In Chinese medicine we talk about causes of disease and health imbalances in terms of “excess” and “deficiency.” The holiday season is typically a time of excess:
- Excess indulgence of rich foods, drinks and alcohol
- Excess activity: running around shopping, attending parties and social events, cooking, cleaning, hosting parties and house guests, traveling, etc.
- Excessive stress and emotions that often occur at this time of year: difficult family dynamics; feelings of sadness, loss and grief that may come up when we find ourselves missing loved ones during this time; Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – aka the winter blues; and societal pressure for this to be “the most wonderful time of the year” when we just aren’t feeling that way.
All of this excess can then cause deficiency – or depletion – of energy and/or motivation, or a mix of stress (excess) and fatigue (deficiency). We may feel drained, exhausted, unmotivated and/or depressed, or perhaps we feel “wired and tired,” revved-up but unable to wind down, with restless sleep or insomnia at night and adrenaline keeping us going during the day masking the underlying fatigue. Maybe we feel sluggish or our digestion is off-kilter.
Our activities and our emotions are intertwined and the great thing about Chinese medicine is that it addresses all of these issues at the same time. Acupuncture can help us feel more balanced at times when we may be experiencing highs and lows by calming the nervous system and releasing our own endogenous opioids, helping us to experience a feeling of well-being and calm. Enjoy a happier, more relaxing and balanced holiday season with acupuncture.
Most of the time our patients come in because they have a health condition for which they want relief. Acupuncture is not only effective for the treatment of a wide range of conditions, it is also effective as preventive medicine, that is, health care used for the prevention of disease. Acupuncture is an excellent tool for promoting general health and reducing the prevalence of imbalances such as stress, irritability, insomnia, fatigue and the like. You may have found that acupuncture has helped with some of the factors listed above, but unfortunately not all. Trying something like CBD oil may help with some of the problems that acupuncture did not. It may be in your best interest to have a look at Armchair Empire (armchairempire.com) who reviews the different types of CBD oil if you are unsure of which one to buy. But make sure you give acupuncture a go first before looking for alternative treatments.
Acupuncture has its place among other healthy lifestyle habits and therapies such as healthy eating, adequate sleep, moderate exercise, yoga, massage and mindfulness based stress reduction techniques. Instead of waiting until something feels “off” or “way off,” acupuncture on some regular or periodic basis such as weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly can foster a sense of well-being, reduce tension and improve the body’s immune response. It’s relaxing and calming to the nervous system. When you consider the fact that many health problems are caused or worsened by stress (some examples include digestive disorders, muscle tension, insomnia, depression, anxiety, frequent common colds/lowered immune response and PMS), it makes sense that the use of acupuncture, which reduces stress, would also help to prevent illnesses and imbalances.