Stress Management

Modern life is full of time pressure and frustration. In other words, it’s stressful. Racing against deadlines, sitting in traffic, arguing with your spouse—all these make your body react as if you were facing a physical threat. If this constantly happens, it will make you more vulnerable to life-threatening health problems. Fortunately, though, you can search for help and develop skills to avoid some stressors and limit the effects of others. The payoff includes less fatigue, more peace of mind and, definitely a longer, healthier life.

What is the stress response?

Often referred to as the “fight-or-flight” reaction, the stress response occurs automatically when you feel threatened. Your pituitary gland, located at the base of your brain, responds to a perceived threat by stepping up its release of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which signals other glands to produce additional hormones. When the pituitary sends out a burst of ACTH, it’s like an alarm system going off deep in your brain. This alarm tells your adrenal glands, situated atop your kidneys, to release a flood of stress hormones into your bloodstream. These hormones — including cortisol and adrenaline — focus your concentration, speed your reaction time, and increase your strength and agility.

How stress affects your body:

After you’ve fought, fled or otherwise escaped your stressful situation, the levels of cortisol and adrenaline in your bloodstream decline. As a result, your heart rate and blood pressure return to normal and your digestion and metabolism resume a regular pace. But if stressful situations pile up one after another, your body has no chance to recover. This long-term activation of the stress-response system can disrupt almost all your body’s processes, increasing your risk of obesity, insomnia, digestive complaints, heart disease, loss of sex drive, stroke, diabetes, psoriasis, eczema, hives, asthma and depression.

Stress-Related Symptoms and Conditions

Pain and Fatigue:

  • Bruxism
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Insomnia
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Reclaiming your life in spite of chronic pain
  • Temporomandibular joint disorders
  • Tension-type headache

Mood and Anxiety:

  • Depression
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Panic attacks
  • Phobias
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Postpartum depression
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

Addiction and Substance Abuse:

  • Alcoholism
  • Compulsive gambling
  • Compulsive sexual behavior
  • Drug addiction
  • Nicotine dependence

How Can Acupuncture Help You:

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) thinks that internal organs have close relationship with emotions. These relationships are: heart — joy, liver— anger, spleen — over thinking, lung — sadness, kidney — fear. For instance, normal range of joy will nourish heart, and make heart function well. But over joy will cause disturbing of heart Qi and lead to symptoms like lack of concentration, palpitation, and even manic behavior. During our daily life, we should feel normal range of all the five emotions (joy, anger, over thinking, sadness and fear). Diseases only happen when:

  • The emotion is too much and out of the control of the internal organs.
  • The internal organs are not strong enough to cope with daily emotions.

The later is often seen in Dr. Yan’s clinic among stress patients. In such a case, the treatment aims at strengthening the internal organs, particularly liver and spleen.

Brain Activating Acupuncture is Dr. Yan’s main protocol for stress management. It has two groups of points.

  • The head and neck points can promote blood supply to the brain and help relax the stressed central nervous system.
  • Points on the four limbs will sooth liver Qi and strengthen spleen Qi so as to create a good sense of well being and boost energy.
    A Breathing Technique will be applied to people who have difficulty in relaxing during the treatment.

This therapy has helped people with the following conditions:

  • Stress
  • Depression (including pospartum)
  • Fatigue
  • Headache / Migraines
  • Insomnia
  • Panic attack
  • Addiction (alcohol, cigarettes and crack cocaine)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome