Stress: Massage, Acupuncture, and Herbs

How many instances of stress-causers have you experienced already today?  Was there traffic on your drive to work?  Even before that – did you think about bills to pay this morning, a friend or family member going through a difficult time, paperwork you need to do, or a decision you need to make?

All of those little things cause stress in the body, and they add up.  If you ever think to yourself, “I do a good job of dealing with stress!”, then first – congratulations on doing a good job of dealing with stress!  And second – you have just acknowledged that you are dealing with stress.

As I mentioned last week, stress causes blind spots.  Maybe it’s a personality blind spot – maybe when you’re in “work mode” you come across a bit brusque and rude.  Maybe it’s a financial one – you’re busy dealing with getting taxes paid so you forgot to pay your light bill.  Maybe it’s a mental one – you’re thinking about your sick family member, so you’re distracted at work.  Or maybe it’s physiological – you’re worrying about the transition of a loved one, and you don’t notice the load of toxicity on your liver, affecting the creation of your hormones, which affects creation of brain neurotransmitters.

Blind spots can be dangerous.  Really dangerous.  The good news is, there’s a lot we can do to help.

When I recently had three family members in the hospital on the same day, the first thing I did was book a massage appointment and an acupuncture appointment with the practitioners I love.  Why did I do that?

As a health care practitioner, I knew my family members would be looking to me not only for emotional comfort, but also for health care recommendations.  And that means, not only do I have to be emotionally strong, but I have to bring my A game: to be mentally strong enough to figure out the right remedy for the loved one in front of me.  If I’m stressed and distracted by all of the craziness, depression, or fear, then I’m not going to think very clearly.  On the other hand, if I’m centered and focused, then I can be a powerful asset to them.

In this case, I got to be the powerful asset.  The family member with the profuse internal bleeding, we had resolved in three days.  There is little in the world that compares to the job of seeing a loved one move completely out of fear of death to awestruck stunned and happy to be alive.  [Symbol]

Massage, acupuncture, and herbs were key components of my protocol for myself.  Here’s why:

Massage is grounding, relaxing, therapeutic.  It allows an energetic connection with a human being who wants to see you feeling better – and that’s a lovely energy to hang out in.  Stress causes lactic acid to build up in muscles and in the fascia, the connective tissue that surrounds all muscles and organs.  This is what causes the constricted, achy feeling we can get when we’re stressed out.

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Acupuncture allows us to get deeper.  It allows us to treat internal organs, and to treat the root cause of stress-related dysfunctions likes: constipation, diarrhea, heart arrhythmia, insomnia, elevated liver enzymes, hair loss, high blood pressure, and blood sugar problems.

Both of these are especially powerful when combined with whole food supplements and Chinese herbal therapies.  We’ll talk more about that next week.