Acupuncture for Stress
Stress is a common experience we all encounter in this modern world we live in. The demands of life can create a physical and psychological reaction. When confronted with stress, the body responds by releasing hormones to prepare it for the “fight or flight” response. Once the stress is gone, the body should return to a normal relaxed state. However, over time nonstop stress will leave the body and mind unable to return to this relaxed state. That’s when a wide variety of dysfunction can occur throughout the body, affecting the brain, heart, stomach, muscles, and immune system.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the liver is the most sensitive organ to emotional distress. The liver’s main priority is to keep the energy running smoothly throughout the body. Stress will stagnate this function and create muscle tension and pain, extreme emotions, stomach upsets, headaches, hormonal imbalance, high blood pressure, respiratory illness, and suppression of the immune system.
Fortunately, stress can be reduced through the use of holistic approaches like acupuncture, massage, herbs, meditation, exercise, and food remedies. Acupuncture is a wonderful way to restore proper circulation in the body, relax the muscles, calm the mind, regulate hormones and treat each system in the body affected by stress.
My favorite acupuncture points for stress are Ren-14 and Heart-7.
REN - 14
Ren-14 is located on the midline of the abdomen, 6 cun (1 cun=thumb width) above the umbilicus and 2 cun below the sternocostal angle. This point has a way of relaxing the body, as it will help regulate the heart rate and allow relaxation to spread across the body.
HE - 7
Heart-7’s name in Chinese is pin yin is shen men. In English it translates to spirit gate. It is located at the wrist crease on the radial side of the flexor carpi ulnaris tendon, between the ulna and the pisiform bones. It is used for sedating or calming the mind. These points used together will have a strong overall relaxing effect on the body, mind and soul.
Chrysanthemum Tea is an herb that has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. It is a light yellowish flower that functions to relax and maintain a healthy liver. In China, they drink it on a daily basis for overall health. This herb has high amounts of B carotene, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Also, it is a great source of Vitamin Bs such as choline, folacin, niacin, and riboflavin. Chrysanthemum tea is naturally caffeine free. This natural coolant will lower the temperature when the body is suffering from fever or heat stroke. Overall, this tea has powerful antioxidants and minerals that will help your body better regulate itself and eliminate unnecessary stress hormones in the blood. It’s easy to prepare by adding hot water to 1 Teaspoon of dried chrysanthemum flowers, let the mix steep for 5 minutes and enjoy.