This May Be How Acupuncture Tamps Down Stress

Rats who got acupuncture showed fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression than stressed-out rats who didn’t get treatment

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Acupuncture may work by targeting the same pathways that stress travels along, according to a new study in rats from Georgetown University Medical Center and published in the journal Endocrinology.

TIME

Acupuncture may work by targeting the same pathways that stress travels along, according to a new study in rats from Georgetown University Medical Center and published in the journal Endocrinology.

Ladan Eshkevari, PhD, a nurse anesthetist, licensed acupuncturist and associate professor in the department of nursing and the department of pharmacology and physiology at Georgetown University Medical Center, noticed that the acupuncture patients coming to her for pain were reporting improvement of symptoms unrelated to their pain, like chronic stress, depression, sleep and appetite.

“There was nothing in the literature about acupuncture for PTSD and chronic stress,” she says, so she decided to study it. To find out if acupuncture was affecting chronic stress, Eshkevari and a team of researchers looked at what happened in a key pathway in dealing with stress for both humans and rats: the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA). It’s the same pathway targeted by some anti-anxiety…

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