Alleviate Your Stress with Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
Our bodies are hardwired to help us react to stressful events. At the first sign of a threat, whether real or perceived, our sympathetic nervous system kicks in and facilitates what is called the "fight or flight" response. Our heart rate increases, our pupils dilate, and our digestion temporarily shuts down, directing blood to our extremities, so that if need be, we can either fight what is threatening us, or turn and run if the threat is too formidable.
More often than not, the stress in our lives is long-term, and as a result, we find ourselves in a constant state of "fight or flight", or stress. Over time, the constant state of stress takes its toll. Cortisol, the body's stress hormone elevates, blood pressure increases, and our immune function is suppressed. Over time, these symptoms become worse and can develop into anxiety, depression, fatigue, digestive problems, and tension headaches.
Signs of stress overload include:
- anxiety or panic attacks
- feelings of constant pressure, hassled and hurried
- irritability and moodiness
- physical symptoms such as stomach problems, headaches, or even chest pain
- allergic reactions, such as eczema or asthma
- problems sleeping
- overindulgence in food, alcohol, smoking, or drugs
- sadness or depression
According to Oriental medicine, stress, frustration, and unresolved anger can play an important part in throwing the immune system off and allowing pathogens to affect the body. Through acupuncture, these energy blockages can be addressed. Acupuncture points can help energy flow smoothly, and alleviate not only the symptoms of stress and anxiety, but the stress and anxiety itself.
From a Western viewpoint, acupuncture works to alleviate stress by releasing natural pain-killing chemicals in the brain, called endorphins. In addition, acupuncture improves circulation of blood throughout the body, which oxygenates the tissues and cycles out cortisol and other waste chemicals. The calming nature of acupuncture also decreases heart rate, lowers blood pressure and relaxes the muscles.
While it isn't always possible to remove the external forces causing stress, the ability to effectively deal with stress is a choice. Take time for yourself to cultivate the energy you need to handle your stress more skillfully and effectively.
If the stress in your life is throwing you off balance, consider coming in for a treatment to regain peace of mind and stay healthy.
Also check out the stress reduction package available at Marino Acupuncture & Wellness Center.