Study Shows how Acupuncture Relieves Stress and Eases Anxiety

A 2013 study shows that acupuncture actually helps to relieve stress…and why. The study explores different biological systems that connect to acupuncture’s stress-relieving capabilities. Scientists found that stress hormones were much lower in rats that received electronic acupuncture.

Of course, many acupunturists know that acupuncture can reduce stress, but up to this point, there wasn’t much “there is a lack of biological proof of how or why this happens,” says study researcher Dr. Ladan Eshkevari, an associate professor of nursing at Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies. “We’re starting to understand what’s going on at the molecular level that helps explain acupuncture’s benefit,” he indicates.

For the research study, Eshkevari and associates developed a series of different tests with electronic acupuncture. Each of the different tests were set up to make sure that each rat got the specific very same dosage of pressure. They targeted the “Zusanli” point, the area below the knee, with the needle. This area is been known and reported for a long time that it can reduce stress and other conditions.

The 10-day experiment involved scientists dividing the rats into 4 groups: one control gropu without any stress and no acupuncture; another group was stressed for an hour every day however without acupuncture; one group was stressed out for an hour every day but recieved “fake” acupuncture on their tails, and a group was stressed out and got real acupuncture treatment at the “Zusanli” point (below the knee).

The body produces a selection of hormonal agents into the blood stream as a response to stress, which the scientists were able to measure in the rats. They examined blood hormonal agent levels produced by the hypothalamus, the adrenal gland and the pituitary gland– together these are called the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis. They likewise determined a peptide associated with animals’ “battle or flight” reactions, called NPY.

Scientist found that the “… electronic acupuncture obstructs the persistent, stress-induced elevations of the HPA axis hormonal agents and the considerate NPY path,” Eshkevari stated in the declaration.

Since stress has been linked heart disease, brain shrinkable, and other detrimental health effects, this study is important because it shows how acupuncture combats stress.