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‘Stress’ can be defined as any situation which tends to disturb the equilibrium between a living organism and its environment.

In daily life, there are many stressful situations such as the stress of work pressure, scholastic exam stress, psychosocial stress and physical stresses due to trauma and various medical disorders. The “fight or flight” response is the reaction by the nervous system to respond actively where a stress is perceived. During a stress reaction hormones including adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol are secreted and cause heart rate increase, blood pressure to rise, skeletal muscle to shorten, digestion to slow and the drawing of energy stores such as glycogen in for an urgent response.

Similarly from a Chinese medical systems paradigm-When our consciousness (Shen) perceives a threat, energy reserves from the “Kidney” (Yuan Qi = Vital reserves ) are called upon and directed to carry through the required action of fight or flight.

Where threats are perceived and not enacted on over and over again our Qi maybe experienced as muscle tension and pain, emotionality and dysphoria. This pent-up Qi response in TCM terms is called “Yu”, meaning depressed or constrained vital energy, a common scenario since we may not be able to respond as needed.

Stewing over stressful issues stimulates the body to continuously release cortisol and chronic elevated levels can lead to more serious issues such as depressed immunity, increase blood pressure and blood sugar, decreased libido and other metabolic disorders. In TCM parlance,when long term Qi constraint becomes deeply entrenched , physical disease changes may follow in the longterm.  Seen in cases where stress leads to significant disease.

Acupuncture, Massage therapy, medicinal herbal formula and Qigong are all tools used to relieve stress-induced Yu patterns, muscle tension and anxiety . These therapies can also reduce psychological sensitivity such that mental calmness is experienced more frequently reducing emotional flare up.

With regular acupuncture and massage therapy, patients notice an increase in energy levels and mental clarity as well as reduced emotional lability.

Stress Relief Program may assist by:

  • Relieving muscular tension, pain and spasm.
  • Reducing symptoms of anxiety such as body tension and tight chest, restlessness, irritability and low mood.
  • Reducing excessive sensitivity to psychological stressors such as “fight and flight” response.
  • Improving Sleep, mood and Quality of Life.

Stress Relief Program may help with symptoms of:

  • Stress – Chronic, Acute, Exam, Relationship
  • Chronic and Acute muscular tension
  • Tension and Migraine Headache 1
  • Anxiety 2
  • Symptoms of Depression 3
  • Insomnia. 4
Stress Relief Program consists of;
  • 5 and 10 session plan, (45 or 60 minute) treatment sessions.
  • The treatment sessions incorporate acupuncture, acu-therapies, and medicinal herbal prescriptions and Qigong exercise practice as required based on a full assessment using Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis.
  • We strongly do not advise suspending usual medical care or prescribed medications when utilising TCM methods above.

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Research Articles:

1 Acupuncture for the prevention of episodic migraine. Cochrane Database Syst Rev

The available evidence suggests that adding acupuncture to symptomatic treatment of attacks reduces the frequency of headaches

a. Acupuncture for the prevention of tension-type headache.

“The available results suggest that acupuncture is effective for treating frequent episodic or chronic tension-type headaches,”

2.Effects from acupuncture in treating anxiety: An integrative review.

A recent systematic review which included 11 high quality and 5 moderate quality studies, found that acupuncture had positive and statistically significant effects in reducing anxiety (Goyota et al 2016).

3a.Schizophrenia and Depression: A systematic Review of the Effectiveness and the Working Mechanisms Behind Acupuncture

In Depression, acupuncture has been shown to be effective in improving sleep, mood and Quality of Life. Bosch et al 2015

b.Clinical use of Hypericum perforatum (St John’s wort) in mild to moderate depression: A meta-analysis.

c.Acupuncture versus antidepressants in the management of postpartum depression: A systematic review.” British Journal of Midwifery

In a recent study acupuncture was found to be as effective to anti-depressant fluoxetine in post-partum depression.

4. Acupuncture for the treatment of insomnia. (potential positive benefit)

b Acupuncture to Reduce Sleep Disturbances in Perimenopausal and Postmenopausal Women: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

Acupuncture is associated with a significant reduction in sleep disturbances in women experiencing menopause-related sleep disturbances.