’Tis the season to be jolly,” the heart-warming voices of carolers might be heard crooning around every corner, but all the cheer brought along by the winter season can quickly turn into a stressful, tiresome, and anxiety-inducing ordeal.
Overbearing tasks such as house cleaning, decorating, cooking, shopping for the right gifts against the clock, dealing with the crowds, going to parties, or welcoming relatives and friends while still trying to lighten up and enjoy the festivities might put a big dent in your holiday spirit. Here’s where your everyday aspirin won’t do you any good, and the good old back rub you were counting on to relieve you of tension will last you until you leave the house.
Fortunately, there is a long-term natural remedy to alleviate all this stress buildup, and it lies in the ancient Chinese art of acupuncture. As one of the world’s oldest medical practices with a documented tradition of over 2500 years, acupuncture is based on the belief that there are more than two thousand acupuncture points in the human body interconnected by bioenergetic pathways known as meridians.
In Chinese medicine, it is believed that the continuous flow of energy known as Qi that circulates through the entire body can get blocked when stress, anxiety, depression, or other such strong emotions are involved. This energy passes seamlessly through something similar to a „highway system,” spread throughout the body.
Strong emotions generated during this busy time of year act as a traffic jam, causing imbalances and blockages to the bioenergy flow. Physical pain, headaches, tightness, and a sore back and neck are among the chief complaints of people during the holiday season, and they share a common cause: stress causes tension to accumulate and block the free energy flow throughout the body.
Why Acupuncture Is Probably Your Best Ally This Holiday Season
The energy blockages caused by the buildup of stress can be dealt with and removed through natural, painless acupuncture sessions. Professionals use needles on special acupuncture points that act as direct switches, unblocking the energy routes and helping the brain release endorphins, our own natural painkillers. Below, we’ve listed some of the most important ways in which acupuncture can help you cope better with stress this holiday season.
- Acupuncture stimulates blood circulation . There is a great positive domino effect generated while being treated by a professional acupuncturist. The removal of blockages allows the free flow of energy, which in turn benefits the circulatory system. Patients experience improved circulation of the blood throughout the entire body, which helps oxygenate tissues and regulates our cortisol levels. Muscles finally relax, the heart rate decreases, and blood pressure gets lowered.
- Acupuncture soothes your aching muscles. Chronic pain – headaches, neck pain, shoulder, and back pain are a common complaint during this stressful season, and acupuncture can successfully address the cause and control the symptoms. Studies that have been performed on human participants who started out with a pain rating of 60 (on a scale of 0 to 100) experienced a 50 percent reduction at an average of a 30-point drop in response to acupuncture treatments using needles.
- Acupuncture puts your stomach at ease. The holiday season also takes its toll on your digestive system, and eating too much of the wrong foods may cause pain (in acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasms). Acupuncture has shown powerful therapeutic effects for treating these conditions, as well as boosting your immune system and your overall energy level.
- Acupuncture improves your mood. Scientists believe the effects of acupuncture for depression are similar to the results from psychological counseling, likely because it helps regulate the ‘happy-making’ neurotransmitters in the brain. Patients often experience a calming and tranquilizing action, as well as a sedative effect, during each acupuncture session.
- Acupuncture will help you sleep better. Acupuncture has a long tradition of relieving sleep disorders and insomnia successfully, particularly in the elderly. Dietary supplements, along with herbal remedies and nutritional guidance, may further help improve your symptoms and allow you to wake up refreshed and rested.
After all, you may get to enjoy your traditional White Christmas and spend this wonderful time of year with your family and loved ones without the constant threat of stress and physical pain. Acupuncture therapy provided by a licensed professional will help you feel less affected by the stressful aspects of life and be better equipped to deal with whatever comes your way.
About the Author
Dr. Marc Browner is the Founder of iChiropractic and Wellness in Naples, Florida. A graduate of the University of Florida in 1991, he earned his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Life Chiropractic in 1995. In private practice since 1998, Dr. Browner is a member of the Florida Chiropractic Society, the Florida Chiropractic Association, and he attends continuing education seminars, classes, and workshops to remain abreast of the most current treatment methods and technological advances in the field.