Can acupuncture make you happy?
Happiness. It's become a buzz word these past few years and the center of many research studies as of late. Of course, everyone has their own definition of what it means to be happy. Perhaps, it's a goal for you to be happy in your life.
A local business person asked me this question at a recent networking event. My answer:
It's not a huge stretch of the imagination to see that traditional Chinese medicine takes a holistic approach to healthcare. The physical symptoms are important (e.g., pain, nightsweats, nausea) but so are the emotional symptoms (e.g. stress, anxiousness, palpitations) because we don't live in a bubble. The environment in which you live affects your health. The things you consume (I use this word quite freely) from what you read on your phone to what you talk about with your spouse, impact your health. It's no surprise that what we hear, see, touch, smell, taste - all affect us. When you are going through an off-kilter time, acupuncture and Chinese medicine in general can help re-balance you so...
To answer the question: Yes.
Acupuncture can help with your emotions and help you feel happy. Here's how:
1. It increases your sense of well-being. When you receive acupuncture, research studies have shown that "feel-good" hormones immediately release into your system. In effect, you feel that sense of joy or "runner's high" that says, "YES!"
2. It relaxes you. Seriously. You may not believe me that very thin acupuncture needles can relax you but they can. Most of our patients fall asleep during treatment (and snore too!). They have a mid-day nap and then wake up feeling refreshed. Doesn't that sound nice?
3. It connects your body and mind. It's like acupuncture "connects a dropped call" between your body and mind. In this day and age, it's easy to lose that connection especially if you're on the computer or phone all day. Acupuncture restores the connection and makes your mind pay attention to your body and what's going on. Most importantly, it brings you into the present moment.
4. It de-stresses you. It takes you out of "fight-or-flight" mode or deactivates your sympathetic nervous system. Instead, it puts you at rest, activating your parasympathetic nervous system. When you digest your food, heal a wound, or take a break, you are activating your parasympathetics. It breaks the seemingly never-ending stress cycle so you can relax and feel happy.
Acupuncture can help if you feel anxious, nervous or just generally
low. It can also help with mood swings.