Stress is a normal part of life for everyone. No matter who you are, what your status is or where you live, we all experience some degree of stress from time to time, and it’s a completely healthy response to events or thoughts that feel out of our control.
In situations when you’re healthy and the duration of stress is short-lived, most people will usually be able to recover from it fairly easily without much lasting damage. But when the level of stress experienced is extreme or lasts for a long time, it can lead to negative effects on both emotional and physical health.
All these effects can be explained by the body’s response to stress. When you experience a stressful event, the brain undergoes both chemical and physical changes that affect your overall functioning. High amounts of stress lead to elevated levels of neurotransmitters like dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine—which are chemical messengers released in the brain—and hormones like cortisol (often called “the stress hormone.”) The release of large amounts of these chemicals leads to a number of changes in the body that interfere with good health, such as rapid heart rate, higher blood pressure and a weakened immune system.
This is why having long-lasting (chronic) stress not only brings down your mood, but can seriously jeopardize your health, too. Learning to effectively manage and cope with stress, on the other hand, can lead to significant improvements in overall health by improving your mood, boosting immune function, promoting longevity and allowing you to be more productive in your daily life.
There are a number of methods known to help with managing stress, such as meditation, regular exercise like brisk walking or yoga, and getting adequate sleep. But another helpful approach to stress relief that may surprise you is acupuncture.
Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City is now equipped to offer acupuncture services to patients who may be interested. Though commonly used to treat various types of pain, acupuncture is also used for a wide range of other conditions, and research has shown it be effective for stress reduction.
Acupuncture works by allowing energy to flow more smoothly through the body and releases natural pain-killing chemicals called endorphins (the same chemicals released when we exercise). It also improves circulation of blood and has a calming nature that decreases heart rate, lowers blood pressure and relaxes muscles. Over time, this can lead to long-term stress relief and therefore better overall health.
At Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City, we’re excited to introduce our new acupuncture services to patients and look forward to seeing the benefits it leads to. To learn more about acupuncture for stress relief, or to make an appointment for acupuncture or any of our other services, call us at 212-317-8303.