If modern society could be characterized by one common experience, it would have to be stress. While a low level of periodic stress may be a physiologically healthy response, many of us live in a perpetual state of stress. What’s more is that we don’t often acquire the tools necessary to effectively manage our stress, which further perpetuates the cycle. Chronic, unmanaged stress is known to be extremely harmful to our well-being – wreaking havoc on all aspects of our physiology and psyche.
Stress signals a nervous system response and a subsequent hormonal cascade in our bodies that sets off an internal alarm system which puts us into “fight-or-flight” mode. Consequently, heart rate and blood pressure increase, immune and digestive functioning become suppressed, and mood fluctuates dramatically. For these reasons, common side effects of chronic stress might include hypertension, anxiety, depression, insomnia, weight gain and digestive problems, impaired memory and concentration, and that just names a few! Let’s face it – stress is inevitable, but it’s so important that we learn healthy ways of coping with stress to mitigate these side effects.
Perhaps second only to pain management is stress management in its popularity with regards to acupuncture. Seeking treatment from a Chinese Medicine practitioner is incredibly effective for helping to manage stress and reducing unwanted side effects of stress. The potent combination of simply relaxing in the treatment room, along with the insertion of acupuncture needles and prescription of constitutionally appropriate herbal formulas, biologically and chemically alters stress mechanisms such that our bodies can return to a state of balance and grounding. Receiving regular treatment has a cumulative effect in helping the body maintain this balance, equipping us both physiologically and psychologically to respond to stress with more resilience.