Stress is a huge factor in our health and impossible to avoid. If you think you can’t stomach the details, go ahead and skip down to “Finally, The Good News”.
The concept of stress has become increasingly popularized over the last few decades, and for good reasons we will soon take a look at. Before we go into what stress is, let’s briefly discuss what it is not.
What Stress Ain’t
Stress is not a disease. You don’t catch stress off of a toilet seat (although a disgusting toilet set might become a source of stress!) Stress is not a symptom. It’s not something you can see or touch. Most importantly, stress is not something any living creature can avoid. Let me say that again– Stress is not something any living creature can avoid!
The definition of stress I will use here is this:
Stress is an individual’s response to change
That response can be physiological, emotional, energetic, neuro-chemical- in fact, any and all types of responses are possible. Whatever the flavor, generally the response will be negative, however. That is to say, the response will result reduced vitality and a destabilizing of the delicate balance we call health. Stress is process of life wearing on us. Stress is a bummer!
Now the tricky part. Notice that the definition just says “change”, and not “bad thing happening”. ANY sort of change in our lives results in stress. Being fired from your job- stress! Winning the lottery- stress! Your body doesn’t know the difference. It just knows that something is different and it doesn’t like it one bit!
The Impact of Stress
In pre-historic times major health concerns were things like being attacked by a predator, complications of child birth, dysentery and other illnesses, trauma, and so forth. Life looked very different. Survival meant being able to respond quickly and effectively in very occasional moments of extreme stress. We evolved mechanisms to rapidly flood our bodies with performance enhancing hormones like adrenaline in order to be able to act swiftly and decisively to live to see another day.
Life looks very different now, but our bodies continue to respond to stress in exactly the same old ways. Getting that report to our boss on time is not a matter of life and death, but our bodies it feels like it is. So the response from our bodies are often out of proportion to the severity of the stress we are experiencing. This is why stress is a major factor in health and wellness in modern times. These stress hormones are like rocket fuel and we go around living our lives burning ourselves out! So many common ailments can be traced back to stress as a primary factor.
More Bad News
Oh, it gets worse, friends… Stress can’t directly be treated with acupuncture or anything else. The way you chose to live your life can not be changed with any amount of needles. But fret not, there is hope!
Finally, The Good News
Thankfully, there is good news. First, realize that the life choices that you make can impact your level of stress (both for better and worse) and that you are in control of those choices. Second, there are practices you can take up to reduce your stress response given the exact same circumstances. Third, acupuncture can help restore your stressed out body back to health while creating a relaxed and restful state of the body. Let’s look at each of these.
While there are always surprises in life and circumstances which may seem unavoidable, we should always be aware and feel empowered by the choices we can make. Perhaps you find your job unfulfilling, which can be a real stressor. A change to work you feel passionate about can make a huge difference in your health. Life changes can be the toughest to make, but also can be the most rewarding.
There are many practices in which people partake that can calm the mind and reduce the severity of the body’s stress response. Below are just a few ideas. You may want to invest your time and energy in multiple pursuits. Choose what works for you in your life the way you live it.
- Taiji / Tai Chi or other martial arts
- Fly Fishing
- Mindfulness Training
Acupuncture can be a valuable tool in dealing with the impact of stress. Both physical and mental impacts of stress on the body can be improved with acupuncture. It can also help create a state of relaxation that many of us find difficult to create in our hectic lives.
It’s been a few months since I originally wrote this article, and I’m even more motivated to help people conquer the stress in their lives. I have been compiling lots of really amazing information and powerful techniques for conquering stress. In fact, I decided to write an e-book on the topic.
The e-book is called Conquer Stress Now- 13 Powerful Techniques You Can Use and I’m going to release it first (and for free!) to my newsletter subscribers. This e-book contains information that has never been compiled in this way before.
The ebook is written as a practical guide- nothing high-brow or theoretical here. It’s just jam packed with ideas that you can use to change your life and health immediately! This is not just a rehash of stuff you’ve seen before either. No matter how informed you are on stress I promise you’ll learn something new and powerful.
You’ll definitely want to check this out! To get the e-book for free click here to sign up for my newsletter. It will be released to you in installments over the next few weeks.