Stress management without drugs using Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine – Acupuncture for stress
Stress is caused by our bodies reacting to situations which are perceived as threatening or out of our control. Stress, in moderation, is a perfectly normal and healthy part of life. Everybody goes through it at one time or another. But, if the stress is particularly traumatic, or if it persists for an abnormally long time, it can be highly detrimental to mental, emotional, and even physical health.
During a stressful situation, our nervous system initiates what is known as a “fight or flight” response. This is named for the idea that, in mankind’s early days, stressful situations often involved physical altercations with another person, or a dangerous animal in the wilderness. Several temporary changes (such as increased adrenaline, and the redirection of blood to the arms and legs) are made to the body during a “fight or flight” response, to allow for one to either”fight” the threat, or take “flight” away from it.
In modern times, we have a completely new set of potential stressors. The source of the stress could be the boss at work, the coworkers, the family, or any other problem one might encounter throughout the day. The “fight or flight” response often does not prepare us to deal with these stressors. Due to this, stress is often long-lasting. When the changes made to the body, meant to be temporary, are endured for a long amount of time, they start to become harmful. Chronic stress is a cause of many serious problems, from high blood pressure and digestive problems, to depression, headaches, fatigue, and a damaged immune system, which by itself can cause many problems.
Traditional Chinese Medicine and Emotions
In traditional Chinese medicine, the body is thought to contain an extensive network of pathways, or “roads,” through which energy flows. When energy flows freely throughout the body, one will be healthy and energized. However, roads can be blocked or jammed by unusually intense emotions, or negative emotional conditions such as stress, anger, or depression. A condition such as stress can cause tension in certain areas of the body, like the back and neck, blocking roads, and causing pain and stiffness in those areas.
Path blockage in one area of the body can also cause problems in other areas of the body. Someone who is very stressed, in addition to physical pain, may experience problems with sleeping, digestion, and blood pressure. Stress and other negative emotional conditions can even worsen existing medical conditions.
However, acupuncture for stress can help to remove any blockages in the energy roads. In Western medicine, they would say that the acupuncture points trigger a response in the brain to release endorphins, which are pain-killing hormones, throughout the body. The heart rate and blood pressure are lowered, and the muscles are relaxed. Acupuncture also helps to increase and improve blood circulation. From the traditional Chinese perspective, each acupuncture point unblocks an intersection in the energy pathway network, allowing for a better flow of energy. The symptoms as well as the cause of stress and other negative emotions can be alleviated.