STRESS & EASTERN MEDICINE
Why It Builds & How To Reduce It Naturally
A few years into a global pandemic, there’s no doubt you’re feeling more stressed than ever before. Add to it the day-to-day stress of work, finances, a social life, and the list could go on. You probably find yourself saying, “I’m so stressed out” more often than you’d like, but what does stress mean, really?
Stress is your body’s reaction to pressure from a certain situation. It can be a physical, mental, or emotional reaction.
When stress goes undealt with, it builds up and can affect virtually every area of your life. It can have negative effects on your mind and body. From your ability to produce your best at work or school or even how you function in relationships. With pent-up stress, you’ll probably find that you’re harder on yourself, you lash out at others, and you get easily overwhelmed. Stress can also affect your physical health. You can get sick easier, experience stomach aches or back pain, and experience high blood pressure, leading to heart problems.
Does any of this sound familiar?
It’s important to be preventative in your stress management. Find ways to reduce stress so you can feel and function your best.
I know I know. It’s easier said than done. You may feel like you’ve tried everything to find your calm. You may have accepted stress as an inevitable part of life. While not all stress can be avoided, your body has the tools it needs to cope with stress and heal itself from the inside out. Just like when you’re sick, your body fights the sickness so you can feel better. Your body can do the same when faced with a stressful situation – when it’s taken care of.
If you’re looking for some more natural solutions for coping with everyday stress, try these eastern medicine remedies. Traditional Chinese Medicine has been around for centuries, and these solutions have been helping people reduce stress since the beginning.
How To Handle Stress According to Eastern Medicine
When you take an Eastern Medicine approach to your wellness, you’re looking at your health in a holistic way. It gets to the root of your concerns and addresses them with natural solutions. Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM is based on the philosophy that the body, mind, and spirit are all connected. This is why TCM looks at the whole person, not just your symptoms.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles through the skin at certain points on your body.
You may have heard of Acupuncture to ease pain or treat other physical conditions, but it’s actually really helpful for stress. Now you’re probably wondering, “how can poking tiny needles in my skin help with stress?” The thought of needles in your skin may have you feeling stressed already. But don’t freak out – acupuncture is virtually painless. The needles used are paper-thin and most people barely feel them being inserted.
Acupuncture has been shown to be a natural and holistic solution for treating stress and anxiety. It works to relieve stress by promoting the movement of Qi, or energy, in the body. After your acupuncture treatment, you’ll feel happier and more relaxed because it releases gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which helps your body relax.
Ashwagandha, or Indian Ginseng, is an herb known for its ability to reduce stress and help the body relax. It’s an adaptogen, meaning it helps your body better cope with stress and change. Ashwagandha has been used for centuries and is becoming increasingly popular today. You can find ashwagandha in powder or supplement form, making it super easy to incorporate in your daily routine or pop in a morning smoothie. For some recipe suggestions, check out this blog.
Sure, we all know getting outside is good for our health and makes us feel good, but walking outdoors barefoot or, Earthing can help you release negative energy and reduce stress. In more sciency terms – bodily contact with the Earth’s natural electric charge stabilizes the physiology at a deep level, reducing inflammation, pain, and stress.
Next time you’re feeling stressed, take off your shoes and walk around your yard. Reconnecting with the Earth can help you reconnect with yourself and bring you back to a place of balance.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Reishi has many benefits such as improved immune function, stress reduction, improved sleep, and increased energy.
Reishi is a mushroom well-known for its ability to reduce stress and relieve anxiety. Like Ashwagandha, Reishi is an adaptogen, which helps your body cope with stress. Reishi isn’t the type of mushroom you get as a pizza topping. It is a medicinal mushroom that typically comes in powder form, so you can add it to your morning latte or even bake with it for an extra dose of stress relief.
Support a Healthy Liver
Stress has the biggest impact on your liver. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, your liver is what governs your emotions. When exposed to stress, the liver energy can become stagnant. When Qi (or energy) becomes stagnant, it can cause health problems and imbalances. Stress interferes with your liver’s function of maintaining the flow of Qi.
To support a healthy liver and reduce stress, eat less highly processed foods and alcohol and increase your intake of lightly steamed vegetables and whole grains. This keeps your liver energy flowing and reduces some of that built-up stress you may be dealing with.
When you take an eastern medicine approach to your health, you’re not only reducing your symptoms, such as stress, but you’re getting to the root of your problems and improving your health as a whole. These natural solutions can help you feel and function better day-to-day. After giving these a try, you’ll probably find that you’re better able to deal with stress as it comes.