While your twitter feed and the movies depict the holidays as a time of idyllic joy and peace, many of us experience the realities of holiday induced stress. Sugary treats, family obligations, busy schedules, lack of exercise, gift giving, and financial concerns all contribute to the “holiday cheer”. These added pressures can affect us emotionally, physically, and mentally often resulting in depression and anxiety symptoms.
Anxiety can manifest in several different ways: from light worrying to heightened physical responses such as shortness of breath, insomnia, nausea, and panic attacks. Anxiety is actually a healthy, normal response to new situations and the stresses of everyday life, but when the symptoms arise excessively or randomly, its time to take notice.
Depression is just as prevalent during the holiday season leading to common symptoms such as overconsumption of alcohol and/or food, isolation from holiday traditions and festivities, anger or cynicism, excessive crying, and a sense of apathy. In some individuals, depression can be exasperated by seasonal affective disorder or SAD, a result of the low light conditions experienced during wintertime.
If you consider stepping outside the box, you may discover a one-of-a-kind intervention for these expected seasonal hassles – Acupuncture and Cupping!
Acupuncture originated in China and has stuck around (pun intended) thousands of years later. The procedure incorporates the insertion of tiny needles into the body’s acupuncture points which result in an increase in circulation, a discharge of endorphins, stimulation of white blood cells, and a calming of the nervous system. With the release of the neuro-chemicals and endorphins release into the body, the nervous system is tricked into generating an stress-free environment. It essentially stimulaters the body’s existing natural healing capabilities and promotes the emotional, mental and physical well-being of an individual.
An equally ancient technique known as “cupping” was the topic of discussion during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games when most people noticed the round purple marks on swimmer Michael Phelps’ back. This modality involves the use of glass cups suctioned onto the skin to help relieve injured, tense, stiff, or sore body parts.
Basically, cupping is a deep tissue massage in reverse. The negative pressure created by the suction increases blood circulation and helps provide nourishment to the body cells. It also pulls out the metabolic waste and lactic acid that can accumulate in the area that is injured which is often the cause of pain and stiffness associated with stress. This increased blood flow and removal of toxic waste results in improvement of the overall function of the tissue, resulting in a feeling of deep relaxation. The “hickeys” left behind from the suction may seem painful and odd. True, it may look a little weird, but painful it is not! Done correctly and consistently, cupping can help in your overall wellness and provide you with enormous lasting benefits.
Honoring yourself during this busy time can mean the difference between gliding through the season with grace or dreading every moment. If you take the time to discover these tools for yourself make sure that you see a licensed and board certified professional. Acupuncture and cupping are safe and potent treatments that can help calm and balance what can be a challenging time of the year.
Find the article in the latest Orange Appeal Magazine: