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The nation's stress levels are on the increase and we are risking our health by turning to sugary food, takeaways and alcohol to help cope with modern life a new survey has revealed.
The brand new study by the British Acupuncture Council to mark 'Acupuncture Awareness Week' (2nd-8th March 2015) shows that over half of the UK residents surveyed are more stressed now than ten years ago and turn to junk food and booze in a bid to feel better. The study of 5,000 adults found that a third of us admit to comfort eating when stressed, a quarter confess to drinking alcohol and as a result 1 in 5 admit they put on weight.
Despite 70% saying they are aware prolonged periods of stress can have a long-term impact on their health, almost half of people admit they just put up with it with two thirds saying stress is totally unavoidable in their life. A lack of time (41%), wanting to have it all (25%) and difficulty switching off from work (24%) were cited as the top reasons for the rise of burnt out Brits.
There are many symptoms associated with stress including anxiety, nausea, insomnia, headaches and stomach pains. So how can we de-stress our lives, surely depriving ourselves of our junk food and alcoholic cravings just adds more pressure?
According to Tamzin Freeman, a qualified member of the British Acupuncture Council reaching for your favourite foods or treating yourself to that bottle of wine after a hectic day may feel good in the moment but won't tackle the root cause of the problem. Traditional acupuncture is an effective, evidence based therapy that can be a positive step for anyone wanting to get their stress levels back under control.
Although traditional acupuncture has been an integral part of Chinese medicine for nearly two thousand years, particularly as treatment for stress - just 4% of the UK have tried it.
Watch our short animated introduction to traditional acupuncture
Acupuncture is a branch of traditional medicine that has been practised in China and the far east for thousands of years. It has been developed, tested, researched and refined to give a detailed understanding of the body's energetic balance. Without the benefit of modern scientific equipment, the first acupuncturists discovered many now familiar aspects of biomedical science, such as the impact of emotional stress on the body. Traditional acupuncture has steadily grown in popularity in the UK since the 1970s.
A growing body of evidence-based clinical research is discovering how the body responds to acupuncture and its benefits for a wide range of common health conditions. A lot of people have acupuncture to relieve specific aches and pains, such as osteoarthritis of the knee, TMJ, headaches and low back pain, or for common health problems like an overactive bladder. Other people choose acupuncture when they can feel their bodily functions are out of balance, but they have no obvious diagnosis. And many have regular treatments because they find it so beneficial and relaxing.
Acupuncture points are located at precise places along interconnected pathways that map the whole body, including the head, trunk and limbs. The most commonly used acupuncture points are on the lower arms and legs.
Moxa is often used in conjunction with acupuncture to enhance the effect of the treatment. The dried herb, Moxa, is used like incense to gently and safely warm the body, relax muscles and supplement qi.
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