Stress and anxiety are often the results of a fast-paced, intense lifestyle that many Americans experience. We “work to live” rather than adopt the “live to work” lifestyle other countries enjoy. After a while, we experience chronic neck and headaches, hunched shoulders, extreme fatigue, and our overall peace of mind is long gone or sporadic, at best.

Stress, anxiety, and tension can take a seriously negative toll on our body’s health. Yes, a bit of pressure can make us feel motivated and engaged in our lives. Feeling fulfilled from accomplishment is very positive until we forget to stop and assess how it affects our body, mind, and spirit.

When stress is ongoing, our bodies release cortisol and adrenaline, which can be harmful over time. It often results in the following:

  • Upset stomach, diarrhea, nausea, constipation, heartburn
  • Fast heart rate and chest pain
  • Insomnia
  • Clenched jaw or teeth grinding
  • Chronic worry
  • Lack of focus and constant worry
  • Increased seasonal illnesses, like colds and flu
  • Loss of sexual desire
  • Neck and shoulder joint and muscle pains

How Acupuncture Reduces Stress, Anxiety, and Tension

For those who fear needles, take heart – acupuncture needles are extremely fine and inserted just beneath the skin, so each treatment is pain-free. They are placed on our body’s acupressure points and meridians to improve the flow of Qi (pronounced chee), which is our energy system.

To begin, the practitioner will conduct an extensive evaluation to discover the best acupoints before an acupuncture treatment. Everyone’s body and condition are different, so acupuncture treatments are customized to each person and, therefore, more effective. There is no “one-size-fits-all” treatment plan.

During each session, the patient lays on a comfortable table and is encouraged to relax while the needles are put in place with a light tap. Soothing music helps lull the body into a relaxed state, and for 30 minutes, the patient experiences tranquility and alleviation of tension. Patients are encouraged to close their eyes, take deep breaths, and give in to the release of anxiety and stress.

Acupuncture treatments are drug-free; therefore, there are no side effects. Plus, the modality uses your body’s internal processes to bring relief. The needles send a message to the brain, promoting the release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain reliever.

How Often are Acupuncture Treatments?

The treatment schedule will vary widely based on each person’s needs. We recommend sessions based on symptoms, lifestyle, and budget. Some patients come in weekly, while others prefer monthly or even quarterly. We have found that once the treatments begin, our patients start to prioritize their health and realize that self-care is crucial for a pain-free life. The spotlight is on health and happiness rather than the typical emphasis on multi-tasking and overpromising.

When you’re not feeling your best, you cannot give anything 100% attention and effort. So take time out for yourself and schedule your complimentary discovery call today!


2Dots Integrative Medicine – Naturopathic Doctor and Licensed Acupuncturist in San Mateo and San Francisco

with Dr. Lin Dan Zhu