Stress – Don’t let it stress you out!
At Simple Cures, our specialists apply Traditional Chinese Medicine to successfully relieve the causes and symptoms stress.
“I feel so stressed!” This is a phrase we hear almost everyday. Everyone has a different threshold and reaction to stress. Luckily, we have the solutions for you.
What is stress?
From a physiological perspective, stress is a natural response that can protect us. It is how the body and mind react to pressure from a certain ongoing situation or specific event. This could include daily routine responsibilities at home or work; negative changes like money troubles; or physical and emotional traumas such as an accident or a family illness.
Not all stress is bad. It can make us more aware of things around us and keep us more focused. In some cases, stress can give us strength to deal with a crisis and help us get more done. However, over a long period of time, constant stress inhibits the body’s ability to return to equilibrium. As it accumulates in the body, it proves tough to handle when certain triggers happen.
Let’s take a deeper dive on this…
When stress becomes harmful to our health
From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, stress can impair the circulation of energy in our body, also known as Qi. Qi flows like a car driving on a highway. The highway consists of the meridians and channels throughout our bodies; interconnected to supply energy and nourishment. When there are no roadblocks, traffic will be smooth and fast. However, when stress occurs, a roadblock is created.
As a result, stress can manifest in many ways, for example, a headache. A headache can be caused when energy to the liver meridian is blocked, preventing the energy to circulate to the head; or when neck and shoulder muscles tense up, again prohibiting circulation to the head.
Other manifestations of stress include a weakened immune system, fatigue, muscle tension, anxiety, and hormonal imbalances that cause menstrual issues like cramps (More information on cramps can be found in our blog “It’s time to say goodbye to menstrual cramps”).
Stress is a proven risk factor for many serious illnesses, including depression and heart disease, and it may contribute to other health problems such as insomnia and high blood pressure. For these reasons, it’s important to work with a health professional to manage long-term stress.
At Simple Cures, our health professionals use Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat stress.
If you are feeling stressed, here are three steps we recommend that can help right now:
- Close your eyes and focus on your feet. Bring awareness to your own body and surroundings.
- Slowly breath in with your nose and out with your mouth. Repeat a few times.
- Tell yourself kind phrases, like “You have time to find a solution, and you’ll make it through.” As with the breathing, repeat a few times.
How are you feeling now? If you’re still feeling stressed, you may be experiencing higher than average stress levels. This is where Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can help, with two treatments that have proven to be successful for many of our clients:
For those who have never had acupuncture before, it may be hard to believe that acupuncture needles can calm you down. But they do. Imagine that your body has a river of water flowing through it. When a tree falls in the middle of the river, it causes disruption at the top and bottom of the river as well. Stress is the equivalent of the tree falling into the river. Acupuncture can help remove the tree and restore the normal flow of energy throughout your body.
Here’s how it works: Acupuncture directs the energy flow inside your body, and guides the energy back to where it is supposed to go. This approach has not only proven to reduce stress, it can address, even reverse, the effects of stress, like high blood pressure, elevated blood glucose levels, and insomnia.
Sometimes herbal therapy is also needed to enhance stress treatment. Herbal supplements can provide more constant and longer lasting improvements, especially when it comes to internal imbalances. The herbal ingredients our specialists recommend for you will focus on calming the mind and improving the circulation of qi in your body, helping to defend against the harmful effects of stress.
Know where the stress comes from
Along with treatment, we help our clients uncover the sources of their stress, so that they can process and overcome it more easily.
Stress can arise from many aspects of our lives – work, family, finances, personal relationships, and so on. After a long time, many of us may become conditioned to it, so that we cannot recognize the hints our bodies are giving us. When we feel overwhelmed, or start to notice some of the symptoms mentioned above, this is the time to reconnect with our mind and body, listen to the signs that are given to us, and commit to taking care of our physical and mental health.
Reach out to us!
As TCM practitioners, our main priority for your well-being is to balance the mental, emotional and physical components within your body. With our application of acupuncture and Chinese herbs, we can help rebalance your body in order to reduce and ultimately eliminate the negative stress you are experiencing. As well, we provide personalised advice to help you recognize where the “bad” stress is coming from in order to find solutions that will reduce and ultimately eliminate it.
To learn more about managing negative stress your life, please contact:
Jaime Ho, Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner (R.TCMP). She can be reached 647.726.2696.
Book an appointment with her online at https://simplecures.janeapp.com/
Every journey starts with a simple cure.
Do you have a headache now? Try this!
- Lay down, close your eyes and breath slowly.
- Massage the point between the base of your thumb and index finger. It may feel very tender.
A headache is a discomfort that can greatly affect our day-to-day lives. There are many manifestations of a headache: sharp, dull, pressure, various locations and triggers. A headache has very complex symptoms that can be minor or a precursor for something more serious. That is why frequently reoccurring and severe headaches should not be neglected. Let’s take a look at the two types of headache.
