Stress is not cool!
Or is it?
In a very simple physiological way, stress is an indicator that things need to change. Its’ purpose in the ‘animal kingdom’ is to protect us from harm by making us act. We’ve all heard of the ‘fight or flight’ theory that is natures’ method of making us run like hell from danger or make us beat the day lights out of our aggressor.
Modern day causes of stress generally mean it’s not socially appropriate to do either. So this stress can build, go unchecked and wreak havoc.
However, what if we used stress in a different way? If when we encountered it, we thought about the things that were causing it and then changed them or the way we react to them.
One of the many things that I admire about my patients is the fact that they have asked for help, from me, to help them move forward. That motivates me enormously. I believe that by asking for help 75% of the problem has already been tackled. So, the last 25% becomes a shared problem, which apparently is a problem halved!
This final 12.5% problem is generally helped by the very nature of an acupuncture treatment.
Acupuncture treatments are generally calm, relaxing and fun. No matter how heavy things get, humour tends to play a role. I find this helps keep a light shining even when times are dark. Do not think that it’s one round of one-liners, it’s not, but some gentle reflection on life can help keep things in perspective.
It is also time to talk. Verbalising our fears, concerns and worries somehow lifts a weight. The fact that these conversations are with a practitioner that is bound by strict confidentiality and ethical principals is helpful, as you can say what you like. That’s not always possible with friends, family and colleagues.
Another important aspect is that you are made to stop, be still and rest. Few folks do that. It is during this restful period that we can clearly hear what we have going on inside. It is once we have this clarity that it’s time to act. Together we can plan changes to lifestyle, career, relationships, whatever needs addressing. I was surprised when I trained in acupuncture how much time was spent on listening, understanding, reflecting and enabling others to find a path. I must admit it did frustrate me back then as we never came in contact with a needle! This is one of the things I am now most grateful for because they were preparing us for working with others in a truly compassionate manner.
Finally, the needles. There’s many explanations about what the needles achieve. Everything from shifting ‘qi’ to making changes in the brain. Frankly, no one knows the exact action they have on the body. However, when used by a trained acupuncturist (and preferably one who is a member of the British Acupuncture Council) something transformational can happen. I know, I’ve been lucky enough to see it, regularly.
One transformation which often is mentioned is the feeling that after the treatment the problems that were carried in the room have abated. Even if this is for a few moments this helps us achieve some clear vision. It is this peace, no matter how momentary that can make the world of difference in allowing us to find a path that suits us better than the one that brought us here.
Thank you for reading this. I hope you are able to find some time to relax, heal and enjoy your life and if you are someone who struggles with stress, have a think about what your path could be. Who can help you pave the way to peace?