How to live with an open heart: Treating anxiety and stress through acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine
As a society we have so many demands on our energy, time, resources, body, emotions, and general well-being. What we all truly desire is finding a peaceful, calm, centered place from which to live our lives authentically. Most of us strive to be present and truly connected to our own personal power; living our lives as free as possible from fear, stress, anxiety and or depression. When we are able to resolve some of these feelings, we are able to tap into boundless possibilities and resources for personal growth and well-being.
From a Western perspective, acupuncture has been shown through clinic research, to gently and effectively positively interact with your endocrine and nervous system. Acupuncture calms and resets the “fight or flight” response which helps to prevent the production of cortisol and norepinephrine (stress hormones). Excessive cortisol levels in the body due to chronic stress and or anxiety can lead to chronic health conditions such as heart disease, weight gain, inflammatory conditions, and much more. In conjunction, acupuncture is also thought to positively affect the HPA axis (the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and the adrenal glands) response to stress through potentially lowering and blocking stress induced hormone elevations that the HPA axis produces.
Acupuncture and TCM is an amazing tool to help us achieve a more peaceful state of being, thus helping us to live the life we are meant to live! It has been used for thousands of years, catapulting true healing by getting to the root of the “dis-ease”. From a Chinese medical perspective, acupuncture works predominantly on three main meridians (channels or energy) and helps to restore the following three organs: the liver, heart, and spleen. Because Chinese Medicine is thousands of years old, the organs have a different function than they do from a Western medical viewpoint.
The Heart Meridian & Organ
The Heart houses our emotional being. When the heart isn’t properly nourished with blood and or stress becomes chronic, the heart energy becomes stagnant and or deficient. This results in feelings of anxiety, insomnia, obsessive thinking, chronic stress, depression, among many other things. When the heart meridian is balanced and full of healthy qi (energy), we will feel open, inspired, calm, compassionate, centered, and full of life.
The Liver Meridian & Organ
The liver has a diverse and powerful effect on our body’s ability to cope and deal with stress. The liver meridian controls the free flow of all of our qi in the body. When the liver meridian is stuck due to stress, we literally feel “stuck” in life. This leads to frustration, lack of motivation, and a general feeling of depression or hopelessness. A thriving liver meridian and organ helps propel our personal growth, gives us a sense of direction, and contributes to our ability to live a life that’s filled with purpose and depth.
The Spleen Meridian & Organ
One of the many varied functions of the Spleen meridian is to house our thoughts. When the spleen qi is deficient we tend to over think, ruminate, and worry obsessively. As these thought patterns become chronic, the spleen qi becomes increasingly deficient. Unexplained anxiety, OCD, insomnia, stomach upset, poor nutrient absorption, fatigue, and sugar addictions are all tied to deficient spleen qi. When the spleen is functioning optimally we feel full of energy, choose wholesome and nourishing foods, are fairly stress free, calm, and happy.
Acupuncturists work by choosing specific therapeutic acupuncture points on these meridians to bring a harmonious balance to these organs/meridians. There is a diverse range and response to acupuncture, people often notice a difference in a short amount of time with a consistent course of treatments. Let acupuncture help transform your life!
Shannon Gyles MSOM CA
Featured in Natures Pathways