Anxiety can be relieved and the symptoms of stress managed with acupuncture. Acupuncture creates a gentle shift in the central nervous system. Acupuncture encourages endogenous opioid peptide synthesis in the nervous system. “Manual acupuncture stimulates the release of home-made opioids, enhances their content, and regulates the expression and function of their receptors” (Acupuncture Induced Activation of the Endogenous Opioid System). These homemade, or endogenous, opioids can help lift the mood and change sensations of pain. Your body can then shift from it’s held tight state that is ready to fight or take flight, and relax into a rest and digest state.
Acupuncture encourages the body to up-regulate production of endorphins, serotonin, and enkephalins. “Endorphins” are a class of peptides, small amino acid chains, in this case with opioid like activity. What does that mean? An endorphin release can cause anything from a general sense of wellbeing to a euphoric sensation. Physical or emotional challenge can bring an endorphin release, as can acupuncture.
Treatment with acupuncture can not only bring endorphin release, it can also moderate the central nervous system. The body likes to achieve homeostasis and acupuncture helps it find a homeostatic shift. A new state of balance is achieved. Over time with consistent treatment the body finds a new homeostasis with the body being less inflamed, less irritated, and in less pain (emotional or physical).
Acupuncture Therapy for Neurological Diseases pp 104-119