Traditional Chinese Medicine – Acupuncture is based upon the concepts of qi, blood and fluid movement within the body. Symptoms of stress often represent areas of excess or deficiency within the body – take for example insomnia. Insomnia represents an excess of qi (energy) in the mind resulting in poor sleep.
There are also numerous emotional and physical disorders that have been linked to stress including depression, anxiety, heart attacks, stroke, hypertension, immune system disturbances that increase susceptibility to infections, a host of viral linked disorders ranging from the common cold and herpes to AIDS and certain cancers, as well as autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Stress can have direct effects on the skin (rashes, hives, atopic dermatitis, the gastrointestinal system (GERD, peptic ulcer, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis) and can contribute to insomnia and degenerative neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease. In fact, it’s hard to think of any disease in which stress cannot play an aggravating role or any part of the body that is not affected (1).
Acupuncture appears to have moderate evidence in the reduction of the above signs/symptoms in bold, via various studies on randomized controlled trials (RCT’s) or pooled effect models (2).
Essentially, stress is something we all need to mitigate as it affects our physiology in a negative way. Traditional Chinese Medicine is all about balance. Exercise, eating a varied diet and staying warm throughout the winter months will assist you in maintaining good health.
- Acupuncture Evidence Project (McDonald J, and Janz S, 2017)