In general, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body's homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional well-being.
How can acupuncture help my emotions?
- Acting on areas of the brain known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the 'analytical' brain, which is responsible for anxiety and worry.
- Regulating levels of neurotransmitters and hormones such as serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine; hence altering the brain's mood chemistry to help to combat negative affective states
- Stimulating production of endogenous opioids that affect the autonomic nervous system
- Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, while acupuncture can activate the opposing parasympathetic nervous system, which initiates the relaxation response.
- Reversing pathological changes in levels of inflammatory cytokines that are associated with anxiety
- Reversing stress-induced changes in behaviour and biochemistry
Acupuncture can be safely combined with conventional treatments such as medication or psycho-educational therapy, possibly enhancing their beneficial effects and reducing unwanted side-effects.