Wednesday, February 09, 2011
According to the AMTA there is nothing that ages our organs faster (your skin is your largest organ) then stress. We talk about being "stressed out" just about everyday in our culture but what exactly does this mean?
For starters, stress isn't always a bad thing; it can keep us motivated. Stress becomes an issue when we don't manage it correctly.
Think of a time in your life that was difficult or stressful. As you are thinking about this memory notice your body. Has your breathing or heart rate changed? How about your posture? Have you slumped forward or noticed clenching in your jaw or fists? Perhaps you feel a ball of tension growing in your shoulders.
Now, think back to a time when all was right in your world. As you bring this memory to the forefront of you mind you might notice a softening in your body and perhaps a light smile on your face. You might feel your breath slow down as well.
The truth is, is that we live stress filled lives and not every moment can be as peace-filled as the last. The problem is that most of us don't utilize the necessary tools to manage this stress.
The Mayo Clinic lists several effects of stress on the physical body, thoughts, and behaviors including: pain, high blood pressure, decreased immunity, anxiety, lack of focus, forgetfulness, anger, crying spells and relationship conflict. These effects are the body's way of giving signals that there is disharmony.
How can acupuncture help?
Most people are pleasantly surprised when they find that acupuncture makes the body feel relaxed. Your body heals itself each night when you sleep. Receiving acupuncture on a regular basis is like taking a time out in the middle of a stress filled time aka "life" to harmonize.
Patients report feeling lighter in their bodies and clearer in their minds after an acupuncture session. We often hear, "I feel relaxed and energize at the same time." or "Things that used to really bother me no longer do."
There is an old saying, "if you want to live a long life, do nothing." It sounds counterproductive to the values we place on instant gratification but it might be the very thing missing.
Check back next week as we go through the organ systems of Chinese Medicine and how stress causes disharmony from an eastern perspective.
Sarah Zender LAc
Neighborhood Acupuncture Place
230 Florence St
Crystal Lake IL 60014