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Managing Stress During the Holidays with Acupuncture

An adult hugs a young child sitting by a Christmas tree.

By: Amanda Barone, B.Sc, R.Ac, R.Kin

Acupuncturist & Kinesiologist

Don’t allow stress to interfere with your enjoyment of the holiday season

Although the holidays are known for being “the most wonderful time of the year,” they can also be the most stressful time of year for a lot of people. The holidays can be an exceptionally stressful time if you are dealing with family conflict, busy schedules, work deadlines, hosting responsibilities, grieving a loved one or shopping for the “perfect” gift. All of these things can increase your stress response and prevent you from fully embracing the most joyous things about the holidays – the delicious food, the holiday events, community gatherings, a break from your day-to-day life and an opportunity for celebration.

In this day and age it is easy to dismiss stress as something that ‘everyone is dealing with.’ While it’s true that many people are stressed, normalizing it only makes us more accepting of it and less likely to seek treatment for it.  Stress (especially chronic stress) is a risk factor for physical illness (such as cardiovascular disease) and mental health disorders (such as depression).

Stress disturbs the balance between your sympathetic nervous system (aka fight or flight response) and your parasympathetic nervous system (aka rest and digest). Being stressed means you are perpetually in fight or flight mode.  Acupuncture works to reset your nervous system to help you shift from fight or flight to a more relaxed parasympathetic state. This is why most people feel a sense of deep calmness, relaxation and euphoria after treatment.

Acupuncture has also been shown to improve symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Your adrenals are small glands that sit on top of your kidneys located in your lower back. Their function is to secrete cortisol (aka the stress hormone) into your bloodstream to help you function in acute times of need. And while this serves its purposes temporarily, chronic stress while require your adrenals to work overtime to produce cortisol and this eventually leads to burn out.

Don’t let stress interfere with your holiday plans or prevent you from enjoying everything the holidays has to offer. Here are some ways you can manage stress and help shift your body into a parasympathetic state:

  • Acupuncture
  • Meditation
  • Journaling
  • Yoga
  • Breath work
  • Reducing caffeine and other stimulants

To schedule an acupuncture appointment call: 905.553.9255 or book online via our website: www.besthealthacupuncture.com

Posted in Conditions Treated With Acupuncture, Healthy Lifestyle

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