Young Woman Contemplating

Stress, Anxiety & Depression

Acupuncture is a Zen thing

It is unfortunate that the number of people experiencing mental health issues is on the rise. In Australia alone, 4.3 million people last year were treated for some form of mental illness. (ABS)

Stress, anxiety and depression have a number of side effects including:


Cognitive Symptoms

  • Memory problems

  • Inability to concentrate

  • Poor judgement

  • Seeing only the negative

  • Anxious or racing thoughts

  • Constant worrying


Emotional Symptoms

  • Moodiness

  • Irritability or short temper

  • Agitation, inability to relax

  • Feeling overwhelmed

  • Sense of loneness and isolation

  • Depression or general unhappiness

Physical Symptoms

  • Aches and pains

  • Diarrhea or constipation

  • Nausea, dizziness

  • Chest pain, rapid heartbeat

  • Loss of sex drive

  • Frequent colds

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Eating more or less

  • Sleeping too much or too little

  • Isolating yourself from others

  • Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities

  • Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax

  • Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)

There has been an increase in research to show the effects of acupuncture in reducing the effects of stress, anxiety and mild depression.

One of the most sensitive measures of the body’s ability to cope with stress is something called Heart Rate Variability (HRV). Acupuncture has been shown to improve the body’s ability to cope with stress through improving HRV.

(1) Acupuncture has been shown to increase the release of endorphins, the body’s own ‘feel-good’ chemicals, which play an important role in the regulation of physical and emotional stress responses such as pain, heart rate, blood pressure and digestive function. (2,3,4,5,6)

At Caloundra Acupuncture we use the principals of Chinese Medicine to identify and diagnoise what is going on for you according to your signs and symptoms.

So if you are looking to reduce the effects of stress, anxiety or mild depression or would like to know more…

  1. Guo ZL, Longhurst JC. Expression of c-Fos in arcuate nucleus induced by electroacupuncture: relations to neurons containing opioids and glutamate. Brain Research. 2007;1166:65–76.

  2. Ribeiro SC, Kennedy SE, Smith YR, Stohler CS, Zubieta JK. Interface of physical and emotional stress regulation through the endogenous opioid system and m-opioid receptors. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry. 2005;1264-1280.

  3. Harbach H, Moll B, Boedeker RH, et al. Minimal immunoreactive plasma b-endorphin and decrease of cortisol at standard analgesia or different acupuncture techniques. European Journal of Anaesthesiology. 2007; 24:370-6

  4. Li M, Tjen-A-Looi SC, Longhurst JC. Electroacupuncture enhances preproenkephalin mRNA expression in rostral ventrolateral medulla of rats. Biol Psychiatry. 2010;477:61-5

  5. Yin J, Chen J, Chen JDZ. Ameliorating effects and mechanism of electroacupuncture on gastric dysrhythmia, delayed emptying and impaired accommodation in diabetic rats. The American Journal of Physiology. 2010; 298:G563-G570

  6. Agelink MW, Sanner D, Eich H, Pach J, Bertling R, Lemmer W, Klieser E, Lehmann E. Does acupuncture influence the cardiac autonomic nervous system in patients with minor depression or anxiety disorders? Fortschritte der Neurologie-Psychiatrie. 2003;71:141-9