Got STRESS?? Who doesn’t? Especially while driving in Tucson! Many patients ask me if acupuncture can be helpful for reducing stress or helping with anxiety. Yes, it can! Emotional stress and anxiety can seriously affect health, cause chronic inflammation leading to more chronic disease such as cancer, affect sleep, impair relationships, weaken the immune system, lead to heart disease, and reduce our ability to make simple decisions or problem solve. Acupuncture has been shown to be helpful for ameliorating stress by releasing endorphins and activating stress reducing hormones in the body. The needles create a natural relaxation response in the body, lowering blood pressure, heart rate, and reducing cortisol levels in the blood. Needling certain points in the body can activate the release of certain neurotransmitters such as beta-endorphins, serotonin, adrenocorticotropic (ACTH) hormone, met-encephalin, and Substance-P, which help to re-balance the brain and induce a relaxation response. This, in turn, can relieve feelings of anxiety and depression, promote a sense of well-being, improve sleep, improve self-confidence, allow for clearer thinking, and promote calmness and creativity. Acupuncture once or twice a week, along with practicing a daily regime of breathing and relaxation, can improve your life, reduce your stress and help with anxiety.