I love my family to pieces, but this week I had one of those days where I just felt like I was running and running and running without a break all day. The kids, my business, my mom, cooking, cleaning, bills, dogs eating and destroying things they aren't supposed to - have you had a day like that recently? And have you ever finished a day like that and just felt like you can't wind down? If so, I can relate.
Luckily, I have some amazing Chinese Medicine tools at my disposal for dealing with the aftermath of days like this (and when I'm in my right state of mind, the during!) because chronic stress without a reprieve is less than ideal for your health.
Think about it this way - what do you think would happen if you kept your car in park and the engine revving at 65 miles per hour?
You guessed it—after a short time your car would break down. If you were lucky, a simple tune-up would fix the problem. If not, the engine might need to be replaced entirely.
Chronic stress without a recovery period is a revving engine that, if left unchecked, can wear out the body and mind. Stress in our professional, personal, financial and social lives can lead to a variety of symptoms and signs of ill health.
Stress increases our body’s production of cortisol and adrenaline. These body chemicals help activate the “fight or flight” response, a normal reaction that is designed to prepare the body to flee danger or fight an attacker.
Unfortunately, many modern stressors are chronic and end up activating the “fight or flight” response for weeks, months, or years at a time. This long-term activation of the body’s stress-response system can wear down the body and mind, setting the stage for illness and disease.
The good news is that acupuncture and Chinese medicine can be extremely helpful in reducing the symptoms, signs and effects of stress. In fact, treating and learning to manage stress and the aftermath of stress is a specialty in my practice, and I've helped hundreds of patients learn what to do to to decrease stress and improve health over the past decade. Some of the ways we can accomplish this include:
1) A customized Chinese herbal prescription to help restore internal health and balance, thus “slowing the engine down.”
2) Safe, gentle and effective acupuncture treatments to help “turn off” the fight or flight response and can enable you to feel calmer and sleep more soundly.
3) Suggestions for a healthy lifestyle, including proper nutrition, meditation, rest and exercise, towards enabling you to maintain health over the long-term.
One of the unique attributes of Chinese medicine is its holistic approach to health and well-being. Instead of masking, or only addressing a few symptoms and signs related to stress, an acupuncturist cares for the whole person, body and mind.
Stop revving your engine! If you or someone you know is experiencing stress, feel free to give me a call. For thousands of years acupuncture has helped millions of people cool their engines before they burned out and I've made it a mission of my practice to help people like you Be Well and Stay Well in every way despite the high stress times our modern world subjects us to day to day.
So if you're ready to downshift to a lower gear with Chinese Medicine as your guide, please book in for an appointment or consultation today. It would be my true joy and pleasure to help you!
Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.