Acupuncture for Stress Relief

Got stress? Maybe you’ve got ‘Spring Fever’. Acupuncture is the best kept secret for stress relief! Many of my acupuncture patients are reporting increased irritability, anxiety, and PMS with the onset of spring. Some are feeling unusually tired. People with allergies, TMJ, tension headaches, migraines, and vertigo also tend to notice a flare-up this time of year. Acupuncturists call this ‘Liver Qi Stagnation’ which gets worse in the spring.

What’s Liver Qi?
Spring is the time of year that the organ system called Liver gets unbalanced. No, not your actual liver – the Chinese ‘Liver’ system. Acupuncturists know that the Liver regulates energy flow throughout your body. A busy, stressed out life causes the Liver to clamp down on your energy system – a condition called ‘Liver Qi Stagnation’. Most Americans experience some form of Liver Qi Stagnation throughout the year. Symptoms may include frustration, teeth grinding, ear ringing, allergies, and PMS.

Why is it worse in Spring?
Spring is a ‘strong’ season with an outward push of energy and wild weather swings. Our bodies are made from the materials found in nature so it makes sense that we would notice amplified stress or mood swings when spring arrives. Spring starts in February according to the Chinese calendar. So our 1st day of spring coincides with the middle of spring – a time when the Liver Qi is at its peak. Here in the west, we have the term ’Spring Fever’ which is described as a feeling of restlessness or laziness. If you’ve got pre-existing Liver Qi Stagnation, you’re likely noticing increased stress or fatigue. Perhaps your Liver Qi needs some attention.

4 Ways Move Your Liver Qi

Exercise
Loosen up your Liver Qi with some exercise. Walking, running, or weightlifting are great ways to blow off steam. Yoga and Tai Qi are good additions for smoothing the body’s Qi and helping you relax.

Turn Off Your Cellphone
….and your computer for that matter. With increased connectivity we’ve become more stressed.Your Liver Qi gets tighter with every email, beep, notification, and text that comes in. Unplug and go for a walk – outside in nature if you can. Your Liver Qi will thank you!

Hang Out
Schedule time with people who boost your mood. Nurture friendships and family ties. Go have some fun, or just chill out, preferably with people. Positive relationships create flow – in both your life and your qi.

Visit your Acupuncturist
If you’re feeling stress, PMS, fatigue, or allergy symptoms, your Liver Qi might be stuck. Acupuncture regulates the meridians and the Liver – creating balance and flow. The result? You feel better! So get your qi moving and flow into summer.

Read more about acupuncture for stress and anxiety or acupuncture and menstrual issues including PMS!

S.A.D. Acupuncture for Seasonal Affective Disorder

Feeling S.A.D.? Seasonal Affective Disorder or S.A.D. is a condition that describes feeling depressed in the fall and winter when the weather gets colder and the days get shorter. Acupuncture treatment is very effective for people who get S.A.D. But how does it work? First we must understand how acupuncturists view S.A.D.

Is S.A.D. a Disorder?

Is S.A.D. a disorder? It really depends on the severity of your symptoms. S.A.D. occurs during the change of seasons so it is called ‘seasonal’. Acupuncturists know that moods fluctuate with the seasons. Chinese medicine recognizes that our bodies are a microcosm of the natural world and that our bodies are composed of the same elements that occur in nature. As a smaller version of nature, we are intimately connected to changes that occur during seasonal cycles. Shouldn’t our moods be expected to shift accordingly?

In the fall, acupuncturists know that our energy is beginning to contract and pull inward – similar to what is happening outside our front doors as the leaves fall and trees begin to go dormant.  With the waning of daylight hours and the cessation of plant growth, our ancestors would have gathered inside to hunker down for the season.

There is a natural desire to turn inward as the fall becomes winter. As we enter the dark cold winter months, it is normal to want to conserve energy as we seek to renew ourselves for the next cycle of expansion that begins with the first buds of spring.

Since contraction of energy in the fall and winter feels like the direct opposite of the outward expansive energy of spring and summer, we may mistake our feelings for depression. Our cultural aversion to anything that is not outright happiness doesn’t help us accept the inward, reflective cycle of the approaching winter season.

Acupuncture Treats S.A.D.

Seasonal moods are a natural part of our human design – it is normal for them to change as seasons turn.  Acupuncturists know that the body is thrown off balance by any sort of ‘change’ – including the change of seasons. Adapting to change is a sign of good health and balance. But when you are unable to adapt to the change of season and your mood begins to affect your daily function it could be S.A.D.

The good news is – acupuncture can help with seasonal depression (or any type of depression for that matter). Acupuncture helps your body adapt to the change in season so you can ‘go with the flow’. Regular acupuncture treatments help people who are prone to S.A.D. adapt to the seasons more readily. People who get regular acupuncture report an overall balance in their emotional life with less severe ‘ups and downs’.

For more information on Acupuncture and Depression please visit our We Treat Depression page.

For a more complete look at Acupuncture and Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) see the blog:

http://acutakehealth.com/seasonal-affective-not-a-disorder