We all experience stress in our lives. In fact, Americans report higher levels of stress than most countries around the globe. Stress is becoming one of the top health concerns. It has been linked to many chronic health problems, such as heart disease, insomnia, and fertility challenges. Learning how to deal with stress can be crucial for a happy, healthy life.
One way to deal with stress involves the use of a 3,000-year-old medical system, known as Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM. TCM uses many different modalities or tools to treat the human mind and body. The most commonly used modality is acupuncture, and while acupuncture is still not widely accepted in the United States, it is gaining ground.
Studies show acupuncture can reduce stress when used regularly. The Journal of Endocrinology published a study showing stress hormones, like cortisol, were lower in rats that had received electroacupuncture. The use of electroacupuncture blocked the chronic stress hormones in the rats. It does the same thing for humans.
Specific acupuncture points on the body are better for relieving stress and are used frequently by licensed practitioners. One of these points is Yin Tang. Yin Tang is located directly between the inner edges of the eyebrows and is a reflex point of the pituitary gland. Yin Tang calms the mind and relaxes the body by helping control hormone secretions.
Another acupuncture point, Kidney 1, is not as frequently used because of its location; however, it can work wonders for decreasing stress. Kidney 1 is located on the bottom of the foot, at the junction of the anterior one-third and posterior two-thirds of the line connecting the base of the second and third toes and the heel. This point is VERY sensitive, but it has incredible properties. Kidney 1 can sedate and calm the mind while also regulating blood flow to the upper part of the body, also known as the brain.
There are other tools TCM practitioners can use to relieve stress, such as cupping and herbs, although acupuncture and acupressure tend to work the fastest. Ask me to find out more!