Next to treating pain, one of the most common reasons people seek out acupuncture is to manage stress and treat its numerous manifestations. Stress is a ubiquitous health hazard in the modern world. Countless scientific studies in the last twenty years have confirmed our worst fears about the detrimental effects of stress on our mental, emotional and physical health.
A working 2015 paper from Harvard and Stanford School of Business found that health problems stemming from job stress, like hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and decreased mental health, can lead to fatal conditions that prematurely kill about 120,000 people each year (in the USA)—making work-related stressors and the maladies they cause, more deadly than diabetes, Alzheimer’s, or influenza.
According to the American Institute of Industrial Medicine, working 60 hours per week, but less than 70, increases your risk of coronary heart disease by 63%; those who work 80 hours or more increase their risk by 94%. Another study looked at the effects of stress on caregivers of the elderly and chronically ill, and found that caregivers have a 63% higher death rate than people their age who are not caregivers.
Often, if you sacrifice your sleep, you are seen as driven and hard working. The slogan “sleep is overrated” is commonly spouted by those competing to work hard and play hard. For others, the demands of our jobs leave little in the tank for family and social lives. Conflicting priorities between work and home have a negative effect on mental health, and have been linked to some substance-abuse issues. But how much work is too much?
All of these stressors lead to errors, accidents, exhaustion, and poor performance. Acupuncture has been shown to be an effective way to manage stress and treat stress related conditions such as: pain & tension, headaches, sleep disorders, anxiety & depression, hypertension, poor memory & concentration, asthma, and fatigue.
If this sounds familiar, it might be time for you to re-evaluate your w
ork-life balance ratio, get more sleep, and and help manage the effects of your current stress load with healthy practices such as acupuncture. Make 2017 the year you prioritize your health!