Give Yourself a Gift
This holiday season, acupuncture is a terrific gift to give yourself, or a special loved one in need of relaxation and rejuvenation. Did you know that acupuncture reduces holiday stress? Envision an hour of solitude. First of all, a complimentary, fragrant hot tea is pressed into your hands. Then you notice the gentle echo of soft music enveloping you in warmth and weightlessness. As you rest on a warm bed, imagine tangible relief from the aches and pains of errands. Also find relief from battling sleep-deprived crowds and working overtime to earn your holiday vacation!
Why do we get so stressed at the holidays?
1. Heightened expectations.
The holiday season is here, and with it comes a plethora of expectations.
- The errand list becomes miles longer,
- the perfect tree must be selected and decorated,
- the in-laws are undoubtedly on their way,
- ham and roast recipes must be vetted and
- good little boys and girls stare eagerly into shop windows, their hopeful breath catching in puffy ethereal clouds of fog as they hover before their dream toy, separated only by a cruel layer of glass.
And nobody wants to let their family down at Christmas.
2. Time Crunch
As adults, the season creates more stress than it does peace on earth. Life becomes complex and complicated. While we race to accomplish our endless holiday to-dos, the swift and sinister clock ticks on. Since we already fill our days to the brim with a busy life, at Christmas time it just gets busier. And the apparent lack of time becomes even more magnified with the additional lists of things to get accomplished.
Problems Stemming from Stress (Holiday or not)
With the nebulous fog of stress in the air, perhaps it is time to carve out some self-care time in your busy schedule. The pain and anxiety that stems from stress does more than suffocate your daily activities – it compromises your health and wellness.
Repeated exposure to stressful conditions, coupled with an inability or resistance to coping with stress proactively, can lead to
- brain shrinkage,
- heart disease,
- anxiety or depression,
- weight management concerns
- chronic pain.
How Acupuncture Reduces Holiday Stress
Acupuncture isn’t simply a magical placebo effect that evokes illusionary relief. It’s proven to quell the flow of stress-induced hormones in the adrenal gland, pituitary gland and hypothalamus (known as the HPA axis). These hormones control our “flight or fight” response, which is designed to help us make split-second decisions in moments of extreme hazard, imminent danger or agonizing harm. Rather than release the tempestuous buildup of hormones via fighting or running (read: exercise, meditation or other stress inhibitor), we cage this latent, and very real, energy. Thus, over time, this negative energy surplus develops into egregious health concerns.
Repeated acupuncture treatments enhance the body’s ability to cope with stress in a non-detrimental manner by targeting specific points on the body where myriad stress hormones have taken residence, thus causing gradual and relieving release.
If the holiday season has you feeling blue, acupuncture can also be incredibly beneficial: a study by the University of York suggests acupuncture is more effective in treating anxiety and depression than medication and counseling.
Acupuncture treatment can become a home away from home – a reprieve from the demands of our noisy and pulsating electronic world. By escaping the distractions, speed and messages, even for an hour, and entering a space alive with the gentle breath of simplicity, comfort, warmth and inner peace, your emotional, physical and mental wellness can recharge and emerge with restored clarity, insight and vision.
Love yourself. Like Janis Joplin said, you are all you’ve got. Treat yourself with care and allow your body a holistic chance to heal through the power of acupuncture this holiday season.
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