As a native Californian, it's no surprise Meghan Markle turns to wellness practices to support her mental health. One treatment that the Duchess of Sussex reportedly turns to again and again is acupuncture.
"I have been a longtime believer in acupuncture. I used to have debilitating migraines (hospitalised for them), and acupuncture and Eastern medicine absolutely changed my life. Migraine-free living is a game-changer," Meghan told The Chalkboard.
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Meghan reportedly had regular acupuncture sessions prior to the birth of her son with Prince Harry, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. It's reported that she used celebrity acupuncturist Ross Barr to carry out the treatment.
How does acupuncture support mental health?
There have been several studies detailing the positive benefits of acupuncture on mental health disorders – in fact, the World Health Organisation recommends acupuncture for depression, while The Acupuncture Evidence Project suggests acupuncture for anxiety.
Acupuncture is recommended for stress and anxiety
Acupuncturist Asha Chong uses acupuncture to treat both anxiety and stress in her Marylebone clinic. She believes that each emotion is linked to an area in the body, and by treating that organ, symptoms can be relieved.
Acupuncture for stress
According to Asha, acupuncture can help to reduce stress by increasing levels of endorphins, encephalin and serotonin (hormones that boost mood and help the body cope with pain and stress).
Meghan said acupuncture helped with her migraines
Asha also says that acupuncture regulates levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body. Regulating cortisol improves helps lower the heart rate, relaxes muscles and reduces blood pressure.
How quickly does acupuncture ease stress?
Most patients report a significant sense of ease after the first two sessions of weekly acupuncture before feeling better able to cope and manage after a course of eight treatments, explains Asha.
Having acupuncture treatment for stress generally leaves patients feeling more even-tempered, better able to focus and make decisions, refreshed and sleeping better.
Acupuncture can soothe anxiety in as little as one session
Acupuncture for anxiety
Acupuncture aims to bring the body back into balance, which calms the mind’s chatter and any self-sabotaging voices, according to Asha.
"Acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules," Asha says.
This results in the regulation of serotonin and dopamine, promoting physical and emotional wellbeing.
How quickly does acupuncture soothe anxiety?
Anxiety can be lessened by acupuncture in as little as one to two sessions.
Acupuncture with Asha typically costs £100 per session and can be booked via https://www.ashachong.com
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