Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine For Emotional Stress
Those who have tried acupuncture to manage emotional stress find that receiving a course of treatments is incredibly helpful for discharging and relaxing the accumulated tension and nervousness that can build up in our body over time. Prolonged emotional stress, whether stemming from relationship discord, occupational stress, major life transitions, and many other contributing factors can wreak havoc on our health and sense of personal well-being. Common effects of stress that we see here at Alpenglow include fatigue, muscular tension and pain, headaches, digestive upset, sleep problems, headaches, restlessness, and feelings of irritability, overwhelm, and depression.
One of the theories put forward to explain the effectiveness of acupuncture is that it is believed that by inserting acupuncture needles into the body we are stimulating the body’s endogenous opioid system, which is a scientific-way of saying that we are stimulating the body to release its’ own highly potent, healing, feel-good neurochemicals that play a role in everything from sleep to mood to how we experience sensations of pain in our body. This is part of the reason why acupuncture is thought to be so effective in addressing the pain and distress that detrimentally impacts both our mind and body, and why after regular treatments for a period of time, patients often remark on a global and systemic improvement in their overall health, including their pain levels, mood, energy level, and overall sense of wellbeing.
For patients looking to use acupuncture to help ease the symptoms of emotional stress in their lives, very often we will recommend Chinese herbal formulas in conjunction with a course of acupuncture treatments. When prescribed by a qualified practitioner, Chinese herbal medicine can improve the effectiveness and response to treatment. Leaves, stems, roots, tubers, flowers, and seeds comprise a majority of the herbs we use in the Chinese herbal tradition. For convenience, the primarily delivery method we use here at Alpenglow includes patent herbal formulas that come in pill form, as well as tinctured herbs in liquid form.
Evergreen Herbs is a company we use here at the clinic because it is an industry leader in its use of quality control and Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) in its acquisition and testing processes for their herbal formulas, as well as the extensive pharmacological and clinical research they do on their formulas. A great formula in particular is CALM ZZZ. The formula’s anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), muscle-relaxant, and antidepressant qualities make it a really great formula for individuals looking to address the symptoms of chronic and constant stress, insomnia with difficulty falling asleep, and those with a hard-driving but possibly overly-ruminating and restless personality style.
Another formula commonly used here at the clinic is called Augmented Rambling Powder. This combination of cooling, moving, and nourishing herbs makes it a really great formula for those of us who struggle with irritability, headaches that get worse under stress, night sweats, and the kind of PMS symptoms (moodiness, irritability, anger) that makes your loved ones want to run and hide.
Finally, another herbal formula commonly prescribed here at the clinic is good one but it’s also a mouthful - Emperor of Heaven’s Special Pill To Tonify The Heart. This is a great formula for those of us who are easily unsettled and sensitive to stress, which can then throw us into a pattern of sleeping poorly, difficulty staying asleep during the night, a sensation of fluttery feelings and anxiety in the chest, feeling ungrounded, and feeling overall very anxious and uneasy in body and mind.
Finally, oftentimes there are certain lifestyle modifications and daily practices that can help to ease the fallout from some of the stress that we have to manage in our lives. Lifestyle counseling is a huge cornerstone of Chinese medicine practice and including it along with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine further increases the likelihood of a good clinical outcome. Decreasing and even eliminating caffeine and alcohol for a time can be very helpful, because both increase the stress hormone cortisol and can leave us feeling both tired and wired at the same time. Exercise and deep breathing practices can help to ease stress and both nervous and muscular tension. Certain teas and aromatherapy oils can have a really positive impact on mood and energy levels. Most importantly, be gentle with yourself. There is so much in life we don’t have control over, and it doesn’t help to give ourselves a hard time over it. If you have any questions about your own unique circumstances and symptoms, or more questions about how acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can help ease emotional stress, please reach out to the clinic and we will be happy to answer your questions.