Simple solutions for anxiety and insomnia. How wellness and Traditional Chinese medicine can help!

  • Simple solutions for anxiety and insomnia. How wellness and Traditional Chinese medicine can help!

Simple solutions for anxiety and insomnia. How wellness and Traditional Chinese medicine can help!

To say that this year has been an emotional roller coaster ride would be an understatement. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed nearly every aspect of the way we live our lives, and for many people this has led to an increase in stress-related ailments like anxiety and insomnia. The good news is there are ways to combat these ailments without resorting to pharmaceutical drugs. Traditional Chinese Medicine is a holistic healing system that can be a powerful tool in treating a wide range of health issues including anxiety and insomnia.

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been used for centuries to treat everything from chronic pain to emotional disorders, digestive issues, sleep disturbances, and more. The practice takes a holistic approach to healing by utilizing natural therapies like acupuncture, nutrition, massage, and reiki to address health issues. These natural therapies not only help with existing symptoms, but they can also be preventative

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a healing technique that involves inserting very thin needles into key points on the body to correct energy imbalances. The idea is that everyone has energy or Qi (pronounced ‘chee’) flowing through their bodies, but sometimes this energy can become blocked in certain areas. When this happens, you may experience joint pain, headaches, restlessness, anxiety, or a general feeling of malaise. Acupuncture aims to unblock these areas and open the meridians so that energy can flow more freely throughout the body. Studies show that acupuncture also stimulates areas of the brain that process pain and manage stress hormones.

Nutrition

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the physical body and the mind are interconnected. For example, when we experience stress, our bodies produce hormones that increase the heart rate, elevate blood pressure, and increase blood sugar levels in the body. These hormones can also affect the organs and various systems. Over time, constant exposure to stress hormones can cause damage to various organs, and this can manifest as psychological conditions including depression, anxiety, and insomnia. A customized nutrition plan can help detoxify the organs and restore a balance between the body and mind.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is not only an incredibly relaxing experience, but it can also help heal the body and calm the mind by stimulating blood flow, releasing energy blockages, and regulating the nervous system. TCM massage therapies like Tui Na and Gua Sha focus on key acupressure points to open the meridians and get Qi flowing. This helps to correct imbalances and ease tension that may be causing anxiety or sleep disruptions. Massage also encourages the body to release feel-good hormones like endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine, which help elevate the mood and produce an overall feeling of well-being.

Reiki

Reiki is an ancient healing therapy that originated in Japan, but it has been used for hundreds of years in many Asian cultures. The name can be broken down into ‘rei’, which means ‘universal energy’ and ‘ki’, which means life energy. It involves a practitioner placing their hands above certain areas of a patient’s body and channeling energy to promote relaxation and balance mental and emotional states. Many people find that reiki sessions are incredibly calming and help them release stress, tension, and negative emotions. This is a great option for those who want a non-invasive therapy to help manage stress.

How Red Leaf Wellness Can Help

Red Leaf Wellness is a highly acclaimed wellness clinic with two locations in Edmonton, Alberta. We offer acupuncture, massage therapy, reiki, and functional medicine services. We specialize in creating individualized treatment plans for a range of conditions including insomnia, anxiety, PTSD, pain management, weight loss, and more. Working closely with you and your primary care physician, we will design a holistic treatment plan that is tailored specifically to your symptoms and wellness goals.

Give us a call at 780.633.7538 with any questions you may have or schedule an appointment online through our patient portal with one of our practitioners.

Benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine During the Pandemic

Benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine During the PandemicBenefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine During the Pandemic

The novel coronavirus has turned our world upside down. Along with stress and worry, many of us have been locked down and need some kind of relief from worries, isolation, and fear. But imagine getting away for a little while. Imagine letting everything go and feeling better both in mind and spirit right now. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) may be the way to set everything aside, take a moment for ourselves, and enjoy the overwhelming mental and physical benefits at the same time.

There are many benefits of traditional Chinese medicine during the pandemic. And some that may surprise you.

From stress relief to taking care of ourselves, these are important things during the pandemic. Here is more about taking advantage of Chinese medicine – especially now. And while these benefits help no matter what is going on, they’re even more important during COVID-19.

