Stress is one of the great enemies of modern society. It wears you down, both body and mind, making it much more difficult to achieve anything that you want to do. It is also often unavoidable. That means that you may want to seek complementary therapies, such as traditional Japanese acupuncture and acupressure, to help relieve some of that tension.

What is a Stress-Related Disorder?

We become stressed when we are faced with some kind of challenge or threat, whether physical or psychological. Our bodies then react to the factor causing stress. This generally involves a response from the autonomic nervous system, as well as what is known as the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis. The hypothalamus, pituitary gland and adrenal gland interact with each other to produce hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones then control how other parts of the body react to stress.

The effects of stress on the body can be wide-ranging. Immediate and acute stress can trigger what is known as the fight-or-flight response, setting your systems to ready for action. For example, your heartrate will increase and your breathing will become more rapid. This can be useful in the short term, but in the long term can put your heart and lungs under a lot of strain. Chronic stress can also impact the immune system (your ability to fight disease), your digestion, and may contribute to mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. Stress can be incredibly damaging to your quality of life, and in some cases may even shorten your lifespan.

How can Traditional Japanese Acupuncture and Acupressure help?

Acupuncture and acupressure are based on similar principles. The body is considered to have meridians or channels that allow your natural energy and life force, traditionally known as qi, to flow through the body. If these meridians are disturbed or blocked, you may develop health problems. To allow the qi to flow freely again, you use certain pressure points located all around the body. In acupuncture, the acupuncturist applies needles to these pressure points, in acupressure the therapist merely has to press with their hands, but the overall intent is to stimulate these areas, control the flow of energy and restore your body to balance.

There are many things that can block your meridians, but stress can be a common cause. Treatment can relieve stress as it restores the flow of energy. You step into a calming, healing environment and lie down as the therapist gently applies pressure. Just being in the treatment room can release tension as you take time for yourself and your own needs. It may also alleviate some of the specific symptoms of stress, including headaches, and provide a general boost to your mood if you are experiencing depression or anxiety relating to your stress.

Traditional Japanese acupuncture and acupressure provide an alternative form of therapy for alleviating the symptoms of stress, such as headaches and depression. It also allows for a relaxing environment where you can centre yourself away from the cares of the world.