1075 Hadley Ave. N. Suite 106 Oakdale, MN 55128
Debi Rene Weiss, LAc., Dipl.Ac., R.N., MaOM
Acupuncturist, Medical Herbalist, Holistic Nurse
Let us help you decompress from the stress of life.
"A man ninety years old was asked to what he attributed his longevity.
"I reckon,' he said, with a twinkle in his eye,
'It's because most nights I went to bed and slept
when I should have sat up and worried.'"
FACT: 85% of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related complaints or disorders.
This means that the presenting complaint is either directly caused by stress, or the presenting complaint is exacerbated by stress. Stress has been linked to all of the leading causes of death, including heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis and suicide.
Stress is not the actual events in our lives. Stress is our body's reaction to life's events. When we are confronted with a stressful situation, our body produces a 'stress response' with the release of adrenaline as a way to boost our energy to deal with the situation. Our heart races and lungs increase breathing to raise our blood pressure forcing oxygen to our brain and muscles. This is a very primal reaction to move us out of harm’s way. Consequently, the needs our immune system, digestion and reproduction functions are put on hold until the ‘threat’ is gone.
This is known as the 'fight or flight' response. Once the stressful situation is resolved, our nervous system calms and our body stabilizes into ‘homeostasis’, a balance of functions. While the fight or flight reaction is life-saving, life in this modern 24/7 culture creates a chronic reaction what is best described as 'burn-out'. What nature intends to be an immediate reaction to an acute situation becomes a prolonged physiological drain, much like a car parked and in neutral, but with the accelerator pressed to the floor. The engine roars and gas burns while parked but the car is not moving. Just as the car will eventually shut down under this abnormal strain, so do our bodies under stress.
This is why numerous symptoms and conditions related to immunity, digestion and reproduction are rooted in chronic stress.
Emotional symptoms of stress include:
•Becoming easily agitated, frustrated, moody, depressed
•Feeling overwhelmed, like you are losing control or need to take control
•Having difficulty relaxing and quieting your mind, anxiety
•Feeling bad about yourself (low self-esteem), lonely, worthless, and depressed
Physical symptoms of stress include:
•Low energy, chronic fatigue
•Digestive complaints, upset stomach, including diarrhea, constipation, and nausea
•Aches, pains, and muscle pain
•Chest pain and rapid heartbeat
•Frequent colds and infections
•Loss of sexual desire and/or ability
•Nervousness and shaking, ringing in the ear, cold or sweaty hands and feet
•Dry mouth and difficulty swallowing
•Clenched jaw and grinding teeth
•Gynecological health and fertility issues
Cognitive symptoms of stress include:
•Constant worrying, over-thinking
•Forgetfulness and disorganization
•Inability to focus, brain fog
•Poor judgment, unable to decide
•Being pessimistic or seeing only the negative side
Behavioral symptoms of stress include:
•Changes in appetite -- either not eating or eating too much
•Procrastinating and avoiding responsibilities
•Increased use of alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes
•Exhibiting more nervous behaviors, such as nail biting, fidgeting, and pacing
•Self care diminishes
When Traditional Chinese Medicine looks at what causes imbalances and disease, it considers:
•Emotions - worry, anxiety, unresolved agitation/anger, grief, not feeling safe, etc.
•Environment - germs/pathogens, toxic exposure, extreme cold, heat, damp or dryness
•Poor Diet, Lack of Exercise & Relaxation
•Imbalance lifestyle---something akin to ‘Type A’ personalities, 'hard fast living' or 'sex, drugs, rock & roll'
It is impossible to avoid stress, but it is within our power to manage our life to minimize the negative effects of stress. At Transition To Health we offer acupuncture and microcurrent treatments specific for stress reduction.
We also utilize two self-assessment quizzes, the Identi-T-Stress Assessment and the DASS 42 quiz. These help to identify degree of depression and anxiety, provide a baseline at the start of treatment and guide acupuncture and microcurrent treatment protocols. We invite you to take these quizzes then call Transition To Health to discuss your findings and the appropriateness of using our therapeutic approach.
Additionally, we advocate the following eight stress management techniques:
• Sleep: Sleep is essential in restoring health and vitality. Studies show that longevity is impacted with 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
• Diet: A balanced nutritious diet supports our body in dealing with daily stress. This is the crux of the Ideal Weight Lifestyle program. Herbal supplementation when warranted.
• Exercise: It is important to exercise regularly to relax the nervous tension aspect of stress.
• Relaxation Techniques: Practicing regular relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, prayer/meditation, massage, walking, magnesium baths, etc. result in decreased heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration.
• Embrace a positive attitude & sense of humor: One strong aspect of the Mind-Body Connection is the role of neurotransmitters in balancing our moods and physical tension. A positive attitude, often in the form of gratitude, and laughter, directly stimulate these neurotransmitters and give us equilibrium.
• Practice Effective Communication: Mindful listening is as important as clearly speaking. Enormous stress is created when we substitute assuming for communicating.
• Manage Time Efficiently: Allowing our time to be overwhelmed with demands creates the stress of 'a bottomless pit'---no matter how hard or fast we go about our duties, we seldom feel caught up or accomplished. This leads to burn-out. Prioritize and ask for help.
• Develop Leisure Activities: This starts with effective time management. Doing activities that bring enjoyment and gratification will directly decrease stress.