28. July 2015 · Comments Off on Managing Stressful Situations with Acupuncture and TCM · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

Stress can very much affect our mental and physical health regardless if it’s caused by money, family, or work. If not properly managed, over time, it can lead to a variety of health issues. The good news is that there is a natural treatment designed to manage your stress levels by balancing your body and mind. That treatment is acupuncture.

What is Stress?

A physiological response to the demands of life, stress is a normal physiological reaction of people to deal with the looming perils of nature. Both humans and certain animals have this adaptive mechanism. A stress response is also known as a fight or flight reaction and is built into our body to better our chances of survival. This response is achieved by changing various physiological systems of the body like mental awareness, breathing, heart rate, and hormonal levels. In the modern world, stress can be considered a positive response that assists a person to perform much better and effectively in work or at home to cope well when under pressure.

When needed, the nervous system is equipped to change from a passive state into a fight or flight state during times of stress. For some people, however, when this stress response has been activated, they find it hard to it shut off when the potential danger has passed away.

Feelings of being overwhelmed with life, digestive conditions, fatigue, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and tight shoulders are the most common symptoms and signs of chronic stress. Over time, your health will suffer when you are constantly under stress. It exhausts your vitality and natural energy reserves. The long-term effect of stress is finally being understood by Western medicine. The development of an illness usually speeds up when a person is increasingly under stress as it weakens his immune system and his ability to neutralize the illness.

What is Acupuncture?

Used by the Chinese as a treatment for various conditions for over 5,000 years, acupuncture is a healing tradition that is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), sometimes referred to as Oriental Medicine. During a typical acupuncture procedure, thin sterile needles are stuck into certain points on the body know as acupoints to modify the circulation of vital energy the Chinese refer to as Qi (pronounced chee). Based on the theory of TCM this Qi travels all over the body via energy channels known as Meridians. The meridians are connected to the acupoints as well as to the internal organs of the body. When a needle is inserted into an acupoint, it stimulates a meridian which in turn affects the function of an internal organ that in turn impacts the physical and mental aspects of the patient.

How Does Acupuncture Work for Stress Relief in Miami?

The proper management of stress is important in order to cope with the complications of modern life. Because it can help you feel relaxed and calm, acupuncture, combined with positive lifestyle modifications can be an effective way to help you enter a more harmonious state and help you fight off stress.

The QI is affected and its circulation stagnates when your body is bombarded with constant stress. This stagnation leads to a number of mental and physical symptoms including pain, headaches, tense muscles and tendons, IBS or irritable bowel syndrome, cold limbs, depression, and anger. Stagnation of Liver Qi is often the TCM diagnosis for this condition as it is the Liver’s energetic function to smooth Qi and enable it to flow without any impedance.

Acupuncture is designed to treat the Stagnation of Liver Qi. It helps clear the blockage or helps redirect the flow of Liver Qi allowing it to circulate freely once more. The “Four Gates” treatment is one of the most common acupuncture procedures for Liver Qi Stagnation. It entails the needling of acupoints Liver 3 and Large Intestine 4. Extra points located on the ears and head may also be needled to fortify the therapy. The patient usually feels so relaxed that he/she often dozes off during the entire treatment which may last for 30 minutes to a full hour.

Based on the needs of the patient and the style of the practitioner, acupuncture for the treatment of stress may be combined with Chinese Herbal Medicine. A wide variety of herbs may be used that are mixed into specific formulations to help calm the patient’s mind. The effect of the treatment is augmented when these formulas are taken on a daily basis.

Balancing Body and Mind

Mainly a mental response to your view of life, stress causes you to constantly ponder to the complicated aspects of life leaving to end up with more stress in your body than is necessary. Fortunately, acupuncture is specifically designed to heal this type of mental tension. It deeply unwinds your body and mind. Its effects may be akin to the effects of meditation, which enable you to release stress also.

The body restores itself to a state of balance as acupuncture aids in the calming of your mind. It restores or even improves the function of your organ systems that in turn helps you manage stress in a much better way. Diarrhea, vomiting, and IBS are typical symptoms of stress affecting the function of digestion. Acupuncture supports your digestive system, allowing your body to become stronger in the process enabling you to manage the next stressful situation in a more proper manner.

Compared to pharmaceutical drugs, acupuncture is a healthier and natural way to help manage stress. Acupuncture can assist you in eliminating altogether or at least lessen your need for drugs such as tranquilizers, antidepressants or sleeping pills to help you cope with stress, of course under your physician’s recommendation.

