How to reduce stress naturally with acupuncture and herbs

By Gianna Buonocore

The COVID pandemic has sent our world into chaos. Chaos around us and chaos within. We’re experiencing unprecedented levels of stress, anxiety, fear, uncertainty, loneliness, despondency and more. It can be overwhelming; it can disturb our inner balance.

The extent to which we are affected and exactly how we are affected depends on our individual strengths and weaknesses – our resilience amid uncertainty. But one thing is certain: we must be robust in body and mind to withstand all challenges that come our way.

A healthy body is a body in balance. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), when energy(Qi) and blood flow freely throughout our body our mind is calm and we feel healthy and happy. But, when blockages occur, our body fails to maintain balance in one or more of its systems. This can cause a host of health issues like anxiety, insomnia, digestive problems, migraines and more.

How can you maintain balance in these difficult times?

Acupuncture is a safe, natural and pain-free healing approach that has been used for over thousands of years. It involves the insertion of fine needles into specific areas of your body to clear blockages and reduce pain and inflammation. This activates your body’s internal healing mechanisms and reestablishes balance. Acupuncture balances your mood and improves focus and concentration by activating the network of nerves in your brain, which in turn enhances brain pattern connectivity.

Let’s take Jack*, for example. Jack was experiencing anxiety – something he had never felt before. It would grip him with without warning, particularly in the evenings. His heart would race, his chest tighten and his breath become more troubled. With distracting thoughts filling his mind, he struggled to fall asleep. This meant he was tired during the day and, at work, he found it difficult to focus. As the main breadwinner in his family, this exacerbated his feelings of stress and overwhelm.

Jack’s doctor prescribed him some sleep and anti-anxiety medication, but – like many who visit our natural health clinic – he did not want to become dependent on them or suffer from side effects. He wanted a safe and sustainable solution.

According to TCM, the heart is an emotional organ and one of its principal roles is to “house” the mind. When the mind is housed in the heart, there is peace, tranquility, restful sleep, good memory, concentration and focus. When the heart is troubled, it cannot anchor the mind, which floats and becomes restless.

Jack required an initial five acupuncture treatments – every third day to balance day (Yang – activity) and night (Yin – sleep) and pacify the heart. A day and night herbal blend were prescribed while reducing his medication.

Herbs work on a deeper level to correct underlying imbalances and address more serious health issues. No two individuals are alike and so herbs are prepared to suit a person’s precise requirements. Some herbal blends are warming and are used to treat cold conditions such as abdominal pain and diarrhea; others are cooling and used to treat hot conditions, like menopausal flushing and high blood pressure. Sweet herbs strengthen the body after an infection or a chronic illness, and bitter herbs treat pain and inflammation. Herbal blends are convenient to take and are available as powdered concentrates, which are easily mixed with hot water.

Jack had never had acupuncture before. He found it relaxing and, as acupuncture has a cumulative effect, he benefited more as the treatment progressed. He no longer takes medication for anxiety or sleep issues. Instead, he is conscious of his thoughts and feelings, confident about managing his stress and trusting in his body’s ability to fall asleep. He now comes in for acupuncture once a month to maintain his wellbeing and when he feels the need for a top up in these testing times.

While acupuncture is well known to alleviate stress and anxiety, it’s worth noting that it can also treat a plethora of medical health conditions. Aches and pains, coughs and colds, stroke, indigestion, infertility and more.  If you’d like to explore how acupuncture can help you or schedule an appointment, please contact acupuncture@imi.com.hk or call 2523 7121.

Gianna Buonocore

About Gianna Buonocore

Gianna is an acupuncturist and herbalist. She has a professional, gentle and caring approach to treating a variety of health conditions. Her areas of expertise are anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, pregnancy, fertility, facial rejuvenation acupuncture, and painful conditions such as sinusitis, headache and sports injuries.

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