In Chinese Medicine we have the understanding that stress is the fastest way to “tie knots in our qi.” When we are stressed, the smooth flow of energy in our body can become stuck, bunched up, and tight. This is something we can literally feel.
Do you recall the last time you were really stressed out?
How did your body feel?
Did you clench your jaw all day, tense up your shoulders, and were you able to sleep well that night?
Did the stressful day affect your digestion?
Was your next period extra painful?
Did you have a big emotional release a few days later?
All of these are signs that there is significant qi stagnation in the body.
Stress and Anxiety are a common experience for us humans living in a fast-paced modern world, however the impact of chronic low or medium stress on the body can have a huge impact on our physical and mental health.
Acupuncture is a great modality to support chronic stress, as the acupuncture needles work to clear, redistribute and smooth out Qi blockages in the body. Patients will often climb off the treatment table and report how relaxed they are feeling after the treatment.
Chinese Medicine also has a huge category of herbs to calm the mind and spirit. The herbal medicine component of this treatment modality is very effective at supporting on a daily basis in between their face-to-face treatments with their acupuncturist. The herbs work cumulatively the same way as western pharmaceuticals, and will have the best outcome when taken consistently at the dosage prescribed. There can be many different root causes for a persons’ stress and/or anxiety, and so each patient will usually be given a customised herbal formula specific to their own health needs.
Of course, the stressors in a patients’ life will still be there when they get off the treatment table, and a big component of stress management is how we relate to our world mentally and emotionally, and that is up to each of us to keep working on. Acupuncture can play an amazing supportive role by bringing us back to our calm centre and remember what a relaxed and easeful body and mind feels like. This helps us to grow our self-awareness so that over time we can learn to stay in flow and maintain good health regardless of stress.