Acupuncture is an ancient form of healing and a key component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It’s been used for thousands of years to treat a wide range of health issues.
Today, many people seek acupuncture for pain relief. However, more and more people are including acupuncture as part of their wellness plans to help manage stress and improve overall health.
When it comes to mental health, acupuncture may help, especially when used to combat stress. At Legacy Pain and Regenerative Medicine, our chiropractor, Dr. Trace Alexander, offers acupuncture to treat a variety of conditions and complement other therapies.
We see the many benefits our patients get from their acupuncture treatments. We want to share how the ancient practice may help with mental health.
Your mental wellness
Your mental health is an important component of your overall health and well-being. It affects how you think and feel and plays a major role in how you handle stress, interact with others, and make decisions.
There are many factors that affect your mental health, including genetics, brain chemistry, life experiences, and lifestyle choices. These factors may lead to mental health problems that change how you think, feel, and behave.
Mental health problems affect millions of people in the United States. But there are many effective treatments that can help you feel better.
Though you can’t change some of the factors that influence your mental health, you can take steps to protect it. Maintaining and improving your mental health improves your physical wellness, your relationships, and your productivity.
Adding acupuncture to your wellness plan may be one of the tools that helps you protect and improve your mental health.
How acupuncture works
In TCM, acupuncture works by balancing the flow of energy, called qi, through the pathways (meridians) in your body. Insertion of acupuncture needles at specific points along the meridians rebalances the energy and alleviates the health issue.
In western medicine, it’s theorized that acupuncture works by stimulating your endorphins, which are your body’s natural pain relievers. However, research suggests that there are other factors involved in the healing powers of acupuncture.
How acupuncture influences the body and mind isn’t fully understood, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
Acupuncture for your mental health
While more research is still needed, there is some preliminary evidence that acupuncture benefits common mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression.
That being said, acupuncture can help your mental health in other ways. You may include acupuncture as part of your wellness plan for stress relief. Finding healthy outlets to manage stress may help prevent health issues associated with chronic stress, including anxiety and depression.
Like stress, chronic pain also negatively affects your mental health and quality of life. It also increases your risk of opiate addiction. Acupuncture is a non-drug pain-management treatment that benefits people suffering from chronic neck, back, and arthritis pain.
Whether for pain relief, stress reduction, or relaxation, acupuncture complements any wellness plan, which may also benefit your mental health. To start your acupuncture treatments, call one of our offices in Plano or Addison, Texas, or book an appointment online.