These days, there’s a lot to keep track of just to get through one day. Even with how hectic schedules were before the pandemic, COVID-19 introduced a whole new set of issues to manage. Issues that are new to many of us, like learning about viruses and how they are transmitted. Acupuncture relaxes and calms the mind and body, helping you deal with the chaos all around you.
What is COVID brain?
At Juvenate Healing in Tempe, we have noticed more patients asking for help with insomnia and anxiety.
Research suggests that what we’re seeing in our patients isn’t an isolated phenomenon. One researcher coined the term, “COVID brain,” to describe ” impaired analytical thinking and heightened external sensitivity – a fragile, frazzled state that keeps our thoughts simultaneously on edge and unfocused.”
To explain further, researchers from Penn Medicine share that a part of the brain called the limbic system is hyperactive during times of negative emotions and stress. Stress from the pandemic could be the reason you’re having trouble thinking, planning, and getting things done lately. When emotions become overblown, parts of the brain in charge of executive function tend to not communicate as well with the emotional parts of the brain — the limbic system is overriding the executive function. This can cause people to have trouble focusing or controlling impulses.
On top of trouble focusing, more of us are experiencing anxiety and depression. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ran a survey starting at the end of April. The study found that “roughly 30 percent of Americans experienced symptoms of an anxiety disorder and nearly 24 percent experienced symptoms of a depressive disorder as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.” That is almost four times the percentage when the CDC ran the survey in 2019.
How can you calm COVID brain?
So what can you do to help your brain and body? Studies have shown that acupuncture can deactivate or calm the limbic system, promoting general relaxation. MIT and Harvard researchers conducted one such study that showed acupuncture decreased brain signals in the limbic system. This means that acupuncture can help your brain calm down and focus.