Up to half a million people in the UK experience work-related stress every year, which often results in illness. Other factors that affect stress levels include alcohol, smoking, exams, pregnancy, divorce, moving, death in family, lifestyle, drugs, poor nutrition and unemployment.
The signs of stress can vary from one individual to the next. They may manifest physically as an illness, tiredness or lethargy, or as symptoms such as sore, tight muscles, dull skin, lank hair, or erratic sleep patterns. Mental stress can result in depression, anxiety, mood swings, anger, frustration, confusion, paranoid behaviour, jealousy or withdrawal. The symptoms of many physical conditions can become worse with stress, for example, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), migraines and tension headaches, and back pain.
A survey by the Office of National Statistics found that 164 people per 1,000 had a neurotic disorder in the week before interview, which represents about 1 in 6 of all adults. They found that the most prevalent neurotic disorder among the population as a whole was mixed anxiety and depressive disorder (88 people per 1,000). Women are twice as likely as men to become depressed partly due to hormone changes occurring pre-menstrually, at menopause, during pregnancy or after childbirth. Depression is estimated to cost the UK £7.5 billion a year in medication, benefits and lost working days
Conventional treatments include medication such as anti-anxiety or anti-depressant drugs, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and relaxation techniques. Stress, anxiety and depression are common complaints cited by acupuncture patients. Acupuncture can be safely combined with conventional treatments such as medication or psycho-educational therapy, helping to reduce their side effects and enhance their beneficial effects.
In general, research shows that stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, while acupuncture can activate the opposing parasympathetic nervous system, which initiates the relaxation response, thus promoting physical and emotional wellbeing.
Qualified acupuncture & massage practice treating stress, anxiety, depression, migraine, arthritis, back & muscular pain, fertility & menopause in Hastings and St Leonards, Bexhill, Eastbourne and Battle in East Sussex..