Alleviate Your Stress
Holidays can be one of the most emotionally trying times of the year as it is often filled with a dizzying array of demands, visitors, travel and frantic shopping trips. For many people, it is also a time of sadness, self-reflection, loneliness and anxiety.
All of this amounts to stress that, if left unchecked, can cause illness and deterioration of health. Finding a release valve for your stress can help you stay healthy this holiday season — and year round. Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of acupuncture in treating stress, anxiety and lowering blood pressure. Together, acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help achieve the changes you seek as they assist in illness prevention, stress relief, minimizing aches and pains, improving energy and finding balance.
As a normal part of life, stress enables us to get things done and process feelings. Left unmanaged, however, stress can lead to emotional, psychological, and even physical problems. Stress causes a disruption in the flow of vital energy, or Qi, through the body. This can throw off the immune system and cause new symptoms or aggravate already troublesome health conditions and, over time, more serious illnesses can develop.
Stressful situations that last over a long period of time can create an ongoing low-level stress that puts continual pressure on the nervous system and can cause the overproduction of stress hormones such as cortisol. The extra stress hormones sustained over an extended period of time may wear out the body’s reserves, leading to fatigue, depression, a weakened immune system, and a host of serious physical and psychological ailments.
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. Acupuncture improves circulation of blood throughout the body, which oxygenates the tissues and cycles out stress hormones like cortisol and other waste chemicals. The calming nature of acupuncture also decreases heart rate, lowers blood pressure and relaxes the muscles.
In addition to acupuncture, Oriental medicine offers a wide range of tools and techniques that can be integrated into your wellness plan to keep stress in check. These tools include Tui Na, Qi Gong exercises, dietary therapy, meditations and acupressure that you can administer at home. Regular acupuncture treatments serve to nurture and nourish your kidney Qi, which can greatly enhance the body’s ability to thrive in times of stress and aid in healing, preventing illness and increasing vitality.
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 you or someone you know is experiencing stress or a related disorder, contact us for more information about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you regain peace of mind and stay healthy!
Find Emotional Balance
At some point in life everyone deals with major upheavals or emotional distress. These events can trigger a host of unexpected feelings and behaviors, from depression and panic attacks to major disruptions in sleep and eating. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can alleviate symptoms associated with mental and emotional health issues by treating the root cause of the problem to help restore balance to the body’s internal environment.
Mental health disorders are medical conditions that can disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, mood and ability to cope with the daily demands of life or relate well to others. Affecting people of any age, race, religion, or income, mental health issues are more common than you might think. In fact, experts estimate that a significant number of people report symptoms that indicate sufficient qualifying criteria of a mental disorder. Some mental disorders are less severe and can be easily managed with proper treatment. Other mental illnesses are more serious and require more extensive treatment, including major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder.
From an Oriental medicine perspective, mental health disorders can cause a disruption in the flow of vital energy, or Qi, through the body. These energetic imbalances can throw off the immune system or cause pain, sleep disturbances, abnormal digestion, headaches, menstrual irregularities and, over time, more serious illnesses. Acupuncture treatments can correct these imbalances and directly affect the way your body manages your mental health.
Oriental medicine does not recognize any mental disorder as one particular syndrome. Instead, it aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual, using a variety of techniques to restore imbalances found in the body.
Mental health issues are best managed when health professionals work together to meet the unique needs of each individual. Acupuncture is an excellent addition to any treatment plan as it is used to help the body restore balance, treating the root of the disorder, while also diminishing symptoms.
If you or someone you know struggles with a mental health disorder, or if you would like to know how to optimize your mental health, please call to find out more about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be integrated into your mental and emotional wellness plan today!
Acupuncture Gives Hope To Patients With PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a severe type of anxiety disorder that results from a person witnessing or being involved in a traumatic event that causes intense fear, helplessness or horror, such as a natural disaster, rape, childhood abuse, a tragic accident, or war. Diagnostic manuals say that signs and symptoms of PTSD typically begin within three months of a traumatic event but can, in some instances, occur years after the event.
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine have been getting more attention as a treatment for PTSD, particularly from the military and veterans because soldiers are at a high risk after serving in combat. Correctly placed needles help the body re-regulate itself from the effects of stress, PTSD, depression and anxiety. In turn, this allows the individual to focus on their activities and enable them to deal with daily events.
Acupuncturists Without Borders (AWB), a group that previously provided relief to the survivors of the earthquake in Haiti and hurricane in New Orleans, launched The Military Stress Recovery Project that provided free acupuncture treatments for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and their families. Treated military personnel reported improved mental clarity, less anxiety and a reduction in stress.
Source: Hollifield, M., Sinclair-Lian, N., Warner, T., and Hammerschlag, R. “Acupuncture for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial.” The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, June, 2007 V195(6):504-13.
Dr. Robert Wallace LAc, DACM
Chicago Holistic Medicine
1619 W. Montrose
Chicago IL 60613
Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Qi Gong,
Reiki, Massage Therapy, Mindfulness
Meditation & Diet/Lifestyle Counseling.
Please note our 24 Hour Cancellation Policy.
~The highest compliment I can receive is a referral for a friend or family member~
In This Issue
Being mindful is to focus awareness on the present moment, acknowledging and accepting what you are feeling and thinking.
Mindfulness enables us to let go of tension, increases our ability to form connections with others and deal with unexpected events.
Increasing mindfulness has many benefits, including improved mental well-being and better control of emotions and moods.
A small study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine showed that mindfulness meditation also improves sleep quality and helps fight insomnia.
A variety of techniques can be used to cultivate mindfulness such as tai chi and meditation.
The word “meditation” comes from a Greek word that means “to be mindful.”
Regular meditation creates a continuing sense of well-being, leaving us feeling confident and calm.
Source: Black DS, O’Reilly GA, Olmstead R, Breen EC, Irwin MR. Mindfulness Meditation and Improvement in Sleep Quality and Daytime Impairment Among Older Adults With Sleep Disturbances A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(4):494-501. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.8081
Walk Your Way to Relief
Taking a brisk walk boosts endorphins, which can reduce stress hormones and alleviate mild depression.
Walking also promotes health and wellness by putting gentle pressure on an acupuncture point on the sole of the foot known as Yongquan(Bubbling Spring).
This point is the start of the Kidney meridian. Stimulation of this energizing point can stabilize emotions and promote clarity of the mind, helping you to focus.
How To Stimulate Yongquan