Acupuncture and Stress Relief

Alda's picture

Patients often report that they feel an increased sense of well-being, less anxious, and more calm with regular acupuncture treatments. We all know that acupuncture reduces stress, but a recent study confirms it. Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) have found that acupuncture significantly reduces a protein linked to chronic stress. A study was designed to monitor the effects of acupuncture on blood levels of neuropeptide Y (NPY), which is secreted by the sympathetic nervous system as part of the "flight or fight" stress response.

There were four groups:

  1. A control group that was not stressed and received no acupuncture.
  2. A group that was stressed and received no acupuncture.
  3. A group that was stressed and received 'sham' acupuncture.
  4. An experimental group that was stressed and received acupuncture.  

The experimental group that was stressed and received the acupuncture was measured to have NPY levels reduced to near the levels of the control group. A second experiment was conducted where the experimental group was continually stressed while acupuncture was discontinued and NPY continued to remain low, indicating a cumulative, long-term effect from the acupuncture.