If you are living any version of the typical modern lifestyle chances are you have felt overwhelmed at one time or another. Perhaps often.
Busy, full lives with many things vying for our attention can overwhelm the nervous system and put us in perpetual fight or flight mode.
Sometimes making minor modifications to the environment – turning off the news, turning off all or the majority of notifications from phones and devices, saying “no” to extra commitments can sufficient to bring the body back into regulation.
Other times the body needs some extra support and help in resetting itself. Acupuncture is ideal therapies for this because it directly activate the body’s parasympathetic nervous system, slowing down the production of stress hormones, and increasing blood flow to the brain.
Increased brain blood flow can assist both conventional therapy (a well nourished brain can make shifts and changes more readily) as well as a medication protocol (more blood flow provides better delivery of medications to the appropriate receptors).
A body with the parasympathetic nervous system activated has a slower heart rate, better digestion and more relaxed musculature.
With the sympathetic nervous system activated, heart rate and blood pressure are elevated.
Acupuncture gives us the ability to speak directly to the body, to shut off the “alarm system” of the sympathetic system without needing a discovery process of combing through past events or memories to address a stress response.
As a result acupuncture is a successful protocol in addressing Anxiety, Stress, Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
The strategy with each concern is to “tone” the nervous system, much like a workout routine in the gym can build a certain muscle set, the objective is to reactivate and rebuild the parasympathetic response that has been suppressed and weakened in persons who have experience a prolonged overactive sympathetic system (stress response).
This is particularly true for patients experiencing S.A.D. A more responsive and toned nervous system can better adapt to changes, like what is experienced with the change of daylight in the winter months.
Beginning a regular acupuncture treatment in advance of the fall and winter seasons produces the best results, just like regular training with a long lead time before an athletic event produces a better result than trying to cram training into the the week prior!
Acupuncture also triggers the body to release endorphins, ‘feel good’ hormones, the same hormone that decreases pain. Regular treatment in advance of the decreasing daylight puts the patient at a higher overall ‘starting point’ so that any dips in mood experienced with less daylight hours are less pronounced.
If you’re interested in starting a wellness program with Sophie to keep S.A.D. and dips in mood at bay during our darker Canadian months, contact us today for a free 20-minute consultation.