Feb 12 2016

The Connection Between Acupuncture and Emotions

Have you ever wondered about the link between physical and emotional health? Many of us struggle with depression, anxiety, and anger. These are all normal emotions, but we can sometimes get stuck dwelling on the negative things in our lives.

There is a strong connection between our emotional health and physical health. An article in Chinese Medicine Living explains that “emotions are a natural part of being human. Feeling joy, sadness and anger [are] all perfectly normal experiences we have in our day to day lives. It is when these emotions become excessive, or are repressed and turned inward that they can … cause disease.”

One of the reasons that keeping our emotions locked up inside can have negative effects on our physical health is that they remain stuck inside of our bodies. This can lead to a blockage of blood and energy flow. This puts stress on our bodies. According to Dr. Barbara Fredrickson from the Center for Spirituality & Healing at the University of Minnesota:

Chronic stress from negative attitudes and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness can upset the body’s hormone balance and deplete the brain chemicals required for feelings of happiness, as well as have a damaging impact on the immune system … Poorly managed or repressed anger (hostility) is also related to a slew of health conditions, such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, digestive disorders, and infection.

Acupuncture can help relieve that stress. Acupuncture therapy can play in releasing stress by:

  • Focusing on acupuncture points that help reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well anxiety and worry.
  • Regulating hormones such as serotoninnoradrenaline, and dopamine. This changes the brain’s mood chemistry and can help address the physical impacts of negative emotional states.
  • Stimulating the body’s own production of endorphins. If you’ve seen the movie Legally Blonde, you might remember Elle Woods explaining that “exercise produces endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.”
  • Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, while acupuncture can activate the opposing parasympathetic nervous system, which initiates the relaxation response.

How does that work? Acupuncture therapist Lynn Jaffee, an acupuncture therapist from Minneapolis, explains:

According to Chinese medical theory, energy flows through our body through a network of “roads” [that are] almost like a highway system. Stress, anger, or any intense emotion acts like a traffic jam, blocking the free flow of energy in the body … In a highway system, when there is road construction or an accident, traffic may be also backed up on other secondary roads that feed into or out of the affected area. This is true in the body, too. Stress may affect many other parts of the body, most notably digestion, the ability to sleep, pain conditions, and blood pressure. Stress can also aggravate an already troublesome health condition.

Through acupuncture, theses energy blockages can be addressed. Acupuncture points serve as the on and off ramps to the energy highway, and can help energy flow smoothly, and alleviate not only the symptoms of stress and anxiety, but the stress and anxiety itself. (posted at acufinder.com)

If nothing more, acupuncture sessions give you the opportunity to come in and rest while the needles do their work rerouting our body’s energy flow.

Acupuncture can address the physical impacts of emotional health, but it is only one piece of the puzzle. Check out this collection of essays about incorporating emotional health into your overall healthcare perspective. Then keep coming back to The Gathering Point’s website to get more information on how acupuncture can be an asset for your overall well-being.

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