By Nena Watkins, Lac, Oak Cliff Acupuncture
Stress affects people differently. Migraines, digestive trouble, chest tightness, anxiety, high blood pressure, insomnia and jaw clenching, are a few symptoms of stress. If left untreated, these symptoms may progress, happening more often and reducing one’s enjoyment of life. Acupuncture can help!
According to Chinese medicine, each living being has qi, which is the energy that allows the body to function. Just as there are channels in the body for blood to flow, there are channels for qi to flow as well. The concept of qi exists in many cultures. It is similar to what is known as Prana in Ayurveda, and the Force in Star Wars!
When there is free flow of the qi circulating through the body, one remains healthy and free of symptoms. When the qi stops flowing, however, then people can experience an array of symptoms. This is known as qi stagnation. The reasons for qi stagnation vary from person to person. According to Chinese medicine, qi stagnation is a primary sign that a person is stressed.
A headache, or an upset stomach here and there may not be a problem. In fact, we may expect “the butterflies” before a job interview or a first date. Ideally, the stress is short term and the body readjusts when the stress is over. Recurring symptoms, however, could be your body’s response to a long term stress.
People don’t always associate their symptoms with stress. Often people think their symptoms are a sign they are getting older. They may notice one symptom like pain, but not other symptoms like high blood pressure; or they may justify the stress in their life and ignore the symptom all together. The truth is that what we hear in yoga class “Listen to your body”, applies all the time.
If you need help interpreting your body, call your acupuncturist. Did you know that licensed acupuncturists are trained in the ancient Chinese medical art of diagnosing people by looking at the tongue and taking the wrists pulses?
People can experience stress to their system in a variety of ways, and from a variety of causes. Sometimes it happens because of a physical stress, like a fall or car accident; or an emotional stress, like the death of a loved one or a breakup. For many Americans, stress seems to happen gradually over time, as they feel constrained by the obligations of life.
To feel better, try acupuncture! During an acupuncture treatment, stagnant qi starts to flow. This is the primary reason people say they feel relaxed during acupuncture. When qi flows, the body experiences less stress, and symptoms disappear. Joy, energy, and connection to the moment are all benefits of reducing stress.
So what can we do to reduce stress in our lives? Besides acupuncture, regular exercise, a healthy diet and enough sleep are a great start. Relaxation like meditation and breathing exercises, yoga, spending time in nature, or a massage are helpful too. The best cure for stress is to enjoy your life! Laugh! Be Happy!
You can contact Nina Watkins, Licensed Acupuncturist, 208 S Madison Avenue, Dallas in the Bishop Arts District. Call 214-840-3445.