One of the most profound gifts acupuncture bestows is its ability to reduce stress. We can’t always control our circumstances, but acupuncture can alter our internal state and lead us to wellness.
Most people seek out doctors, therapists and body workers of various types because they are having pain or discomfort. Our bodies tell us when something is wrong and needs attention. Many of us in fact take better care of our cars or our heating furnaces than our bodies, replacing filters and changing oil on a maintenance schedule. Acupuncture is a wonderful modality because not only does it address problems and conditions we currently experience, but it also balances the body to prevent problems in the first place. Most things that go wrong in the body, other than injuries, can be traced back to stress. Life today brings many types of physical, mental and emotional stress. Jobs are often psychologically and physically stressful, with deadlines, coworker issues and ergonomic stresses from hunching over a computer all day. Most of these stresses are persistent. Unlike our ancestors, we do not experience short bursts of stress that resolve – like charging lions, but rather daily persistent stress – like daily traffic jams and too many bills to pay. The human body releases adrenaline whether we are fleeing lions or more invisible beasts.
The human body makes adrenaline whether it’s a lion we are fleeing or a more invisible beast. The problem is that the persistent “beasts” of today cause ongoing adrenaline release. Over time this suppresses our immune system and ultimately leads to diseases – dis-eases – in the body. Depending on our genetics we all have particular weak areas in our health, and it’s these weaknesses that will manifest over time as stress persists. Some genetic factors are of course stronger than others, but immune suppression over time tilts the odds toward expression of these genetic weaknesses.
One of the most profound gifts acupuncture bestows is its ability to reduce stress.
It’s truly amazing that these tiny pieces of stainless steel, no more than a cat whisker, have the power to alter our body chemistry so profoundly for the better. But these simple tools do in fact allow the pharmacy within our own bodies to release a plethora of healing molecules. We can’t always control our circumstances, but acupuncture can alter our internal state. This allows us to meet our challenges from a place of calmness and well being, and spares our body the chemical stress that over time leads to physical disease.
A story: once I had a patient who had a particularly relaxing acupuncture session after a stressful day. When she came in for her next appointment she told me that going home after that previous treatment she got stuck behind a slowpoke who was going well below the speed limit. Normally this would make her quite agitated, but she followed the driver for many miles, completely content and unaware of the fact they were sauntering along below the speed limit. It says a lot about the power of acupuncture to make even car commuting a zen experience!
A great way to take advantage of acupuncture even while healthy is to get a seasonal tune up.
We think in Chinese Medicine that our bodies are more vulnerable to imbalance during the seasonal changes which occur during the equinoxes and the solstices. We encourage patients to come in and get a treatment at these intervals to maintain wellness and protect against disease. Just a reminder, these times are around the middle of the following months: September, December, March and June. Watch for reminders from TAA around these times to come in and get “tuned up”.