How to Use Acupuncture to Deal with Stress

Updated on November 27th, 2019
Acupuncture For Stress

According to reports published by Western medicine, acupuncture activates the natural pain killers, affects natural functions and also releases endorphins in the body. Acupuncture is perceived by Chinese medicine as a way to improve the functioning of the body by modifying imbalances or blockages inside the organs.

  • The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA)(1) reveals that there is strong evidence to substantiate the use of acupuncture for stress and the treatment of other anxiety disorders.
  • Depression is affecting approximately 17.5 million Americans at the present time.  People are searching for options to avoid anti-depressant medications.

An article was published in the Journal of Endocrinology in the recent past on the effects of animal studies conducted at Georgetown University Medical Center. It reveals the effects of acupuncture on rats that were exposed to stress conditions.

The rats had lesser blood hormone levels secreted by the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis. This axis also regulates different processes such as digestion, emotions & moods along with the body`s immune system among others.

Eshkevari, the author of this particular study reveals that electronic acupuncture apparently obstructs the elevations induced by the stress of the HPA axis hormones. This process occurs along with the NPY pathway. NPY is a peptide that is released in a particular “fight or flight” response.

How Does Acupuncture Work?


In the initial session, the acupuncturist solicits information on the symptoms which are to be treated. Make sure you divulge details of your medical history, the medications you consume on a daily basis, and possible health concerns.

In the acupuncture for stress session, long, thin needles are inserted inside the body`s pressure points. The time taken for this procedure ranges from 10 minutes to half an hour and depends entirely on the pressure points utilized for the process.

The needles might be twisted or an electrical pulse can also be applied to it if required. The needles are carefully removed after leaving them in the body for approximately 20 minutes.

Acupuncture for stress treatment is effective only after a few visits to your acupuncturist. Subtle changes are found in patients after repeated visits.

Acupuncture Points for Stress Relief

The Acupuncture Pressure Points for Stress Are

  1. Feng Chi: Apply pressure with your thumb on the ear bone to the spot where the neck muscles fasten to the skull.
  2. He Gu: Massage the spot of the muscle which is visible after closing the thumb and index fingers together. This should be done for four to five seconds.
  3. Zu San Li: This point should be stimulated regularly for longevity and improved health according to traditional Chinese literature.
  4. Jian Jing: Stimulate the shoulder muscle by pinching it with the thumb and middle finger for a few seconds.
  5. Tai Chong: Stimulate this pressure point by applying pressure on the foot above the place linking the skin of your large toe and the subsequent toe.

 [ Read: Beat Your Stress and Anxiety with These Yoga Poses ]

Things to Consider When You Use Acupuncture for Stress and Anxiety Relief

Acupuncturists insert fine needles into the pressure points on “meridians”. These points are present throughout the body and are also linked with certain organs.

Acupuncture essentially eliminates the barriers on the energy highway.

People experience soreness after acupuncture for stress sessions. This is the main side effect of this treatment. It can leave traces of bruising even if the signs are not visible after a few hours. Pinpricks(2) of pain are also experienced by some people during these sessions.

Licensed acupuncturists always use disposable and sterile needles for this procedure. If this is not done, you can run the risk of infection. Always avail the services of a skilled & certified acupuncturist to avoid complications.

It is better to avoid acupuncture if you have Hemophilia which is a bleeding condition.

Recent studies reveal that counseling, psychotherapy, medications, acupuncture or a combination of these treatments have a positive effect on alleviating the symptoms of depression.

These conditions usually require preliminary protocol treatment of 8 sessions or more if required. A maintenance schedule can be reached as soon as you show signs of improvement.

Acupuncture is thus a low-risk treatment option to deal with stress and anxiety. Alternative treatments like exercise, relaxation, and meditation can significantly assist in reducing stress.


1. What Are the Benefits of Acupuncture for Stress?

A: The benefits of acupuncture for stress include relief from allergies, headaches, reduced Neck Tension, Back Pain and stress. You can also benefit from an improved Immune System and a lesser craving for cigarettes.

2. Is Acupuncture Effective for Alleviating Stress and Anxiety?

A: Research reveals that acupuncture has a relaxing effect on the body. It might be the additional treatment you require to deal with anxiety, stress, symptoms of panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.

3. Does a Person Feel Better or Worse After a Session?

A: After a session of acupuncture it is normal to feel fatigued. You will definitely feel better in the morning apart from some soreness in the body where the needles were injected in the session.

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