Stress can definitely affect your mental and physical health in a bad way regardless if it’s caused by money, family, work, or relationships. If not properly managed, stress can lead to several kinds of health problems over time. One of the best, if not the best of way of managing and treating this harmful condition is the Chinese medicine healing tradition of acupuncture.
What is Stress?
A natural reaction to potentially dangerous and challenging situations, stress has evolved in both animals and humans to physically adapt and cope with the impeding dangers of the natural world. Stress is known as a “fight or flight” reaction designed to better the survival chances of the animal or human through the adjustment of the physiological responses of the body including mental awareness, breathing, heart rate, and hormonal levels. In the modern day of living, stress can be a positive response that can help you function more effectively in your personal life and in work, which occasionally can lead to grace under pressure.
When needed, the nervous system triggers this fight or flight reaction in a temporary manner. However, the not-so-dangerous demands of life caused by the modern world results in the constant activation of stress which causes this response to unhealthily remain in the body longer than it normally should. When the person suffers from long-term or chronic stress, he/she will manifest symptoms that often include feelings of being overwhelmed with life, digestive conditions, fatigue, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and tight shoulders.
The constant state of stress will take its toll on your health eventually, exhausting your natural reserves of vitality and energy. Western medicine has started to determine stress’s longstanding effects; constant stress quickens the development of disease due to the weakening of your immune system and decreases your capacity to neutralize disease.
What is Acupuncture?
Developed over 4,500 years ago in China, acupuncture is one of many treatment modalities classified under TCM or Traditional Chinese Medicine. During a typical acupuncture procedure, sterile filiform needles are inserted into certain points on the body known as acupoints to modify the circulation of vital energy the Chinese refer to as Qi (pronounced chee). According to TCM, Qi circulates via pathways energy call Meridians. There are twelve primary meridians in the body and each of them corresponds to one or more organ system in the body. When an acupoint is needled, the organ system’s function can be adjusted which affects the physical and mental aspects of the patient.
Stress Relief with Acupuncture Treatment, Does It Work?
When we deal with modern life’s complications, some kind of stress management is required. To enter into a balanced and harmonious state in order to alleviate stress, one needs to undergo acupuncture therapy combined with changes in one’s lifestyle.
When constant stress starts to impact the body adversely, the Qi flow of the person starts to slow down or stagnate. This is because the meridian developed a blockage resulting in mental and physical symptoms that include pain, headaches, tight muscles and tendons, IBS or irritable bowel syndrome, cold limbs, depression, and anger. The diagnosis of TCM practitioners for stressed out patients is usually Stagnation of Liver Qi, as it is the Liver system’s responsibility to allow QI to flow freely and smoothly.
Stress treatment with acupuncture to resolve Liver Qi Stagnation is aimed at restoring the flow of stagnant Qi in your body. One of the most popular forms of acupuncture treatment for stress is the “Four Gates”, treatment. This procedure involves the needling of acupoints Liver 3 and Large Intestine 4. These pairs of bilateral points are located on the foot and hand. Extra acupoints that may require treatment in order to boost the therapy’s potency include points on the ear and hand. Usually, a feeling of extreme relaxation and sleepiness overcomes the patient during an acupuncture procedure which may take half an hour to a full hour to complete.
Treatment for stress may involve a combination of Chinese herbs and acupuncture in New York. This will be based on the needs of the patient and the style of treatment of the acupuncturist. Chinese Herbal Medicine may include the use of many varieties of herbs mixed into tonics or formulations to keep the mind calm. These prescriptions may be taken every day between sessions of acupuncture to boost the treatment’s effects.
Balancing Body and Mind
Mainly a response of the mind to the perception of life, stress usually causes the mind to amplify a problem as it constantly deliberates life’s various complicated aspects. The patient may actually end up creating more stress than he/she actually experiences due to these mental responses. Acupuncture can specifically treat this kind of mental tension. The profound healing that takes place during an acupuncture procedure mirrors the benefits of meditation, enabling you to release stress in your mind and body.
To help the mind relax, acupuncture assists the body to return to a more balanced state. This helps better the functioning of the affected organ systems resulting in a better control of one’s stress. One of the most stress-affected body functions is digestion resulting in diarrhea, vomiting, and IBS. Acupuncture benefits the digestive system by strengthening it and making it better able to cope with the next stressful situation.
Acupuncture can be a healthier and natural way to manage stress compared to Western drugs. People taking tranquilizers, antidepressants, and sleeping pills to help control their stress would find that acupuncture can help them wean off of their medications, of course, all under the guidance of their physician. Patients can also try Chinese Herbal Medicine to boost their health even more.
Learn to Relax
If you are constantly bombarded by stress, your natural state of deep relaxation may have been lost. Acupuncture therapies are great ways to reestablish this state and remove stress-related health conditions. You can also benefit a lot if you have a positive attitude toward stress, knowing that your life sometimes may go into difficult situations that were meant to help you mature as a person. Performing deep breathing and meditation everyday can also help you develop a stronger control over the reactions of your mind and a better ability to come back to a state of relaxation after stress. Yoga, Qi Gong, and Tai Chi are very good ways to exercise your mind and body helping you develop a relaxed mind through movement.
Certainly, acupuncture and lifestyle changes will help you alleviate and control your stress making you feel all relaxed and happy.