American scientists conducted an experiment on rats and proved that acupuncture improved the condition of chronic stress. The RIA Novosti news agency explains that this is due to reducing the levels of stress hormones in the body.
How Does Acupuncture Work in Stress Patients?
Earlier, a group of scientists led by Ladan Eshkevari of Georgetown University had got to know that acupuncture could really help with stress. Then, the scientists decided to find out how exactly acupuncture effected the body. The researchers studied the effect of electro-acupuncture (acupuncture with electric stimulation) on rats. The experiment involved four groups of animals. During the period of 10 days, for an hour each day, they were kept in the cage with a centimeter of crushed ice on its bottom. That was the way scientists triggered the state of chronic stress in rats. The first group of the rats was acupunctured in point St36 (in rats and humans, this acupuncture point is located just below the knee). The second group of rats was acupunctured in a randomly chosen point near the tail. The third group was not pricked, and the fourth group was a control group – they were not put in a cage with ice.
What Happens in the Body of a Stressed Person?
In the state of stress, a whole chain reaction of the nervous and endocrine systems starts in the body. In particular, one can observe the increase of the levels of several hormones – corticorelin, corticotropin, corticosterone.
The Stress Study Results
The researchers measured the levels of these hormones in the rats. It was found that the rodents, acupunctured in point St36, had lower stress hormone levels than the rats from other groups. The rats, pricked in any point, or not pricked at all, did not demonstrate any change in hormone levels.
Alternative treatment is getting more and more popular: it seems reliable to 38% of the population of Europe and the USA. One of the most desired ways of alternative treatment is Chinese medicine.