These days, it feels like everybody is suffering from stress and anxiety. Stress is real. It harms the body and exacerbates previously existing conditions. Oprah’s favorite doctor, Dr. Oz, says that the, “major agers,” the activities that age us the quickest, include a diet high in fat and sugar, not getting enough exercise, lack of sleep and too much exposure to the sun. BUT, the number one “ager” is stress.
I see the manifestations of stress every day in my Chicago acupuncture practice. People come in worried, unsettled, unable to calm down or get a good night’s sleep.
Continued stress will often exacerbate already existing health concerns. It is also clear that stress can lower the body’s immune system, cause neck and back pain, overall tension as well as stomach aches, constipation and diarrhea. Stress also effects the reproductive system.
Stress and Infertility From WebMD
“In research published in the journal Human Reproduction, doctors compared pregnancy rates in couples that reported being stressed and those who were not.
What they found: Pregnancy was much more likely to occur during months when couples reported feeling “good” — happy and relaxed. It was less likely to occur during the months they reported feeling tense or anxious.”
The news about stress gets worse. Stress and certain emotions have an impact on cardiovascular disease. “You’re talking about people who seem to experience high levels of anger very frequently,” says Laura Kubzansky, PhD, MPH, an assistant professor at the Harvard School of Public Health.
For example, one large study published in Circulation in 2000 found that among 12,986 middle-aged African-American and white men and women, those who rated high in traits such as anger—but had normal blood pressure—were more prone to coronary artery disease (CAD) or heart attack. In fact, the angriest people faced roughly twice the risk of CAD and almost three times the risk of heart attack compared to subjects with the lowest levels of anger.
How can acupuncture help?
First and foremost, acupuncture can calm you down. Often after one session, patients feel better. Chinese herbal medicine is also very helpful, but herbs are not as instantaneous as acupuncture can be. The two together, over time, can have powerful, long lasting effects. Chinese Medicine is wonderful for treating all the conditions mentioned above and many other problems that are created by stressful circumstances.
When we are stressed and anxious, we do not feel whole or in balance. Traditional Chinese Medicine puts your body back in balance. Western medicine suggests that TCM works because acupuncture releases endorphins (a naturally occurring chemical in the brain that regulates pleasure and mood). Chinese Medicine takes a different point of view. By placing needles in the appropriate spots, acupuncture allows your energy to flow freely which in turn relieves stress and reestablishes balance.
Quotes from Dr. Oz and Dr. Kubansky came from www.oprah.com