Feeling Overwhelmed This Holiday Season? Acupuncture Offers a Natural Remedy for Stress
TV commercials and holiday specials present an idyllic version of the holiday season. Everyone's happy, their homes are festooned from top to bottom with decorations, and they have plenty of time to cook elaborate meals and treats.
Reality is much different for many of us who struggle to find the energy and motivation to tackle cooking or shopping after a busy day of work or caring for children. In fact, a Healthline study revealed that 62 percent of baby boomers, 61 percent of millennials, and 65 percent of Gen Xers feel stressed during the holiday season. Luckily, acupuncture treatment can help reduce stress and make holiday activities much more enjoyable.
How Does Acupuncture Lower Holiday Stress?
Acupuncture treatments relieve blockages of Qi, improving both your physical and mental health. Qi is a vital life force that flows through a network of meridians in your body. Blockages not only cause aches and pains but may also be responsible for stress, anxiety, and depression. Inserting acupuncture needles at strategic locations clears blockages and relieves your symptoms.
Although inserting needles into your body may seem like a surefire way to raise your stress level, most people don't find the treatments painful. The needles are hair thin and flexible. When they're inserted, you may feel nothing at all or might notice a slight aching sensation.
Acupuncture sessions can help you feel more relaxed by:
- Decreasing Stress, Anxiety, and Depression. Stress, anxiety, and depression can be particularly crippling during the holiday season, especially if reality doesn't live up to your expectations. Acupuncture treatments relieve these symptoms by lowering hormone levels related to stress and anxiety, reducing the brain's sensitivity to stressful situations, improving your energy level, triggering your natural relaxation response, and flooding your body with hormones that help you feel calm.
- Relieving Pain. Do you experience headaches and neck, upper back, or shoulder pain when you're stressed or anxious? Tight muscles are a common reaction to stress. Unfortunately, muscle pain and a headache that just won't go away may make it difficult to accomplish everything on your holiday to-do list. Regular acupuncture sessions during the holidays can help loosen tight muscles and relieve pain.
- Lowering Your Blood Pressure. High blood pressure can lead to serious health problems, ranging from heart attacks to diabetes to strokes. Although your medication may reduce your blood pressure under normal circumstances, stressful situations may send it soaring. In a study published in Acupuncture & Electro-Therapeutics, patients who took blood pressure medication experienced significant decreases in diastolic and systolic blood pressure readings after 15 acupuncture sessions.
- Helping You Sleep Better. It's difficult to sleep when you can't stop thinking about all of the things you need to accomplish during the holiday season. Acupuncture increases production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates the sleep/wake cycle and also regulates hormones that affect sleep. If you're troubled by insomnia, try to schedule your acupuncture session for late in the day to take full advantage of the sleep-inducing effects of the treatment.
- Keeping Chronic Conditions Under Control. Irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, migraines, diabetes, and other chronic conditions can be worsened by stress. Unfortunately, worrying about your condition only causes more stress. Regular acupuncture treatments help you manage the symptoms of chronic conditions during the holidays and throughout the year.
If you're tired of dealing with holiday stress, acupuncture may offer the perfect solution to your problem. Contact us to schedule your appointment before the holiday stress takes hold.
Acupuncture & Electro-Therapeutics: The Effect of Acupuncture on High Blood Pressure on Patients Using Antihypertensive Drugs, 2013
Psychology Today: Acupuncture for Stress and Depression? Yes, Please!
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine: Acupuncture for Treatment of Insomnia: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials, Nov. 15, 2009
British Acupuncture Council: Stress
Healthline: Big Meal, Tight Schedules and Wallets