Stress is an all-encompassing term that is used to describe a reaction to various ‘stressors’ or pressures in our lives.
There can be two types of stress, ‘eustress’ (from Greek origin: ‘eu’ meaning good), which is a positive type of stress that we can use to motivate us to achieve results and succeed, and bad stress, or ‘distress’ which is generally what we are talking about when we say we feel ‘stressed’.
We all need a little stress in our lives to maintain the motivation to work and achieve, but often stress can make us feel overloaded, angry, depressed, and can have a very strong effect on the proper functioning of our bodies.
The different psychological and emotional effects of living with an illness or health problem is often reduced to one word – Stress. Stress can mean very different things to different people. That is why it is so important that you get a chance to talk about how it is affecting you and that your health professional has the time and skills to listen and understand the issues you are facing.
Living with pain or other health problems can be some of the most difficult time of our lives. While a medical diagnosis can be of great help in understanding what is happening to us it often fails to address the problems we face trying to go about our daily lives. There is a big difference between having a painful knee to being in pain all the time. During the Acupuncture consultation we will listen and try to understand how the problem affects you physically but also, if applicable, how it affects your overall wellbeing.
There is no standard number of treatments that are needed, as every individual requires tailored therapy. Treatment schedules are generally discussed between the therapist and the client, however, typically we expect to see positive change within three to four treatments, usually within a week of each other.
Massage treatments can range from half hour, hour, or 1.5 hour sessions depending on what you feel you require. Most acupuncture treatments take approximately an hour. The therapist will ask you to fill in a form and will take a thorough case history before beginning treatment. Acupuncture treatment involves the insertion of very fine needles at various points of the body and may be performed on the back or front or both sides of the patient.
You may feel a sting upon insertion of the needle although the discomfort is usually minimal. After insertion the acupuncturist may manipulate the needles to obtain De Qi (to get the Qi or energy to come to the needle). This feeling is most often described as a tingling, numbness or heavy, achy feeling at the site of insertion. Occasionally you may feel movement up or down from the point or you may feel something elsewhere on the body. Don’t worry, this is perfectly normal but let your acupuncturist know what you are feeling and they will adjust the treatment if you are experiencing any discomfort.
The needles are retained for anywhere between 15 to 45 minutes and may be manipulated again throughout the treatment and some therapists may also use massage or electro-acupuncture. At the end of the treatment the needles are removed and disposed of. At some sites of insertion you may feel a lingering dull achy feeling after removal of the needles but this will disappear shortly.
Often the things that we know we should do when we are stressed, like eating well, resting, and gentle exercise are the main things that first get neglected when we are going through a period of stress. It is important to place a higher priority on these factors in times of higher stress, because, even though they can’t get rid of the stress, they will make the difference as to how your body deals with it, and how well you are throughout.