Learning to Relax

Acupuncture can also assist you to reconnect to a natural state of deep relaxation that has been lost due to the constant demands of stress. It can also help you develop a better understanding toward stress, making you aware that hard and stressful experiences are factors that can aid in your growth as an individual. Performing deep breathing exercises such as Yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Chi and meditation everyday can give you a great ability to come back to a relaxed state and give you a stronger control over your mind’s reactions after stress.

24. November 2013 · Comments Off on Treatments and Drugs for Stress · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

Unlike ordinary stress, chronic stress is a dangerous condition that can affect the health of your mind and body. The most ideal way to deal with chronic stress is to address its underlying cause.  When a person starts experience sickness because of too much or longstanding stress it is imperative for him to go to a doctor as soon as possible. There are specific treatments to treat stress and the conditions it causes.  However, if you know how to handle your stress by adapting new reactions to stressful situations, you may attain peace of mind and be able to live a happier, healthier and, god-willing, longer life. Counseling can do wonders in helping alleviate stress and help the person calm down and relax.  Medications such as Celexa, Prozac, Paxil, Elavil and Effexor XR among others may also prove helpful but opting for alternative and natural remedies such as acupuncture may prove a much better solution than these drugs.

The treatment of chronic or episodic acute stress may involve a number of interventions usually needing professional help.  The course of treatment may take months to complete and since the harmful kinds of stress accumulate over time, the treatment may also take time to complete.  Some behaviors you may have that causes you to easily stress need to be modified.  Some of the most commonly used types of stress management strategies can involve a combination of the following:

Exercise

Exercise is one of the best ways to remove stress in the body and mind.  You can do an aerobic exercise regularly, which may simply entail a brisk walk to lower the stress hormone levels in your blood.  You can exercise half an hour a day or pace yourself by doing two 15-minute sessions each day. You need not do it everyday but at least three times a week.  Start slowly and when your body gets used to it you can slowly add more minutes and routines to your exercise.  You need not jog; walking is good enough exercise when dealing with stress.

Lifestyle

The cure for stress definitely includes a sweeping appraisal of your lifestyle especially regarding your financial conditions, study or work, family and social life.  A person burdened with stress needs to identify the stressors in his life and endeavor to resolve them.   Lifestyle changes can be as simple as giving yourself more free time, pampering your body with massage or traditional Chinese medicine options like herbal remedies and acupuncture, eating nutritious foods and exercising. Meditation can also be an excellent method for relaxation. Some useful tips to avoid stress include:

  •     Stop taking stimulants
  •     Believe in yourself more (more self optimism)
  •     Stop worrying about things that are beyond your control
  •     Do not over commit or over schedule
  •     Eat a healthy and well-balanced diet
  •     Get adequate sleep
  •     Build up healthy friendships
  •     Participate in hobbies, social events or sports
  •     Prepare for stressful events
  •     Rectify conflicts with other people
  •     Set reachable and targets at work and at home
  •     Be a proactive problem solver
  •     Always view changes in life as for the good and as a normal part of life rather than a threat
  •     Deem problems and setbacks as temporary and doable

Psychotherapy

One of the conventional methods of stress therapy in the West involves psychotherapy or professional counseling whose foundation is grounded in cognitive-behavioral therapy.  Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a reliable way to transform negative behavior patterns and responses into desirable ones. It is very important that you go to a professional psychotherapist who will teach you cognitive-behavioral coping skills that will help you easily identify your stressors in life and help you properly manage these stressors. Some of the things you learn during CBT include:

  • Modifying your responses to stress
  • Knowing activities that lower your stress level during the day
  • Knowing the things that help balance the stressors that cannot be eliminated
  • Restructuring your priorities
  • Knowing the sources of stress

Relaxation techniques

One of the best ways to “kill” stress is to do or undergo certain activities that help stimulate the production and release of natural chemicals in the body responsible for calmness and relaxation. These chemicals called endorphins among others provide the body’s natural antidote to stress. This is called the relaxation response and it is the body’s way to give you soothing calmness and a great sense of well-being. The body can produce endorphins through simple breathing exercises and these exercises can come in handy when you’re in the midst of stressful situations.  You need to give time to help your body and mind relax with activities that are enjoyable and calming.  These can be bathing to relax your body, spending time with your pet, indulging in a hobby or reading a good book. Listed below are a few of the suggested techniques that can help you feel calm, happy and relaxed:

  • Acupuncture
  • Visualization
  • Passive stretches
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Meditation
  • EMG or electromyographic biofeedback
  • Deep and slow breathing
  • Yoga