Our modern lifestyle is not known for its easygoing, relaxing pace – far from it. We are constantly on the go, between home, work, school, kids, errands, shopping, cooking, cleaning, and other various chores throughout the week. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and we may forget to keep self-care in our minds.
That is, until something starts to act up, and make itself known. That knot in your back? The tightness throughout your neck and shoulders? This is just one of many manifestations of the stress of daily life catching up with you. Some people get headaches, others get achy or stiff. Still others have their sleep cycles disrupted, which further compounds the issue. If stress is chronic and long term, it can even weaken the immune system, so you’re more likely to catch a cold.
Our bodies are as individual as our personalities, and how stress manifests as illness will vary greatly from one person to the next. Regardless of what form these manifestations take, it is very important that we clear them, and the stress that is causing those symptoms, before they can burrow deeper, where they may cause more damage and will take longer to clear.
Breathing exercises, stretches, and meditation can help us control stress to some degree, but sometimes a stronger approach is needed.
Thankfully, acupuncture is one of several modalities that can be quite effective in both reducing stress while simultaneously clearing the very stagnation that may act as a pathogenic factor in the body. Your acupuncturist can even apply special seeds/beads to your ears that you can stimulate yourself as needed to help treat your stress!
It may be difficult, but it is important that we remember to pay attention to the messages our bodies are sending us. Complementary medicine is preventative medicine, so don’t forget to take some time for yourself – even if it’s just to remind yourself to breathe.
Sam Pierceall believes that genuine health is defined by more than an absence of disease. True health care accounts for the whole person: body, mind, and spirit. By incorporating practices such as acupuncture, yoga, massage, and other modalities, we encourage the body to be healthy at all levels on a regular basis. Sam has studied permaculture and organic farming in Mexico and Belize, herbal medicine at Sacred Plant Traditions, and is currently studying to be an acupuncturist, so that he can share the benefits of this ancient practice with those in his community.