Here is where I share any interesting articles and research I come across about traditional acupuncture and health stuff in general
Burnt out Brits struggle with stress
The nation's stress levels are on the increase and we are risking our health by turning to sugary food, takeaways and alcohol to help cope with modern life a new survey has revealed.
The study by the British Acupuncture Council shows that over half of the UK residents surveyed are more stressed now than ten years ago and turn to junk food and booze in a bid to feel better. The study of 5,000 adults found that a third of us admit to comfort eating when stressed, a quarter confess to drinking alcohol and as a result 1 in 5 admit they put on weight.
Despite 70% saying they are aware prolonged periods of stress can have a long-term impact on their health, almost half of people admit they just put up with it with two thirds saying stress is totally unavoidable in their life. A lack of time (41%), wanting to have it all (25%) and difficulty switching off from work (24%) were cited as the top reasons for the rise of burnt out Brits.
There are many symptoms associated with stress including anxiety, nausea, insomnia, headaches and stomach pains. So how can we de-stress our lives, surely depriving ourselves of our junk food and alcoholic cravings just adds more pressure? According to Tamzin Freeman, a qualified member of the British Acupuncture Council reaching for your favourite foods or treating yourself to that bottle of wine after a hectic day may feel good in the moment but won't tackle the root cause of the problem.
Research does show that patients seeking to reduce their levels of anxiety find traditional acupuncture really does help them.
Accurate information about the incidence and prevalence of anxiety disorders is difficult to obtain; a survey by the Office of National Statistics (ONS 2000) found that 164 people per 1,000 had a neurotic disorder in the week before interview, which represents about 1 in 6 of all adults. They found that the most prevalent neurotic disorder among the population as a whole was mixed anxiety and depressive disorder (88 people per 1,000).
Research has shown that acupuncture treatment may specifically benefit anxiety disorders and symptoms of anxiety by:
- Acting on areas of the brain known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the 'analytical' brain, which is responsible for anxiety and worry (Hui 2010).
- Regulating levels of neurotransmitters (or their modulators) and hormones such as serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine, GABA, neuropeptide Y and ACTH; hence altering the brain's mood chemistry to help to combat negative affective states (Lee 2009; Samuels 2008; Zhou 2008; Yuan 2007).
- Stimulating production of endogenous opioids that affect the autonomic nervous system (Arranz 2007). Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, while acupuncture can activate the opposing parasympathetic nervous system, which initiates the relaxation response.
- Reversing pathological changes in levels of inflammatory cytokines that are associated with anxiety (Arranz 2007)
- Reversing stress-induced changes in behaviour and biochemistry (Kim 2009).
Burnt Out Brits is taken from an article produced by the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) March 2015
Research evidence information was obtained from the BAcC https://www.acupuncture.org.uk/a-to-z-of-conditions/a-to-z-of-conditions/1278-anxiety.html