According to the British Acupuncture Council, ‘acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body’s homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional well-being.’
“Up to half a million people in the UK experience work-related stress every year, which often results in illness. Other factors that affect stress levels include alcohol, smoking, exams, pregnancy, divorce, moving, death in family, lifestyle, drugs, poor nutrition and unemployment.”
– British Acupuncture Council
The following description is illustrative of some common ways that I approach this work. I will always adapt my treatment plan in accord with my findings and always with your consent.
I will start with an assessment to determine the effects of your stress according to Chinese medicine. Once I have a clear picture of where to work, I will be ready to begin. In this case, I will likely stimulate points on your arms and legs with acupuncture, while I work with tuina-massage techniques around your face.
I use needles to stimulate points on your arms and legs that have been identified as having an effect on relaxing the mind. These needles will likely be retained for 10 to 20 minutes while I use acupressure massage to stimulate points around your face, head and shoulders that are believed to help relax the mind and promote rest. At the end of our session, I may apply a few further needles that are removed as soon as their effect is felt.
When applying acupressure massage to your face, I will use gentle techniques to stimulate the channels and points around your eyes, nose, and mouth, as well as on your forehead, ears and scalp. This is very relaxing way of treating, and clients usually find these techniques very enjoyable. While working on the face, I generally also incorporate work on the muscle channels at the front and back of the neck. Then, if needed I may also work on your back and your legs. Guasha down the back can be very helpful in settling the mind
Given that diet and lifestyle play such an important role in stress, it is very likely that I will look at ways in which you might change habits that aren’t serving you well. This could mean changes to your diet or introducing some exercises that help you to move your body, stretch and relax. I cannot help but recommend Qigong and Tai Chi for the deeply calming effect that these exercises can have on the mind.
Tai Chi and Qigong provide a gentle physical exercise which medical studies have shown to be beneficial for the health of the heart, bones, nerves, muscles, and immune system. They are a great way to support your acupuncture and tuina-massage treatments.