In this tough economic time, it seems as though everyone feels stressed out. I have noticed a higher level of anxiety in many patients over the past two years directly due to the recession, whether from unemployment, recent company layoffs, plummeting stocks, debts, mortgage payments, or general budget woes. Prolonged stress and anxiety can not only aggravate existing symptoms, but can lead to disruption and disease in the body, so relaxation and self care are imperative during difficult periods like this.
According to the theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the free flow of qi, or energy, is the ideal state because it allows all body parts- cells, tissues, organs, and systems- to function together harmoniously. Chronic stress disrupts the balance of qi, which ultimately leads to illness. It might manifest in a number of ways depending on the individual, e.g., nervousness, backache or muscular tension, headaches, insomnia, digestive distress, depression, binge eating or addictions, irritability and so on.
Acupuncture treatments are tailored to normalize the flow of the qi. So, if there is a blockage, the needles will relieve this stagnation and release the constrained energy. I have found that patients who have been under financial duress have received a tremendous amount of relief from acupuncture. It generally curbs anxiety and the associated symptoms and thereby helps patients cope with hard life situations.
I have had several patients who were laid off during this recession and underwent prolonged periods of unemployment. Obviously, this financial burden and mental stress was challenging for each of them. Their symptoms ranged from aggravated pain, insomnia, restlessness, digestive distress and intense feelings of anxiety. Each patient continued acupuncture to alleviate the anxiety and to curb these other symptoms. Treatments were successfully calming, which enabled them to think through clear strategies for dealing with the circumstances (like how to develop more employable skills), rather than simply worrying, feeling overwhelmed and being reactive. It also ameliorated their physical symptoms which had been disruptive to the quality of their lives.
Because of its relaxing effect, acupuncture also seems to ground people when they need to make big decisions: selling a home, searching for a new job, making investments. I think that the peace of mind, restorative benefits and sense of calm delivered by the treatments empowers people and gives them the confidence they need to move forward and avoid stagnation, both figuratively and literally.
Many insurance companies will cover at least part of the cost of a treatment, so it is a wise investment in your health and, in turn, your future. Taking charge of your body and mind is empowering and healthy!
Theresa Costigan worked in the medical research field before she became a board-certified (NCCAOM) New York State licensed acupuncturist. She is a certified Qi Gong Therapist and Qi Healer and she studied acupuncture and Chinese herbology at Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Nanjing, China. She is also certified in advanced facial acupuncture and acupressure techniques and has expanded her services to include Constitutional Facial Acupuncture. She currently has a private practice near Herald Square in Manhattan. Please visit www.peacefulhealing.com, contact email@example.com or call 212.868.0145.