Stress: A Doube-Edged Sword
In today’s fast-paced society, stress is a common occurrence. While moderate levels of stress can increase heart rate and blood pressure, helping us focus and respond efficiently to emergencies, prolonged stress can lead to physical and mental health issues.
Our bodies, much like springs, can only handle so much tension before they start to malfunction. Despite our best efforts, our modern lifestyles often push us to our limits. So, how can we tell if our bodies are crying out for help?
Here are some common symptoms of chronic stress:
● Digestive issues such as heartburn, irregular bowel movements, diarrhea, constipation, and nausea
● Sleep disturbances, including difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep and waking up feeling tired
● General tension throughout the body, particularly in the neck and shoulder areas
● Loss of interest or desire
● Persistent feelings of worry, sometimes without a clear cause
● Tightness in the jaw, often accompanied by headaches
● Racing thoughts and an inability to quiet the mind
● Decreased concentration, disorganization, and forgetfulness
● Frequent illness or general unwellness
So, how many of the above symptoms mentioned are you experiencing? And what has disrupted the balance in your body? According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), our organs have distinct functions and collaborate to ensure the body operates optimally. Among these, the liver is typically the first to be impacted by stress, leading to energy stagnation and affecting its normal function, a symptom we call Gānqì yùjié ”肝氣鬱結” or Liver Qi stagnation. As the liver facilitates the smooth flow of energy in the body, any blockage in its energy flow can result in issues in other organs. This disruption compromises the affected organ’s function and may cause the symptoms mentioned above to manifest.
How Can Acupuncture Help?
Acupuncture may assist with relieving stress and easing the associated symptoms. Through diagnosis, the blocked channels causing an imbalance in the energy can be identified. Following this, inserting fine needles at specific points to signal these channels to open up allows energy to flow freely again. This process aims to rebalance the body’s energy and restore its natural state.
In addition to seeking professional help, you can make lifestyle changes to help balance your body’s energy. Here are a few examples of changes you can make:
● Engage with others: When you’re feeling overwhelmed, try reaching out to a family member or friend or seek professional help from a counsellor. Having someone who listens to your problems and feelings can be incredibly beneficial. Chatting about random topics can significantly reduce loneliness and lighten your emotional load.
● Stay active: Physical activity is a great way to boost your mood as it increases the production of endorphins, often referred to as ‘feel-good’ hormones. Almost any form of exercise can act as a stress reliever, providing an emotional outlet that can help lift some of the weight off your shoulders. Additionally, exercise can improve blood circulation and sleep quality, both of which are often impacted by stress.
● Practice meditation: Meditation can enhance both your physical and emotional well-being. By focusing your attention and attempting to clear your mind of the cluttered thoughts that are causing stress, you can achieve a deep state of relaxation and reduce your stress levels.
● Stand your ground: It’s important to learn when to say no. Establishing boundaries is crucial to ensure you don’t push yourself beyond your physical and emotional limits. By setting boundaries, you can protect your time, energy, and well-being and ensure that you do not get overly stressed.
● Develop healthy habits: Getting quality sleep and maintaining a healthy diet are vital in preparing you physically to face everyday challenges. These habits can give you the energy and resilience needed to manage stress effectively.
● Footbath: Immersing your feet in warm water boosts blood circulation and relaxes muscles. It alleviates stress and promotes mental calmness, thereby improving sleep quality. Using plain water is effective, but you can enhance the experience by adding ingredients like Epsom salt, and essential oils such as lavender, chamomile or geranium. Alternatively, you can also try Chinese herbs such as moxa or ginger, depending on your specific needs.
If you’re struggling with stress and would like some professional assistance, David Lee Acupuncture is here to help. We invite you to share your symptoms and lifestyle
history with us so we can work together to identify potential issues and tailor a treatment plan to your specific needs. During follow-up sessions, we’ll assess your progress and continue to work with you to restore balance to your life.
if you’d like our assistance you can use the below button to book an appointment with us today.