By Dr. Jeannette “Jett” Kerns, AP, DOM, MSAOM, L.Ac.
Stress is a normal part of life. We all have it and for the most part there is no avoiding it. Whether the stress is from your job, children, aging parents, noisy neighbors, finances, marriage, etc., it all negatively affects the body in the same way. What we do have control of is how we deal with stress.
Sure, there are western drugs that can help with stress in the short term. If you have a prescription for it you can always take a pill, but guess what, the stress is going to come right back again when the drug wears off and who knows what side effects or grogginess you’re going to experience. Why not just explore a route that assists your body in processing the stress in a safe and effective manner?
Stress triggers the release of cortisol which is a glucocorticoid or steroid hormone. When it rises in a short-term instance it’s a good thing as it aids the body into fight or flight mode, so we can deal with what threat is immediately in front of us. When our cortisol levels stay constantly elevated because of stress is when our bodies can start to become damaged by it.
Long term elevations of cortisol may lead to:
- Blood sugar imbalance and diabetes
- Weight gain
- Cardiovascular disease
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Immune system suppression
- Fertility issues
- Thyroid disorders
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- And more
There are many ways that you can process stress in a safe way. Exercise, proper nutrition, healthy amounts of sleep, acupuncture, yoga, meditation, supplements and talk therapy are all excellent ways of dealing with stress. Each person ultimately will find out what works best for them.
When you need additional help with dealing with stress we are here to help. Acupuncture isn’t a panacea or a cure-all, but it can immediately help relax your mind and muscles, promote healthy sleep, reduce pain, boost energy, promote healthy weight loss, fight depression and much more. Chinese medicine also offers many powerful and highly effective herbal formulas that you can take daily for short term or long term as needed that are gentle and safe and allow you to process stress more efficiently.
While there is one, single method that is absolutely the best for dealing with everyone’s stress, we hope this article has given you some more tools to identify not only what stress may do to your body, but also to prevent this from happening. It’s never too late or too early to take control of your health so why not start today.