including fatigue insomnia, feeling fun down, sweating, headaches, tense muscles or changes in appetite.  Psychological symptoms include anxiety, depression, irritability, mood swings, a negative outlook, lack of concentration and memory and feeling trapped and it can also affect behaviour in some cases such as increased alcohol intake, increased smoking, absenteeism, aggressiveness or social withdrawal.

So how does Acupuncture help?

Recent research has shown that acupuncture can help alleviate symptoms of stress such as low mood, insomnia, restlessness, anxiety, palpitations, tension and fatigue.

In Chinese medicine emotions play a huge part in the development of illness within the body. When the body is imbalanced qi can become ‘stuck’. Intense emotions such as stress, anger or anxiety can cause a blockage of qi in the body and so lead to a variety of symptoms such as those mentioned above.  Acupuncture can help alleviate the symptoms of stress by moving and regulating qi in the body and thus helping restore the body to a healthy balanced state.

From a western medical viewpoint Acupuncture is thought to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body’s homeostatic mechanisms and thus promotes physical and emotional well-being.

We see a huge amount of people who suffer from stress and stress related conditions in our clinics and and the results with acupuncture are amazing!  So if you’re feeling stressed and your energy is a bit “stuck”,  maybe acupuncture can help.

We’ve noted below some simple tips to help you on your way to a happier and stress free you.

Tips to Manage Stress

  • Pinpoint the stressors in your life – taking control of the stressors will help empower you to make the changes you need.
  • Positive attitude – When stressed we tend to focus on the negative but by taking time to look at the positives it can bring some perspective to certain situations.
  • Exercise regularly – Research shows that exercise can reduce and prevent stress.
  • Maintain a healthy diet – Healthy body, healthy mind. Getting the right nutrients in your diet play a big role in the prevention of stress.
  • Meditation – Research shows the mindfulness meditation helps reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Slow down – Have some rest and relaxation in your day to help restore your energy
  • Time management – Have a look at your schedule and daily responsibilities and try to cut back your to do list where you can to eliminate stress.
  • Make time for a hobby that is enjoyable and makes you happy!