Helps Lower the Body’s Stress Response

Stress is an enormous factor in today’s climate. According to Help Guide:

For many people, the uncertainty surrounding coronavirus is the hardest thing to handle. We still don’t know exactly how we’ll be impacted, how long this will last, or how bad things might get. And that makes it all too easy to catastrophize and spiral out into overwhelming dread and panic.

Many of us lived with significant stress before the pandemic. From our job and family life to financial issues and more – it’s difficult to remain free of stressful situations.

The problem is that stress causes emotional, physical, behavioral, and cognitive issues. It is our body’s way of dealing with a threat – whether perceived or real. We function just fine with small doses of stress but as its prevalence increases, so may the following potential health concerns:

Emotional Issues

  • Mood and behavioral changes
  • Isolation from others
  • Problems with relaxing
  • Overwhelming feelings

Physical Symptoms

  • Insomnia
  • No energy
  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Low libido
  • Nervousness
  • Increased infections and colds
  • Aches and pains

Behavioral Issues

  • Increased substance or alcohol use
  • Nervous behaviors
  • Avoiding tasks or responsibilities
  • Changes in appetite

Cognitive Symptoms

  • Hard to focus
  • Negative thoughts
  • Constant worry
  • Poor judgment
  • Forgetfulness
  • Racing thoughts

The many negative (and alarming) effects of stress can affect every single aspect of our lives. Chinese medicine works to bring balance to the body’s physiological functions and internal organs. Not only does it work to lower stress, Traditional Chinese Medicine is relaxing, and that benefit alone helps minimize our mind and body’s stressors. And by lowering stress, it may reduce your symptoms. Triggers are a part of life but you can make things better by using Reiki, acupuncture, and other forms of traditional Chinese medicine to your advantage.

Reduces Inflammation

Inflammation is a detriment with COVID-19. As notated by The World Economic Forum:

A common feature for many patients that get severe COVID is serious lung damage caused by an overly vigorous immune response. This is characterized by the creation of lots of inflammatory products called cytokines—the so-called “cytokine storm”.

And while we do not make any claims about cures, inflammation in any scenario is bad. Inflammation is sometimes brief but for some, it becomes a chronic problem. Inflammation happens similar to stress. It is our body’s way of fighting off harmful actions. If a cell gets damaged, the body triggers a response from the immune system by releasing chemicals. But for those with chronic inflammation, the body remains in a state of alert, even after the threat is gone.

This can lead to diseases including:

  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • Arthritis

Acupuncture helps including aiding the digestive tract. This body system is often a source of inflammation that goes unrecognized. Promising studies at Harvard University suggest acupuncture is effective in taming the inflammatory response.

Helps Cognitive Health

We all need to be as sharp as possible right now. Dealing with a worldwide pandemic is no time to have brain fog. And poor cognitive health affects all of our surroundings, even in the best of times.

Cognitive reserve is a phrase you may not be familiar with. But what it does is keep our brain sharper. It’s how you learn things in school or use logic to solve a problem. When an adequate cognitive reserve is present, it is easier to face life’s challenges and decide the best course of action.

Reiki is one form of traditional Chinese medicine helpful for mental health. Blind studies show increases in well-being and minimized depression through the use of Reiki. Others show evidence of increased relaxation and lower anxiety.

Improves Flexibility and Muscle Strength

Along with our health and mind, our bodies need care when you’re not sure what will happen next. A strong body aids in your overall health and well-being, and fortunately, acupuncture is a very helpful tool.

Muscle strength is more than just being able to lift a heavy box or push open a heavy door. Instead, muscle strength also gives the body the ability to heal faster. Powerful muscles translate to less downtime when you’re injured.

How acupuncture works is by creating tiny injuries where you won’t feel pain – just pressure sometimes. These minor injuries not only supply oxygen to the muscles but also trigger endorphins. Along with these immediate results, each visit shows increasing results in improving flexibility and muscle strength.

Finding Answers During the Pandemic

We can’t provide all the answers and no one knows how everything will play out. But keeping your body and mind healthy benefits every aspect of your life. There are multiple benefits of Chinese medicine and during the pandemic they are even more crucial to living the best, healthiest, and happiest life. Schedule an appointment with us now to see how traditional Chinese medicine can help you!

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