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Coping with Stressful Times


(Written 2016)

In light of recent events, I thought I would shed light on the ways Acupuncture can offer trauma support and more specifically, focus on post-Earthquake trauma.

It has been shown over the past week since the 7.8 quake, that alcohol and tobacco sales have more than doubled. This could be purely a coincidence but is more likely an immediate stress response!

In a crisis we all deal with stress in our way, some fortunate people even experience no stress at all… However, for some it’s quite the opposite, with sleepless nights, anxiety or just an overall feeling of unease, not feeling safe. I will enlighten you on a natural therapeutic option that is available to you.

Acupuncture elicits a semi-immediate calming effect on the body, so is excellent at drawing you out of the ‘fight or flight’ mode (sympathetic nervous system) and into more of a calm non-Adrenaline fuelled (parasympathetic) state.

In initial crisis mode, Adrenaline and Cortisol (primary stress hormones) have their place in terms of supplementing energy levels and giving that major surge sometimes needed to pull you through those initial days. Long term though, Adrenaline/Cortisol become very detrimental and can potentially lead to more severe medical conditions: chronic pressure on the heart & blood vessels (because of increased heart rate and blood pressure), spiking glucose levels in the blood stream. Cortisol also puts a halt to all non-essential body functions: digestion becomes suppressed, lowered immunity; even the reproductive system is affected. This begins to take its toll on the body, to name a few associated conditions:

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Digestive problems

  • Headaches

  • Heart disease

  • Sleep problems

  • Weight gain

  • Memory and concentration impairment

  • And as some of you will be familiar with the term ‘Adrenal fatigue’.​​

Unfortunately, with the ‘fight or flight’ response, insomnia, anxiety and depression can frequently arrive hand in hand which is a terrible combination on the body.

Acupuncture can assist by increasing the natural feel-good hormones such as Dopamine and Serotonin and this encourages an overall sense of wellbeing, actually lowering Cortisol levels and allowing you to feel safer and get more sleep. This will help you tackle those restless days or nights when every shudder makes your heart pound.

All this leads to a reduced feeling of fatigue and fear, so that in the likelihood of another tremor (big or small) you’re going to be in a better position to handle the crisis. Developing resilience, so we all really feel that we will get through...