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Discovering Relief: Acupuncture as Your Ally in Conquering Stress

Stressed out person with phones

Have you noticed your cortisol levels rise as you go about your day? Your

heart beats a little faster, your breathing becomes a little rougher, perhaps

your skin has a tingly feeling, your attention bats from one thing to another,

never fully engaging with the present moment. Whether it is high-speed travel

to drop your kids off at school or sports practice or taking your aging parent to

yet another doctor’s appointment for an illness that doesn’t seem to be going

away, your body responds to psychological, emotional, and physical stress in

a variety of interconnected ways. From headaches to digestive upset to

anxiety or sleep disturbance, your body is giving you a signal that it needs

attention, and it needs restoration.

In our fast-paced lives, stress can often feel like an insurmountable hurdle,

affecting our well-being and quality of life. For those accustomed to Western

medicine, exploring alternative therapies may seem unfamiliar, but when it

comes to conquering stress and its related ailments, acupuncture offers a

promising avenue worth considering. At South Slope Acupuncture & Wellness

in Asheville, NC, we merge ancient wisdom with modern science to provide

you with evidence-based treatments tailored to your needs.

Bridging the Gap: Understanding Stress in Western Terms

In Western medicine, stress is recognized as more than just a feeling—it's a

physiological response that impacts every system in our bodies. When stress

becomes chronic, it can manifest in various ways, from tension headaches to

sleepless nights to heartburn or irritable bowel syndrome. These symptoms

are not merely isolated occurrences but are interconnected manifestations of

an underlying imbalance rooted in daily perceptions and experiences.

Acupuncture: Your Natural Stress Reliever

Acupuncture may seem unconventional to those accustomed to pills and

prescriptions, but its effectiveness in addressing stress-related ailments has

garnered attention from researchers worldwide.

1. Headaches: If you're plagued by tension headaches or migraines,

acupuncture could offer relief. Do your headaches appear with a

particular stimulus, or do they appear out of nowhere?

Research suggests that acupuncture can reduce the frequency and

severity of headaches by promoting relaxation and improving blood


2. Anxiety: Feeling overwhelmed by constant worry and anxiety? Are you unable

to see the bright side or concerned that you will miss an important

detail? Anxiety shows up in a myriad of ways: tightness in the chest,

inability to focus, sleep disturbance, digestive issues, and many more.

Acupuncture may provide the calm you seek. Studies have shown that

acupuncture can modulate the body's stress response by regulating the

release of cortisol^[2]^.

3. Digestive Issues: Stress can take a toll on your digestive system,

leading to symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, and irregular bowel

movements. These digestive symptoms interrupt your body as a whole

as well as your ability to make and store energy and, therefore your

ability to function throughout the day (and restore at night!) Acupuncture

targets specific points to regulate digestive function and alleviate


4. Sleep Disturbance: Acute and Chronic stress disrupts the delicate

balance of hormones and neurotransmitters responsible for regulating

our sleep-wake cycle, leading to insomnia, fragmented sleep, and

daytime fatigue. Furthermore, sleep disturbances can exacerbate

stress, creating a vicious cycle that takes a toll on our physical and

mental well-being. Acupuncture has been shown to modulate the

activity of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric

acid (GABA), plays a crucial role in regulating sleep^[4]^.

The Science Behind the Needles

You may be wondering how sticking needles into your body could possibly

alleviate stress. Acupuncture works by stimulating points along pathways called channels, which correspond to specific organs, neuroanatomy networks, and systems in the body. This stimulation triggers the release of neurotransmitters and

hormones, promoting relaxation, pain relief, and improved circulation.

Embracing a Holistic Approach

At South Slope Acupuncture & Wellness, we understand that stress is not just

a mental burden—it's a physical and emotional one, too. That's why our

approach to acupuncture supports both symptom management and regulating

the root cause of your stress. If you're ready to break free from the grip of

stress and reclaim your agency and well-being, acupuncture could be the

solution you've been searching for. Let us guide you on your journey to

restored health and joyful vitality.

Remember, you do not need to wait to begin your journey to better health. Book a free 15-minute meet and greet to get started.

At South Slope Acupuncture & Wellness, you can work with one practitioner or build your own team of holistic practitioners! Reach your optimum health in person or online.

Contact us to learn more about our heart health services and how acupuncture can benefit you.



This information is generalized and intended for educational purposes only. Due to potential individual contraindications, please see your primary care provider before implementing any strategies in these posts.


1. Linde, K., Allais, G., Brinkhaus, B., Fei, Y., Mehring, M., Vertosick, E. A.,

... & White, A. R. (2016). Acupuncture for the prevention of tension-type

headache. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 4(4),


2. Eshkevari, L., Permaul, E., & Mulroney, S. E. (2013). Acupuncture

blocks cold stress-induced increases in the

hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal axis in the rat. Journal of

Endocrinology, 217(1), 95-104.

3. Ma, T. T., Yu, S. Y., Li, Y., Liang, F. R., Tian, X. P., Zheng, H., ... &

Guo, Y. (2014). Randomised clinical trial: an assessment of

acupuncture on specific meridian or specific acupoint vs. sham

acupuncture for treating functional dyspepsia. Alimentary Pharmacology

& Therapeutics, 39(9), 1046-1057.

4. Spence, D. W., Kayumov, L., Chen, A., Lowe, A., Jain, U., Katzman, M.

A., ... & Shapiro, C. M. (2004). Acupuncture increases nocturnal

melatonin secretion and reduces insomnia and anxiety: A preliminary

report. Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 16(1),


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