10 Reasons Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Can Help With Stress
At Village Remedies Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine clinic we like to reframe the concept of stress, normally people associate stress as not being able to cope, being burnt out or being overwhelmed, but these extremes do not encompass the full spectrum of stress nor the varying origins of stress.
We prefer a more scientific approach to the definition of stress which is simply a physical, mental or emotional factor causing a load on the body. Examples of extra load on the body can be anything such as getting up early and not getting enough sleep, being busy at work and having to rush to make a deadline, or doing a lot of exercise and not fully recovering. All these things have varying effects on our body, some bigger than others but all are contributing factors to the overall load on the body which can force our autonomic nervous system into the sympathetic response a.k.a. fight or flight response.
The sympathetic nervous response or as we often call it, the fight or flight response is named this because it has evolved as a survival mechanism. This response allows us to react in potentially life threatening circumstances and assist us to survive. It does this by setting off almost instantaneous hormonal changes and physiological responses which help us to either fight off the threat or flee from danger.
In the current day we are less likely to experience a near death experience, but our bodies have adapted to begin this reaction to non life threatening situations as well such as peak hour traffic jams, pressure at work, public speaking or emotional issues to name a few.
Going into a fight or flight response is not a bad thing at all, it is an essential part of being human and it helps us to get things done, react to situations and keeps us alert and focused. A lot of research has been done on these reactions and why they occur and this has given us more insight into the long-term chronic effects of stress and the fight or flight response.
Chronic stress which forces us into the fight or flight response for extended periods can take a toll on physical and psychological health. It can start to affect the digestion, sleep and mood. Research also suggests it can also contribute to high blood pressure and cause changes in the brain that may contribute to anxiety, depression and addiction, which can also lead to obesity through both direct mechanisms (increasing appetite) and also indirect mechanisms (decreasing sleep, digestion and exercise).
One of the major ways acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can help you with stress is by switching you from this sympathetic, fight or flight response to the parasympathetic a.k.a. rest and digest response. The rest and digest response is the opposite side of fight or flight and will conserve energy, slow the heart rate, increase/improve digestion and gland activity and promote healing. This will in turn allow for better sleep making it easier to get to sleep and stay asleep giving you the best chance to relax and recover.
Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine and the unique effects of the rest and digest response can help with multiple areas of life and can help you better deal with stress. Below are 10 reasons acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help with stress.
10 Reasons Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Can Help with Stress
1. Acupuncture Can Aid Digestion
Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine have the amazing ability to stimulate the digestive system and nudge the body from fight or flight mode to the rest and digest healing state. This will put you in the best possible state to properly digest, get deep restful sleep and properly heal the body.
2. Acupuncture Can Assist Sleep
Sleep is one of the most important factors for overall health and can have a great effect on our stress levels. A systematic review of randomised controlled trials in acupuncture for treatment of insomnia has revealed that acupuncture appears to be effective in the treatment of insomnia. We also know if we are able to switch you from the fight or flight mode to the rest and digest response we can assist in getting to sleep and staying asleep.
3. Acupuncture Can Help Boost Energy
By helping with the previous point of sleep, your body will have a better chance to recover from the day, giving you more energy to tackle the rest. Also by reducing pain, tension or discomfort (covered in the next point), your body is able to move more efficiently, requiring less energy to get moving.
4. Acupuncture Can Relieve Pain
Acupuncture and acupressure has been used extensively for pain management whether during labour, post-operative or various forms of chronic pain . When pain is reduced you are able to sleep better, move better and heal better, making you less stressed. This will also have a ripple effect of helping with mood and thoughts.
5. Chinese Herbal Medicine Is Tailored For You
Chinese Herbal Medicine can assist with many other ailments in addition to the effects of stress. A unique formula can be put together by your practitioner to not only assist with stress, but also address your specific symptoms to help you heal, rest, recover and feel happier overall.
6. Daily Treatment At Home With Chinese Herbal Medicine
Many people find it difficult to come into the clinic multiple times per week. Sometimes just the extra driving and traffic can add extra unwanted load on the body. This is where Chinese Herbal Medicine comes in. A unique formula will be made up to suit your particular condition and by taking your regular doses every day, it’s almost like you’re giving yourself a treatment every day without needing to come into the clinic as often. Herbs and acupuncture work best together but for some, herbs may be enough to keep you improving and offsetting stress.
7. Acupuncture Has Almost No Side-Effects
A great thing about acupuncture is that it has almost no side-effects, unlike most western drugs and medication. Acupuncture is relatively pain free and at worse may leave you with a small bruise. Acupuncture is extremely safe when conducted by a registered acupuncturist.
8. Acupuncture Can Help Enhance Mood
Reducing pain and tension, improving sleep quality, aiding digestion and increasing energy will all have a positive effect on your mood and how happy you feel. Acupuncture has also been shown to stimulate the vagus nerve which, in turn, triggers the brain to release anti-stress hormones such as prolactin, oxytocin and vasopressin - the feel good hormones.
9. Time For Yourself, No Distractions
An acupuncture session at Village Remedies lasts about an hour, this hour is all about you and your health goals. No work, kids, family, screens or electronics, just you and your time to recharge your own health.
10. Useful Lifestyle Advice
Chinese Medicine Practitioners can also provide traditional advice on diet, exercise, breathing techniques to arm you with useful tools for managing and reducing the impacts of stress in your day to day life.
If you are experiencing pain, not feeling your best or simply want to find out more about acupuncture treatment options, call our friendly team today. All practitioners in . have the same training and style of treatment with a focus on distal style needling.