At the first sign of stress, whether real or perceived, our sympathetic nervous system kicks into high gear. 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. This is what is known as the “fight or flight” response.
Unfortunately, the fight or flight response, which worked well when we needed to outrun a saber-tooth tiger, does not serve us as well if the “threat” is a demanding boss, difficult family member or even a worrisome situation that is not being resolved. 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, which takes its toll over time. As these symptoms become worse, they can develop into anxiety, depression, PTSD, fatigue, digestive problems, and tension headaches.
How can Acupuncture help to reduce stress, depression and anxiety?
According to Oriental medical theory, energy flows through our body via a network of pathways/meridians. Stress, anxiety, depression or any strong emotion interrupts the smooth flow of Chi or energy throughout the body. This interruption or blockage can lead to other symptoms like upper back, shoulder and neck pain.
Stress may affect many other parts of the body, most notably digestion, the ability to sleep, pain conditions, and blood pressure. It can also aggravate an already troublesome health condition.
Through acupuncture, herbal medicine and working on our emotional response to stress, these energy blockages can be addressed and released. This in turn can alleviate not only the symptoms of stress and anxiety, but the stress and anxiety itself.
To learn more about how acupuncture can relieve stress, please contact us with your questions.