Acupuncture can offer stress relief

Technique has a two-fold effect

Author: Jodi Mohrmann, Managing editor of special projects, jmohrmann@wjxt.com
Published On: Dec 13 2013 12:59:01 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 16 2013 06:20:00 AM EST

You might think it would be hard to relax with lots of needles sticking out of your body.
but when it comes to calming down, more and more people are turning to acupuncture for stress relief.

Cleveland Clinic Acupuncturist Jamie Starkey says acupuncture for stress has a two-fold effect.

 "So, as we're treating patients, patients are not only engaged in that relaxation response, but also the brain begins to release endorphins and the endorphin response gives you that euphoric-like sensation," she said.

Starkey says when it comes to stress, most people feel an immediate response to acupuncture. Some studies have found acupuncture lowers stress hormones, while others report a release of endorphins triggered by the technique.

Acupuncture alone may not be enough to get you the desired effect, but it works well as part of a multi-disciplinary approach to managing stress.

 "Acupuncture is one piece because it helps to induce the relaxation response and then teaching them things like how to do meditation and yoga," said Starkey.

She adds that meditation and yoga can be done at home, between acupuncture sessions.