Most people are familiar with acupuncture for its efficacy in reducing pain, decreasing inflammation, improving circulation and alleviating muscle contracture. However, acupuncture is also very effective for treating mental and emotional health. When people encounter stress from childhood and throughout their lives, they develop survival mechanisms such as withdrawal or controlling behaviors to cope with the situation. These survival mechanisms become so ingrained in the brain that even once the person is removed from the stressful environment, they persist. This adaptation becomes the new “norm” for the mind and body, and the brain perceives health as being in this adapted state.
Acupuncture regulates neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine (pleasure chemicals often targeted by antidepressant medications), and hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol (stress hormones often targeted by anti-anxiety medications) to rewire the brain and break these old patterns that are no longer serving us. Acupuncture needles do not inject anything into the body or take anything out; they are simply sending messages up to the brain to bring it back to the “norm” before this adaptation was created.
Acupuncture treats a wide range of common emotional problems including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), excessive anger, grief, sexual assault, low self-esteem, lack of direction and communication and trust issues - among many others. It makes patients feel more relaxed, significantly reduces stress, provides clarity and opens the mind to different perspectives. Nothing can change the events of the past, but acupuncture can change how we remember these events, and how they impact us in the present.