Acupuncture could not only reduce stress but potentially protect against it

When a person is stressed or perceives a threat, there is a protein-like substance that is released into the blood stream as part of the fight or flight response known as neuropeptide Y (NPY).

Previously Acupuncture an ancient Chinese medicine, has been recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be used in conjunction with other therapies in order to relieve over fifty disorders including stress, however it has been reported that this is one of the first studies that has examined the biological impact acupuncture therapy can have on stress relief and stress management.

The research that was published online in ‘Experimental Biology and Medicine’ subjected rats to stress and proceeded to treat them with electroacupuncture which transmits a small, painless electrical charge using an acupuncture needle.

The researchers reported that stress levels marked by the amount of neuropeptide Y in the rats blood stream reduced to around the same level of the control rats that had not been subjected to stress.

Additionally it was found that rats that had received a series of electroacupuncture therapy and were subsequently subjected to more stress with no further treatment, the levels of the stress peptide remained low indicating that acupuncture could also act as a preventative to the effects of stress on the body.