Stress is one of the unavoidable conditions in life. Stress is actually a beneficial thing. It is one of your body’s healthy reactions to out-of-control situations. As long as you keep yourself in shape, you can get through stress without repercussions although extreme stress is a whole different story. Long-term stress can deteriorate your mental and physical health significantly.
The body is programmed to respond to stimulus. When a threat is detected, the body initiates a reaction called the ‘fight or flight’ response. The sympathetic nervous system triggers this response and automatically fires up different organs of your body. Your heart rate increases, pupils dilate, digestion halts and blood flow to the extremities increases. This is done to prepare the body for either a hasty retreat or a long battle.
Maybe during the prehistoric times, the fight or flight response was more useful. In these modern times, fight or flight isn’t always as applicable in every situation, especially if the ‘threat’ that you perceived is your boss or other unpleasant people. Stress is something that many deal with and for most, on a long-term basis. With that said, many people are constantly in a state of fight or flight as stress becomes continuous. When this response is constantly triggered, the body produces Cortisol, which is also known as the stress hormone which in turn increases blood pressure and impedes the immune system. As the condition grows worse and chronic, your body takes a continuous beating leading to other conditions like depression, digestive problems, tension headaches, anxiety and fatigue.
Emotions from a Traditional Chinese Medical Outlook
Chinese medical theory states, energy continuously circulates throughout the different ‘roads’ in the inner highway of the body. Chinese medicine also adds that conditions like stress, depression and anxiety disturbs that very energy flow. Intense emotions will cause a traffic jam in your body’s highway and prevent energy flowing to the other parts of your body. For instance, most people under severe stress often complain about neck, trapezius, upper back and shoulder pain. These symptoms are caused by stress, which adds tension to those body parts blocking the energy flow (Qi), thus resulting to pain, headaches and tightness.
In a regular highway, ongoing construction or accidents and heavy traffic can clog other connecting roads. This also applies to the body. When stress causes tension in one area, other areas can also be affected which in turn, results in impeding other bodily functions. Blood pressure, digestive system, sleep and pain are some of the common examples of affected body functions and this could lead to even more serious health problems.
Acupuncture for stress and anxiety
With the use of acupuncture, you could address those clogged highway problems. The acupuncture points act like ramps or bridges to keep the energy flowing smoothly. This not only addresses the symptoms that come with stress and anxiety, but it could also address stress and anxiety as well.
In the Western side of the globe, acupuncture is known to alleviate stress by triggering the brain to produce the body’s natural-painkillers, endorphins. Another benefit of acupuncture is it improves blood flow. As blood flow improves other symptoms of stress is alleviated such as high blood pressure, pain and muscle tension.
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