Back to work stress? After taking sometime off over the New Year period it is not unusual to experience a certain degree of stress going back to work. Overtime this anxiety can build up and start to affect our mental, physical and emotional wellbeing leading to more serious repercussions on our health. Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine are great alternative therapies to help manage this stress.
From a Chinese Medicine perspective, we view optimal health and wellbeing as a harmonious balance of two opposite and complementary factors known as yin and yang. This means that when you are experiencing an increased level of stress, this balance will be out of sync and the body will manifest certain symptoms of disharmony such as body aches and pains or disruptions in your sleep. Unlike Western Medicine in which diagnosis is condition based, a Chinese Medicine Practitioner will treat the underlying pattern of illness which can manifest as a number of symptoms.
These symptoms associated with stress are most commonly linked with the dysfunction of the Liver* organ, from a Chinese Medicine perspective this organ is responsible for the smooth flow of emotions as well as Qi (energy) and blood. As acupuncture and Chinese Medicine work on the bodies ability to heal itself, you can moderate and adjust your lifestyle to increase your chances of better coping with stress and achieving and maintaining optimal health.
Below are 4 ways that will help regulate the flow of Liver* Qi and naturally combat stress:
Acupuncture will release blocked energy within the meridians of the body, therefore relieving headaches, muscle tension and body pain through the release of endorphins, the bodies natural painkiller. Furthermore, Acupuncture regulates the circulation of blood and oxygen throughout the tissues to decrease epinephrine and cortisol (the “stress hormones”), calm down the central nervous system and relax the muscles.
As yoga is a mind-body form of practice, it combines physical movement, controlled breathing and meditation to achieve relaxation. Research has shown that yoga not only increase muscular strength and flexibility but will also reduce stress and anxiety, increase mood, improve sleeping patterns and enhance overall quality of life.
Massage has been shown to decrease the physical effects of stress, by inducing a relaxation response. Therefore, massage will relieve muscle tension, stimulate the lymphatic system to improve circulation and overall boost the bodies immune system.
Meditation and Mindfulness
Meditation and mindfulness are simple ways to pause and rest the mind. Research has shown that by retraining the mind, we become better at coping and less reactive towards day-to-day stressors.
Lastly, eating a healthy nutrient-rich diet, getting plenty of good quality sleep and regularly spending sometime outdoors are also all important aspects to maintain healthy mental and physical wellbeing. So let’s combat stress this year and alter our mindset to decrease the chance of any implications on our mental and physical health!
Organs mentioned in this post correspond to the Chinese Medicine understanding of organ function, not the western medicine concept. Therefore, unless there is a western medical problem, the organs mentioned are unlikely to show up in blood test or ultra sound showing dysfunction.
Georgia Fong is a Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner at Health Space Rozelle. She is interested in treating a variety of different areas of health, including musculoskeletal conditions involving pain management and recovery, women’s health, digestive disorders and overall general wellbeing. She looks forward to working with her patients and respecting all aspects of mind, body and soul to help them achieve their health goals. Reach her at Health Space Rozelle on (02) 9810 8769