Stress and anxiety
For thousands of years Traditional Chinese Medicine has recognised that mind, body and emotions are intimately interrelated and disturbances in one aspect can affect the others. Health is seen as a vital balance between them all. Acupuncture aims to smooth out whichever imbalances arise that prevent harmony within our organism and its relationship with our environment.
It turns out this holistic tradition is hugely relevant to our world. 75 years ago endocrinologist Hans Selye started to define the importance of ‘stress’ for medicine. He saw it as any physical or mental demand on us that creates pressure to adapt. Modern life is complicated and ever changing. Stress is the term we now use to describe when its challenges become too much, causing mental, physical and emotional disruption. And chronic stress is now recognised to be a factor in many kinds of serious disease.
For some the causes of stress might seem obvious, such as a demanding job or life situation. Sometimes stress is more like an accumulation of things that cause our cup to flow over. Or it might seem confusing. For instance, many people feel ‘burnt out’ after Covid lockdowns, but staying home prevents us from doing other things to meet our balance of mental, physical and social needs.
I work with clients who experience stress in a range of ways and linked with numerous physical symptoms such as digestive disturbances, fatigue, hormonal imbalances, high blood pressure, muscular tension and headaches. Whatever your situation the aim of acupuncture will be to relax, restore and shift blockages in your vital energies. Where relevant we will also discuss lifestyle factors such as food, supplements and sleep, and work to complement any other medical interventions you receive.
According to Roy Morgan research over a quarter of Australians experienced anxiety in 2020. Fear is a natural part of life. It is a signal sent from deep in the brain when a threatening situation is perceived. It engages the fight, flight, freeze response that creates mental vigilance, sparks stress hormones and braces the body for physical action. It’s what kept our ancestors alive while sabre tooth tigers were around.
Anxiety is when worries become excessive or enduring. It can become general or is sometimes triggered by new or uncertain situations. For instance, many pregnant women worry about the health of their unborn child.
While psychotherapies work on undoing the patterns of fearful thought and behaviour, acupuncture is a physical intervention that will aim to create calming effects to balance out emotions. My treatment approach will be tailored for each person, their situation and the symptoms they are experiencing.