Acupuncture works like physical therapy for the nervous system, which makes it an effective treatment to reduce the effects of stress on the body. When we feel threatened, the nervous system responds with a cascade of biological changes, getting us ready to fight off bears and run away from lions. However, most of the threats we face in daily life are mental and emotional stressors, not bears and lions. Acupuncture is able to calm and regulate these stress responses in the body, which can improve long term health and wellbeing.
Acupuncture is a safe and effective way to create positive changes in central nervous function. The central nervous system is what governs our fight or flight responses (sympathetic nervous system) and our rest and digest responses (parasympathetic nervous system). By helping to regulate the alarms of stress, acupuncture is able to help shift nervous function away from crisis and back toward rest and healing.
Through adjusting these stress responses in the nervous system, acupuncture is able to more fully activate the Central Autonomous Network, which is the part of the brain that lives in the present and handles working memory and sensory input. In other words, it helps bring us back to ourselves and cultivate awareness of present moment.
The effects of acupuncture on stress last for longer than the acupuncture session itself. Sessions are a generally relaxing and restorative experience, and the effects of a series of treatments for stress have been shown to last for months afterward. Basically, acupuncture is able to help train the nervous system how to better respond to stress.
Acupuncture is an effective way to manage stress by toning and regulating the nervous system. It addresses the imbalances caused by both acute and chronic stress, helping to move the body and mind out of crisis mode. This creates space and energy for rest, restoration, and health.