Acupuncture and Stress

Acupuncture and Stress

 

Acupuncture and Stress

Up to half a million people in the UK experience work-related stress every year, which often resuts in illness. (Health and Safety Executive 2011) Other factors that affect stress levels include alcohol, smoking, exams, pregnancy, divorce, moving, and death in family, lifestyle, drugs, poor nutrition and unemployment.

The signs of stress can vary from one individual to the next. They may manifest physically as an illness, tiredness or lethargy, or as symptoms such as sore, tight muscles, dull skin, lank hair, or erratic sleep patterns. Mental stress can result in depression, mood swings, anger, frustration, confusion, paranoid behaviour, jealousy or withdrawal.

Conventional treatments include medication such as anti-anxiety drugs, cognitive behavioural therapy and relaxation techniques.

Stress is one of the most common issues that patients come for traditional five element acupuncture treatment. Chronic stress manifests as a wide range of emotional, physical, cognitive and behavioural symptoms. Traditional five element acupuncture treatment may make you feel more:-

  • Stable mood, calmness and centered
  • Happier, more consistent sense of ease
  • Better self-esteem
  • Feeling more in control & able to perform work
  • Usual anxiety triggers no longer affect you
  • Higher / more stable energy
  • Ease of digestion
  • Free of aches & pains
  • Better circulation
  • Higher adaptability & ability to solve problems
  • More ease integrating learning experiences
  • Improved libido
  • Higher focus
  • Clearer thinking & decision-making
  • Better ability to take on work and tasks
  • Appetite regulation

And help with:-

  • Positive effects on long term health
  • Support through illness, treatments
  • Support through phases of life after birth, teenage years, divorce and grief
  • As a patient asked the other day ‘can you help me get over a broken heart’
  • Five element acupuncture can help support and care for you through the most difficult phases of life and love

 

Stress can be the root of mental, emotional and physical symptoms

First of all, it’s helpful to understand how central stress is to our health. In traditional five element acupuncture, we see that the mind, body and spirit are inextricably interconnected, thoughts and emotions as the primary drivers of physical health issues.

 

Emotional symptoms of stress include:

  • Becoming easily frustrated, agitated, and moody
  • Feeling overwhelmed, like you are losing control or need to take control
  • Having trouble relaxing and quieting your mind
  • Feeling badly about yourself (low self-esteem), lonely, worthless, and depressed
  • Avoiding others / social situations

Physical symptoms of stress include:

  • Low energy
  • Headaches
  • Upset stomach, including diarrhoea, constipation, and nausea
  • Aches, pains, and tense muscles
  • Chest pain and rapid heartbeat
  • Insomnia
  • Frequent colds and infections
  • Loss of sexual desire and/or ability
  • Nervousness and shaking
  • Cold or sweaty hands and feet
  • Clenched jaw and grinding teeth
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ear)

Cognitive symptoms of stress include:

  • Constant worrying
  • Racing thoughts
  • Forgetfulness and disorganization
  • Inability to focus
  • Poor judgment
  • Being pessimistic or seeing only the negative side

Behavioural symptoms of stress include:

  • Changes in appetite — either not eating or eating too much
  • Procrastinating and avoiding responsibilities
  • Increased use of alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes
  • Exhibiting more nervous behaviours, such as nail biting, fidgeting, and pacing

What are the consequences of long-term chronic stress?

A little stress every now and then is part of life and not something to be concerned about. Ongoing, chronic stress, however, can cause or exacerbate many serious health problems, including:

  • Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and personality disorders
  • Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, heart attacks, and stroke
  • Obesity and other eating disorders
  • Menstrual problems and menopause more challenging
  • Sexual dysfunction, such as impotence and premature ejaculation in men and loss of sexual desire in both men and women
  • Skin and hair problems, such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema, and permanent hair loss
  • Gastrointestinal problems, gastritis, ulcerative colitis, and irritable colon

Traditional five element acupuncture is a powerful and safe way to create beneficial changes to stress levels. That is why such a large majority of patients at my clinic experience stress relief after each and every treatment.

 

 

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