The Post Holidays Blahs and Acupuncture
It’s mid-February. We are well beyond the holiday season and all of its distractions and festivities. I don’t know about you, but for me this stretch of time during February and March has often been the longest and most monotonous for me.
For generations, farmers would look to the stars for hope and promise of a spring that would bring a full harvest. The distractions and noise of the holidays helped bear the uncertainties, but February and March would drag on.
Living with uncertainty prompts many towards faith. It incites fear and stress in others. We loosely refer to it as the winter blahs but what appears are signs of depression and anxiety. They may show up as chronic distortions of self esteem, stress eating, preoccupation of what others may be thinking about you, or hopeless ways of seeing your future or potential, and on and on.
If our thoughts or behaviors are causing us suffering on any level, then it is a sign of imbalance. These imbalances show up in different degrees and with different themes. They could be related to feelings of fear of rejection or unacceptability; fear of failure; fear of abandonment; fear over health issues; fear of childrens’ welfare, etc. The common denominator is often fear. What is unique from person to person is our individual way of managing these fears. Where we lack hope or faith, we will fill the vacuum with fear and will find some behavioral way of dealing with it. These behaviors that we develop become habitual, which is why I believe that almost all the work I do relates to addictive behavior (addictions are not only about substances such as alcohol or drugs).
A helpful tool is to identify the pattern of behavior. This pattern is also often associated with physical manifestations. Whether it is a sleeping disorder, gastrointestinal issue, TMJ, headaches, etc., there will be physical manifestations that usually show up. This is why acupuncture can be so far reaching in its impact on you—.it affects body, mind, and spirit.
First we work to identify the pattern of behavior. We generally do this in the first session. Once we can conceptually compartmentalize the problem behavior or thought process, it becomes an “it”. Once an “it” is created, the problem loses some of its grip on you. I often suggest my patient visualize what “it” looks like. One patient visualized the gremlin in her life. We like to think of it as sitting on her lap in the car and holding on to the steering wheel of her life. She relinquishes all control to her gremlin. By talking it through (some of the work of the treatment process), I choose the points that can subdue the grip of the emotion and strengthen the will to overcome it.
The Wood element in Chinese medicine has much impact on the smooth flow of emotions. There are points that specifically address this. These same points have a lot of effect on the muscles, the menstruation process, headaches, and more. The Water element has a lot of impact on our determination to will ourselves into balance. These same points have a lot of impact on our energy level, issues related to back pain and joint pains, and our sleep. The Water element is also associated with courage and fear. Do you see this body/mind/spirit process at work now?
Working with the “it” factor of the fear pattern goes hand in hand with effecting multiple physical manifestations. Take Susan for example. As she noticed a diminishing of her anxiety, she also noticed a shift in the physical complaint she came to me for. Susan said, “the gremlin is finally in the backseat of my life!” She is hopeful that she will eventually be rid of it completely, and she looks forward to “stopping the car and leaving the gremlin on the side of the road.”
In the meantime, her migraines have decreased in frequency and intensity, and her menses is less painful.
With the coming of spring, I have two exciting announcements for my readers:
I now take insurance in my acupuncture practice. This means that if your policy covers acupuncture, then I can also take care of submitting the bills and the paperwork, just like in your doctor’s office.
Also, in March I am moving my Towson practice to Lutherville. In my next article I will formally announce the opening of Valley Wellness on Falls Road. I will continue my Catonsville practice in the heart of Old Catonsville.
Additional posts by Jill Ellen Smith
- Acupuncture and Joint Implants, 04 Apr 2013 in Health & Wellness
- Acupuncture, Nutrition, and Cardiovascular Disease, 05 Feb 2013 in Health & Wellness
- Acupuncture Meets Electrical Stimulation, 27 Aug 2012 in Health & Wellness
- From Farm To (Acupuncture) Table, 08 Jun 2012 in Health & Wellness
- Anti-Aging and Acupuncture: Is There a Connection?, 11 Apr 2012 in Health & Wellness
- Acupuncture and the Pain in the Neck, 02 Feb 2012 in Health & Wellness
- Acupuncture CAN Support You Through This Flu Season!, 02 Dec 2011 in Health & Wellness
- Summer…“Barefoot in the Park”…Foot Problems and Acupuncture, 07 Aug 2011 in Fashion and Beauty&Health & Wellness
- Women Making a Difference, 03 Jun 2011 in Uncategorized
- Spring into Summer with Acupuncture, 02 Jun 2011 in Health & Wellness