Stress/Anxiety/Depression: How Acupuncture can Help
Posted Mar 22 2012 10:15am
The reason I went for acupuncture for the first time was to help with anxiety. I was working nights and my body hated me for it. I loved my job (nurse on a respiratory unit/stepdownICU), and handled the stress at work really well, but when I was home or days off I was just not myself anymore. I think a lot of it had to do with the constant flip-flopping – 12 hour night shift, flipping back to days, the hour commute, not being able to sleep, etc. Some can handle it, and I did better than I thought, but my body was hating me for it.
I ate healthy, especially at work. But when those days came where I was so tired but couldn’t fall asleep, my body’s signals were totally off. This lead to over eating, eating when I wasn’t hungry, binging [food=comfort], and weight gain. When I felt anxious… I ate. Which lead me to feel guilty about it, hating myself, and so on. At one point I wouldn’t even leave the house to go socialize because I was so ashamed of how I looked. I lived in scrubs, and when I put on my “regular” clothes, nothing fit like it use to. At one point I was 25lbs heavier than I am today.
I tried exercising when I could, but my heart wasn’t in it like it use to be. I was just always exhausted, with those constant sleepless headaches that you can’t do anything about or get rid of [those are the worst].The weight gain made me depressed, but food was my comfort.
So the battle continued and I developed some very unhealthy habits. One of the nurses I worked with was talking about acupuncture and how she goes for back pain. I was always fascinated by it, especially since it saved my baby:
He was paralyzed from the middle of his back down. 2 sessions a week with Electric Stimulation, and a few weeks later he was doing amazing. No surgery needed! And he is good as new. So I like to say he really got me thinking about it in the back of my head…
I finally went for my first treatment, and that experienced changed my life. I felt better and had a great talk with my acupuncturist about everything going on in my life. I went home and thought about how I need to do this for people. This was my true calling. The things I saw at work and how our medical system works left me very unsatisfied with my job. I wanted to help people and I was, but something was missing. I enrolled in school right away (And that leads to the story on how I went back for my masters in acupuncture.. and what I’m doing right now!)
So does it help to treat Anxiety, Stress, or Depression?
Without getting into too much detail in how it works (because well…its hard to explain everything within this post), the main goal is to treat the root of the problem.
The great thing about it is since we try to get every detail of your history, symptoms, current complaints, stressors, diet, etc, we piece it all together. Each person has a different story. Your anxiety or depression could be caused by a completely different reason next to my cause. Acupuncture tailors each treatment to your root problem. Instead of just getting rid of the symptoms, we treat the root cause. Whatever is out of balance, deficient, or in excess, we treat it to get the system working as a whole again.
The body is a pretty amazing thing when you think about it. We are made to heal ourselves, and our body is constantly trying to being things back into balance and adapt to change. Whenever something is “off”, theres either a miscommunication happening somewhere, a blockage, stagnation, or deficiency.
Stress is one of the biggest causes of disease and something we unfortunately can not escape in life. How we cope with it is whats important. It could be small stressors or severe, and everyone handles it differently. But the body picks up on it and things that you may not think are related could be caused by stress. Anxiety and depression could be caused by so many things. It could be genetics and your constitution. Some people don’t let things get to them and handle life situations differently. Some have no idea what it feels like to be truly depressed and need medication. And some are on medication and don’t need to be.
No matter what your cause is, acupuncture will help you [even if you don't think you have any "major" problems]. Everyone has something. The best part about it is that we piece it all together. I wouldn’t just give you a treatment based on your symptoms alone. We look at the whole picture, listen to what your saying, actually sit with you and discuss everything.
There is so much more to say about it, but don’t want to leave you with a novel here..
If acupuncture isn’t within your budget, try finding a community acupuncture clinic. They are usually more affordable, and even though treatments aren’t 1:1 the entire time, it can still help with stress relieve, anxiety, and depression. It can help with so many things, not just those three. You can also see if your insurance covers you, just make sure the acupuncturist takes it because some will only accept cash or credit.
In a nutshell: acupuncture can help with so many ailments. The internet is a beautiful thing because you have access to so much information and can read about other success stories.
It helped manage my anxiety and depression, and it still does to this day. I am also going for treatments to balance out my hormones. I’ve seen it do incredible things for people, and I’m so passionate about helping others get treated in the least invasive way possible.
I can do more posts about it in the future, but I just wanted to give you guys a little background and share my personal experience and success with it. I’m still working as a nurse, but after being in the medical field of the western world…I’ve become even more passionate about alternative healing and excited to be opening a practice in the near future.
Western medicine is necessary and has done great things, but there are also many people who are over medicated, misdiagnosed, and not treated properly. There is a time and place for everything. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!
Hope your having a good week, and if you’ve had any success with acupuncture share in the comments below If your hesitant- what is holding you back?