Stress – a persistent stalker, a measure of our need to adapt to change, to the unfamiliar, the unexpected, the undesirable. It can stem from our relationships, illness, emotional turmoil, accidents, unforeseen events, and can be sponsored by a lack of physical activity and poor dietary choices. Ongoing stress of an emotional or mental nature finds its way inside the body where it can morph into tension, pain and stiffness, limitation of movement and reduced range of motion. When it gets onboard with the ageing process, it can seriously hamper one’s mobility.
Commonly related complaints include: headaches, migraines, fatigue, mood swings, poor sleep, irritability, low tolerance, or sensitivity to things one normally copes easily with. The run-on effects of stress can seep into our relationships, our work performance, our sleep patterns and our energy recovery.
Stress disrupts flow on all levels and, like rust, it never sleeps. It is one of the most common reasons for people turning to acupuncture for relief and resolution.
Relief and Resolution
Acupuncture can address the physical manifestations of stress, which occur as obstructions to ‘Qi’ flow as well as the symptoms of chronic illness that these blockages lead to over time. Research is ongoing into the use of specific acupuncture points to target stress-induced conditions. *
Acupuncture points are chosen according to the nature and location of ‘Qi stagnations’. Sometimes the idea is to disperse the qi, other times to work deeper and also nourish the qi, so as to benefit the musculoskeletal and nervous systems, and aid their self regulatory functions.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to my mind, is about creating ‘optimum conditions’ for harmonious function, a state we refer to in modern times as ‘homoestasis’. So, acupuncture point stimulation focuses on relief by relaxing, releasing and restoring the body tissues or systems that have succumbed to stress.
Resolution would involve specific counsel on how to recognize and alter our habitual (psychological) responses to stress. These responses are often unconscious and derive from our (earlier) personal history. As such they may be somewhat redundant and outmoded. They were once brilliant but are now inappropriate.
So, the optimum conditions for dealing with stress are obtained by a combination of physical therapy and counselling.