Acupuncture Stress Relief Fort Myers
Stress is a way of life for many people these days. Some of the signs and symptoms of an overactive response to stress include anger, anxiety, asthma, depression, depressed immune system, digestive disorders, headaches, heart disease, high blood pressure, joint pain, and weight problems.
When we experience a thought or event that we perceive as stressful, our bodies begin producing hormones and neurotransmitters designed to help us respond to the stressful situation by engaging in a conflict or fleeing.
The body secretes an assortment of hormones secreted by the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland and the adrenal gland (together these are known as the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis) into the bloodstream as a reaction to stress that rev up the anxiety meter. Once activated, the system causes the heart to beat faster and the senses to go on alert. These hormones also divert the body’s energy away from background operations such as digestion to prime and fuel the muscles into a state of readiness.
Electronic acupuncture blocks the chronic, stress-induced elevations of the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland and the adrenal gland hormones, which helps reduce stress.
Ancient Chinese medicine describes an energy force called Qi that regulates the body’s overall health. Like blood in our circulatory system, Qi moves throughout the body via pathways called meridians.
When factors like injury, stress, poor nutrition, or a change in environment disrupt the flow of Qi, health issues can follow and stress relief is necessary.
By inserting needles at specific points in the body, acupuncturists restore the balance of Qi and the body’s overall health, University of Chicago Medicine reports.
Our response to stress can either help or hinder our body’s ability to cope with these various stressors in our lives. Healthy responses to stress include appropriate physical exercise, good eating habits, positive thinking, adequate rest, and reaching out to friends and family for support. Unhealthy responses to stress include negative thinking, overexertion, poor eating habits, lack of sleep, and isolation. These unhealthy responses can cause the body to work harder than it needs to and can trigger physical and mental health issues. Over time, ongoing stress and unhealthy responses to stress can actually be detrimental to our health.
Medical studies have shown that with increased and consistent stress, our white blood cells, which defend our body against viruses, decrease. This results in lower immune resistance, ultimately leading to physical disease and emotional instability.
Even if the stressors are no longer present, the body continues to keep the stress response active. This results in the depletion of our nervous system, lymphatic organs (spleen, thymus, and lymph nodes), kidneys and adrenal glands, which can pave the way for a wide variety of signs and symptoms. There is hope! Practitioners of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have helped people cope with stress for thousands of years. The ancient theories of TCM on how stress affects the organs are similar to those of Western medicine. However, TCM theory and treatment goes far beyond treating signs and symptoms and also addresses the root cause(s) of the problem.
One way that stress affects the body is by causing a depletion or blockage of Qi (pronounced “chee”), especially that of the kidneys and adrenals. Qi is the vi tal energy or power that animates and supports the functions of the body. It flows through specific pathways, called meridians, and provides nourishment for the entire body. When Qi becomes “blocked” or the supply is inadequate, the body and organ systems become “stressed out” and our health is then compromised. With acupuncture and TCM, the practitioner’s job is to support and restore the integrity of the various organs affected by the stress response, along with evaluating the quality and quantity of Qi.
Your acupuncturist may also suggest adjunct therapies to enhance treatment, speed healing towards stress relief. Proper eating habits, as well as exercise, stretching, movement and meditation practices, support and promote a balanced and healthy body, mind and spirit. Acupuncture and TCM can provide a safe and effective alternative for the treatment of and help achieving stress relief.
Ways to Achieve Stress Relief
- Get adequate sleep. Try for at least eight hours of restful and restorative sleep.
- Practice meditative exercises. Qi Gong, Tai Chi and Yoga can help create a healthy body-mind awareness and help free your mind of stressful thoughts.
- Eat a well balanced diet. Maintain a healthy diet with adequate amounts of complex carbs, vegetables, fruits, protein and healthy fats.
- Have fun! Make time for relaxing activities, enjoyable hobbies and lots of laughter in your life.
- Breathe. Relaxed deep breathing is one of the most simple and easy techniques that can be used to achieve stress relief.