Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure. Fast paced lives, 'always-on' technology and the rising cost of living mean that many of us are feeling stressed-out.
National Stress Awareness Day, Wednesday 7th November
A recent survey to coincide with National Stress Awareness Day suggests that stress levels have doubled in the last 4 years and revealed that 11 million lost working days a year at the last count.
Stress is, without doubt, the most common complaint that I treat.
Common signs of stress
* Common signs of stress include feeling anxious, depressed and having low self-esteem.
* You may find that you have racing thoughts, worry constantly and can't relax.
* You may drink/smoke more.
* Physically you may suffer from headaches, muscle tension/pain, indigestion, bowel or bladder problems and have a low libido.
* Your sleep may suffer as you can't switch off
Some of these probably sound familiar to most of us. If these symptoms are a constant feature in your life it might be time to take stock and try and do something about it.
Breaking the habit of stress
There are effective natural ways to deal with stress such as taking gentle exercise, breathing techniques and identifying the triggers to break the 'habit' of stress. This is a great article by Prof Jane Plant here giving easy and useful techniques.
Acupuncture for stress
A recent study has shown that acupuncture can help.
When we are stressed our body releases the 'flight or flight' protein 'neuropeptide Y' into our blood. Findings and MRI scans show that acupuncture significantly reduces levels of this protein and calms the central nervous system.
Anecdotal evidence has long existed into the benefits of acupuncture in reducing stress but this is the first time we have scientific confirmation which is great news.
A course of acupuncture to combat your stress could be a step in the right direction.