ACUPUNCTURE SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCES LEVELS of a protein linked to chronic stress, according to a study with rats by researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) published in Experimental Biology and Medicine in December 2011.
Ladan Eshkevari, an assistant professor at Georgetown’s School of Nursing & Health Studies (NHS), part of GUMC is assistant director of the Nurse Anesthesia Program and a certified acupuncturist. She conducted the study because many of the patients she treats with acupuncture report a “better overall sense of well-being – and they often remarked that they felt less stress.”
The study used four groups of rats for a 14-day experiment:
- A non-stressed control group that received no acupuncture
- A group stressed for an hour a day that also received no acupuncture
- Rats that were stressed and received “sham” acupuncture near their tails
- An experimental stressed group that received acupuncture at the designated point on the leg
Eshkevari and her research team found neuropeptide Y (NPY) levels in the experimental group came down almost to the level of the control group, while the rats that were stressed and not treated with acupuncture had high levels of the protein.
In a second experiment, she stopped the acupuncture in the experimental group but continued to stress the rats for an additional four days. The NPY levels remained low.
“We were surprised to find what looks to be a protective effect against stress,” she says. (www.georgetown.edu/news/acupuncture-stress-reduction-study.html)
So, all of you out there in the “rat race” of life, go to your acupuncturist and get de-stressed!