Traditional Chinese Medical Treatment for Stress Management
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) usually focuses on the liver, spleen, and kidney organ systems when treating stress and its physical and/or emotional manifestations. In Eastern Medical Theory, stress causes a blockage of Qi (pronounced Chee- energy) which can lead to physical or emotional pain as well as many other medical conditions.
This blockage of Qi initially impacts the liver organ system and irritability, frustration, anger, depression, hormonal disorders, and blood pressure issues can arise. However, over time the spleen and kidney organ systems become taxed and fatigue, obesity, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, etc… may develop. While practitioners may not be able to change the initial cause of the stress, the appropriate combination of acupuncture, herbal therapy and stress management counseling can be extremely therapeutic at relieving these conditions as well as making the body better equipped to handle stress.
Additionally, from a Western Medical perspective, acupuncture relieves stress through its endorphin-producing benefits. Endorphins are “feel-good” chemicals that flood the body in response to a biochemical chain of events triggered by the body’s perception of an inserted acupuncture needle. Increased endorphins are linked to increased levels of serotonin as well as a decrease in cortisol levels (one of the key stress hormones that causes illness).