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Acupuncture For Stress

As acupuncturists, one of the most common things we treat is Stress. While it might sound crazy that sticking needles in someone could actually reduce stress, the reality is, it’s true. All of our patients can confirm that feeling less stressed and calm are the more noticeable and immediate side effects of acupuncture. That’s a good thing right?? 🙂

To prove that acupuncture actually improves stress, Ladan Eshkevari, assistant program director of the nurse anesthesia program at Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies conducted a study using rats.

“There weren’t many studies documenting how acupuncture could affect physiologic stress pathways, however, so she designed one using rats to investigate how the relationship might work. To create chronic stress in the animals, she exposed them to an ice bath for one hour a day over 10 days. One group of animals was just exposed to the ice bath, while another was treated beforehand with four days of electroacupuncture in a known active site in the stomach. And another group of rats was treated with a sham version of the acupuncture in a non-essential point 5 mm away. Eshkevari used an electric-based acupuncture in order deliver standard amounts of stimulation to the animals and avoid any confounding effects of inconsistent activation of the stomach site. To monitor levels of the stress hormones and their precursors, she and her colleagues also collected blood from the animals on the first day and again on day seven and 14 of the study. These levels were compared to those of control animals that were not treated to the ice bath. As expected, the animals that were only treated to the cold-stress showed higher levels of CRH and other stress hormones after their exposure. And the sham animals showed similar levels of activated stress hormones. But those that were pre-treated with acupuncture showed no such spike in these hormones. In fact, their CRH levels were similar to those of the controls who hadn’t been exposed to the ice bath at all!”

Read more about the study: