Imagine a cave woman over 25,000 years ago sitting peacefully in the bushes eating berries, when suddenly a saber-tooth tiger approaches her. All resources in her body shift away from digesting the berries and toward escaping the tiger. Her heart rate increases, reflexes quicken, blood glucose levels rise to supply energy to her muscles, and her blood clots more readily in case the tiger slashes her. What she has experienced is the classic fight-or-flight response.
During this time normal everyday maintenance functions such as: digestion, immune and hormonal functions are temporarily put on hold. Now imagine the outcome if our bodies’ normal everyday functions were often or always-on hold….
"In today’s modern world, escaping that tiger is an every-minute-of-the-day affair." Our brains can’t tell the difference between "I have so many emails to respond to and tasks to finish and I don’t have time" and "Ahhh! There is a tiger chasing me."
Stress is any thought, feeling, or belief that makes your brain feel threatened. So that includes getting chased by a tiger but also work stress, money worries, relationship struggles, and feelings of resentment, sadness, and anxiety.
The constant stress our bodies are under inhibits the body ability to return to equilibrium. Chronic stress can cause headaches, muscle pain, fatigue, insomnia, digestive problems, infertility, and a variety of emotional conditions.
This long-term stress increases your chances of hypertension, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and a host of other conditions.
How Can Acupuncture Help?
Acupuncture is proven to reduce stress and even reverse the effects of stress. Research shows that acupuncture stimulates the release of oxytocin, a hormone that signals and regulates the parasympathetic nervous system. Acupuncture also addresses the effects of stress, like high blood pressure, elevated blood glucose levels, and insomnia.
Acupuncture immediately slingshot you out of fight-or-flight mode and into the parasympathetic rest-and-relax mode. It sends a signal to your brain that you are safe and it can relax. This in turn allows your body to heal from stress, pain, and inflammation.
Acupuncture is used both as a preventative and curative medicine and is just one modality ofTraditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This means that when you work with a Registered Acupuncturistthey may also incorporate cupping, guasha, moxibustion and offer lifestyle and nutritional counselling.
A good acupuncturist will treat you, not your symptoms. So not only will your stress improve, but all aspects of your life such as sleep, digestion, pain, and energy.
Regardless of your lifestyle or career, "finding the appropriate stress treatment and management strategy is critical to maintaining a healthy you and a higher quality of life" and acupuncture is a great tool to combat the stress in your life.
Choice Health Centre Halifax now offers Acupuncture services including Couples Acupuncture. Come into the clinic with your friend, mother, significant other or who ever you choose and have side-by-side individual acupuncture treatments! Perfect for special occasions, date night or anytime you need to relax, rejuvenate or recharge.
For more information or if you would like to learn more you can contact Amanda Hynes, Reg. Acu at our Halifax location. To book an appointment call 902-404-3668 ext. 2 or book online.