These are headaches without a clear cause, like a migraine, tension headache, cluster headache and more. In clinical practices, over 90% of people suffer from this type of headache.
These are headaches induced by a medical condition. For example, trauma, spine disorder, blood pressure, medication side effect, hormonal imbalance, etc.
How does Traditional Chinese Medicine see it?
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a headache is very complex and can have various reasons. Generally, it classifies headaches into two major categories, exogenous and endogenous.
These are headaches related to exterior factors. External pathogens like cold or heat can enter our body, causing imbalances. One example is in the summertime, when we are exposed to the sun for a long period time, we can easily have a heat stroke, which often creates a headache as one of the symptoms. Heat enters the body, causing Yang/Qi, the driving force of biological activities in the human body, to rise up and flow into the head, causing headache.
In TCM, the brain is nourished by the liver, kidney and spleen. The kidney produces an essence that nourishes the brain, so insufficiency can lead to headaches. Emotional instability and stress can knot up liver energy. Stagnant Yang/Qi will generate heat rising up to the head, inducing a headache. The spleen, on the other hand, produces Yang/Qi and blood for the body as well as removing excess moisture and dampness, from our bodies. Lack of this function can also lead to a headache.
Did you know the location of headache also give us some hint?
Aside from the characteristic of the headache, location of pain tells us which meridian is affected. For example, a common location for a headache is at the temples, which are associated with the liver meridian. Those who work on the computer a lot may have a headache at the back of the head around the neck, which is associated with the bladder meridian. By identifying the location, we can understand how the headache developed.
How can TCM help?
Instead of taking pain killers when you get a headache, try using acupuncture and herbs together to alleviate the headache and accompanying symptoms. For a proper diagnose, keep track of the characteristics of your headache, its characteristics, location and duration. As well as any accompanying symptoms like nausea and vomiting. Anything that triggers a headache, like after a stressful day or a menstrual period (more information on menstrual health here). This information can help your practitioner diagnose and treat your headache.
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It’s time to say goodbye to menstrual cramps
Do you have debilitating cramps that come every month, or irregularities during your period that cause you grief? I’ve been there. Almost every woman has experienced pain during her periods at some point in her life. It can be so severe that it prevents you from functioning in your normal daily activities. All you want to do is to curl up in bed.
Many women take pain killers to relieve their pain. Some just accept the fact that pain is the normal result of a woman’s monthly shedding of the uterine lining. But what if I tell you that you can actually have a period without cramps?
Let’s start with what causes cramps…
At Simple Cures, we help you understand what causes menstrual cramps
Many women experience sharp cramps before or on the first day of their period. Or it may be a dull, achy, or lingering pain. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believes that the uterus is like an oven – it likes to be warm and toasty. However, many factors can prevent energy from flowing through and warming the uterus. One factor is blockage of energy circulation, also known as stagnation. Stagnation leads to pain and other dysfunctions.
One of the most common forms of stagnation is liver qi stagnation. The liver plays a role in creating a smooth flow of energy inside our bodies. The liver channel runs through the breast, and when liver function is disturbed, women experiencing this type of stagnation may also experience breast tenderness prior to their period.
Women with cramps in the later half of their period or after their period often feel fatigue or dull lower back pain and heaviness during that time. These are signs of deficiency after heavy menstruation, because the body lacks the materials needed to function regularly.
Traditional Chinese Medicine, practiced at Simple Cures, can help relieve menstrual pain
As TCM practitioners, we can help you to relieve the pain first. Then we work with you to rebalance your body so that your next period will be less severe.
Here are three ways to help you right off the bat:
1. Use a heat pack or hot water bottle on the lower abdomen.
2. Steep two-three slices of ginger and black sugar in hot water (not recommended if you have a fever or sore throat).
3. Avoid cold foods like salads, cold drinks, watermelon, and ice cream (although I know they are all very tempting!).
Even though cramps are the most talked about symptom for many menstrual problems, it is only one small aspect in menstrual health. Some women, before their period even begins each month, may also feel fatigue, headaches, lower appetite, bloating, diarrhea or constipation, and backaches. These signs are all known as premenstrual symptoms (PMS). Just like cramps, they are imbalances within the body. By regulating your period cycle, we can relieve all your PMS symptoms.
Many women live their entire lives with discomfort during menstruation. It is better to address it earlier than later, because our body is not like a switch that can be turned on and off instantly. Symptoms don’t go away immediately. They can worsen or change with time and age, and affect fertility, pregnancy, even menopause.
The good news is that our body has the ability to balance and heal itself. All it needs is a little boost and to be pointed in the right direction. With acupuncture and herbal treatments, we can set your body on the right path, and address the symptoms that may have been ignored, before bigger events arise. Then your body will be ready and healthy!
Reach out to us!
If you’d like to learn more about managing your menstrual cramps, please contact:
Jamie Ho, Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner (R.TCMP). She can be reached 647.726.2696.
Book an appointment with her online at https://simplecures.janeapp.com/
At Simple Cures, we’re here to support your health and wellbeing.