Exam Stress and Acupuncture
- Written by Louise Stevens
A common complaint at this time of year for many youngsters is exam stress. This can manifest with symptoms ranging from: anxiety, palpitations, panic attacks, sweating, memory loss, nausea and vomiting. It can be a self perpetuating problem so mindfulness and breathing are important tools. Chinese medicine will always look to see if there are any underlying issues that could make some people more susceptible to these symptoms.
Acupuncture really helps to regulate the emotions in the body and dissipate stress (calms the sympathetic nervous system). Stress slows down the physiological processes of the body which can create emotional volatility, pain, headaches etc.
I use body acupuncture and ear acupuncture to manage these symptoms. Adhesive press tacks are placed over the ear point Shen Men (Spirit Gate) which 'quiets the heart and the spirit', by releasing endorphins. The plaster can remain in place for up to 2 weeks and can be 'tweaked' at any time when required i.e. before or during an exam. The ear points have a dual purpose for the patient as it calms the mind and allows them to take control of their symptoms.