Managing Stress with Eastern Medicine

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Stress is more than just pressure from work, school, and relationships, or when you’re uncomfortable in unfamiliar or dangerous environments. Stress is a physiological response to these things, and when your body is constantly responding to stress over extended periods of time, your health can be affected.


In our last blog post we covered 5 Self-Acupressure Points For Stress Relief. In this blog post, we will cover how to manage stress through acupuncture and incorporating certain habits, activities, and perspectives.


When you are put into a stressful situation, your body goes into a state of fight or flight. In more primitive times, stress triggering a fight or flight response to survive was beneficial, and today, a healthy amount of stress can be beneficial to conquer big projects or perform a speech. In these situations pressure and being on high alert is great, but being in a constant state of fight or flight is not. In this state, your body releases a variety of stress hormones including adrenaline and cortisol, which can increase your heart rate, raise your blood pressure, shorten your breaths, tighten your muscles, and make your senses sharper. 


Acupuncture can take you out of this state by triggering a chemical response within the body related to relaxation and recovery, and through promoting the proper circulation of Qi. The fight or flight response is your sympathetic nervous system preparing your body for stressful events, meanwhile, the parasympathetic nervous system prepares your body for rest and relaxation. When performed correctly acupuncture can trigger the body to release feel-good hormones such as endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine which can make you feel more at ease and happy as they counteract the effects of adrenaline and cortisol. Moreover, stress can disrupt the circulation of Qi within your body. Acupuncture can be used to remove Qi blockages, and promote the free flow of Qi which can have similar effects to triggering feel-good hormones. A sense of relaxation, peace, and happiness. 


But before incorporating acupuncture you can incorporate new habits, activities, and perspectives to manage your stress. In Eastern medicine, your body, mind, and emotions are linked. Therefore, you can manage these things to offset the health consequences of being in a state of high stress. From this perspective, pessimistic attitudes and negativity can add to your stress, so replace your dark outlook with a sense of gratitude and positivity to reduce it. Take the time to work on and enjoy physical activity, hobbies, and nature. Focusing on these aspects of your life in times of stress can take you out of fight or flight mode and promote balance. Similarly, engaging in social activity and enjoying your time with others is a simple way to manage your stress. Unlike Western medicine, Eastern medicine views stress and your health from a more holistic approach. Rather than jumping into treatments and medication right away, start small and incorporate stress-preventing and relieving mindsets and activities.


If stress has been an issue in your life, it’s best that we tackle the problem before it leads to harsh health consequences. If you want to manage your stress, or use low-risk treatment methods from Eastern medicine to treat your symptoms of chronic stress, contact us today!


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