Holidays should be a time of celebration, fun festivities and joyful times with family and friends, but let’s face it – that’s not always the reality. We have the fun times, sure, but we also have increased amounts of stress due to more hectic schedules, more work projects, end of year deadlines, extra baking, extra activities for the kids, more social events, unpredictable weather, and the dreaded travel with unexpected delays or cancellations, and that doesn’t even begin to cover the big one – family stress.

All this extra stress adds up to more inflammation in the body which in turn leads to us feeling more anxiety, depression, feeling run down and worn out, leaving us vulnerable to catching a cold or flu and flaring up our aches and pains. This is no one’s idea of holiday fun.

The good news is that there are many wonderful ways, through Chinese Medicine, to help alleviate stress during the busy holiday season. Traditional Chinese Medicine has been shown time and time again through various research studies to be more effective in reducing pain than opioids, to significantly lower stress, reduce anxiety, alleviate depression, improve sleep and boost immunity. A study conducted by the University of York has even shows that acupuncture is more effective in treating anxiety and depression than medication therapy in conjunction with counseling.

It’s pretty amazing how hair thin needles can have such a positive effect on our bodies. Acupuncture induces a deep sensation of relaxation and many people even fall asleep during treatment. Imagine the coziness and warmth of laying on a soft table, listening to quiet music and having no cares in the world for one hour except to be in a place of peace and solitude and a space to allow your body to heal and repair itself.

The holidays are a period of transition from the Metal phase into the Water phase and these times between two phases are especially important for us to eat right, rest well, slow down and fortify for the new season ahead. This is the perfect time for us to take care of ourselves, relax, slow down, and live in the moment.

Why wait for the New Year to make resolutions for better health and well-being? Get started now with the gift of Chinese Medicine. Whether or not you choose acupuncture, herbal therapy, cupping, moxibustion, or Gua Sha, we have many tools in our Traditional Chinese Medicine toolbox that can help you enjoy the holidays the way they were meant to be enjoyed – with ease and a light hearted spirit.

Written by: Lori Holland, L.Ac.

De-Stress This Holiday Season

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