No one is immune to stress these days. The fast pace and high demands of life leave no one unscathed. Stress, whether a mental or physical stress attack on the mind or the body, triggers a response which sets in motion a particular set of biochemical reactions which then causes an increase in heart rate and breathing rate, raises the blood pressure and increases muscle tension. This reaction is commonly known as an adrenaline rush or a “flight or fight response”.
When a body is under assault – mentally or physically – this response serves a vital purpose. It gives the body the additional strength, energy and alertness necessary to deal with whatever the assault might be. When this biochemical reaction is triggered, it gives the body what it needs to deal with the immediate threat in a more effective and focused way. Over a short period of time this stress responses causes no damage to the body.
However, if one triggering event after another continues to assault the body (ie a car accident, followed by an injury to a child, followed by the loss of a job, followed by a divorce, etc., etc., the body's natural energy reserves will be depleted and ever unavoidable consequences develop. (The stresses do not have to be that severe in order for them to take a serious toll on the body's health!)
The consequences of stress overload include such things as headaches (chronic or migraine) backaches, sleeping disorders, skin disorders and gastric problems. These are some of the more obvious ones. Other symptoms are more psychological and are not quite as obvious but are neutralless just as real; depression, anxiety, poor concentration and even lack of confidence.
If the stress continues and becomes more chronic, it can lead to long-term health problems like strokes, high blood pressure and increased risks of cardiovascular diseases. The importance of reducing stress at any level can not be overstated. Reducing or eliminating stress is one of the first steps towards living a satisfying life in a heightened state of overall well-being. Since, as we mentioned earlier, some stress in our lives is totally unavoidable, the only thing that can be done is to reduce the potential damage the stress can do to the body by creating a strong internal sense of balance and harmony within the body along with a strong immune system.
Acupuncture has an undeniable history (over 4500 years) of reducing or eliminating the damaging side effects of stress. It helps regulate muscle tension, decrees heart rates and lowers blood pressure, all of which helps to create a tranquilizing effect for individuals suffering from stress. Acupuncture can significantly help alleviate feelings of anxiety and depression by stimulating muscle groups in the body which are responsible for stimulating the release of chemicals that work against the stress-related chemicals. By doing this, it helps to shut down the stress response of the body.
In addition to its effectiveness, one of the primary reasons people choose acupuncture is that it achieves the desired results without the use of drugs. Why is that? Because drugs often have devastating side effects of their own that can cause additional stress on the body and sometimes be more harmful than the stress response itself. Acupuncture creates an increased sense of well-being that works with the body to increase circulation and stimulate the release of the body's own pain-killing endorphins that counter the pain resulting from stress or injury.
If you're struggling with any of the symptoms and you know stress has something to do with it there's something you can do today. Rona Bian is a trained Chinese Medical Doctor who specializes in acupuncture and herbal medicine. She moved from China to the United States and now owns and operates her Colorado Springs Acupuncture clinic.