Does Acupuncture Help with Stress and Anxiety?

Acupuncture has long become one of the most widespread, even universal methods of treating various diseases. But why does the needle heal? 

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At the everyday level, the explanation is simple: they say, the needles activate the so-called acupuncture points on the body, which are supposedly associated with different organs. But this version does not suit scientists. They need to understand what actually happens in the body, what effects, and primarily biochemical ones, does the needle cause? What changes are taking place at the biological level?

American scientists at Georgetown University Medical Center decided to study this through the example of chronic stress. The fact is that practicing doctors claim that the effect of acupuncture is most clearly manifested in the fight against this particular ailment. It was studied how the content of the "bouquet" of proteins and hormones, which are released during stress, changes in rats.

These indicators depend on the work of the hypothalamus, pituitary gland and adrenal glands. The interactions between these organs govern the stress response, regulate digestion, the immune system, mood and emotions, and sexuality. In addition, the scientists measured the level of neuropeptide Y, which is secreted in rodents with a sympathetic (mobile) nervous system. This peptide is activated in critical situations, as a fight-or-flight response to severe stress.

What did scientists find out? It turned out that under severe stress, acupuncture blocks the release of hormones produced by the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands, as well as the level of neuropeptide Y. It prevents a person from being seized by anxiety and fear, in fact, blocking stress. So acupuncture regulates a very delicate mechanism in the work of the nervous system.

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