Posts Tagged ‘Stress Reduction’

Acupuncture Awareness Week 2015 – Stress

By Rhiannon Griffiths

The 2015 theme of The British Acupuncture Council’s Acupuncture Awareness Week, during 2nd to 8th March, is STRESS. I am thrilled that the BAcC has chosen this topic to focus on this year, because it is such a common modern day condition, and not many people know acupuncture can actually really help with stress. And make sure you scroll to the bottom of this page for special FREE offers, videos and more!

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Acupuncture Awareness Week 2015 - Stress

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A recent study, commissioned by the British Acupuncture Council for the awareness week, reveals British stress levels are on the increase, and we are risking our health by turning to sugary food, comfort eating and alcohol to help cope with modern life. The study of 5,000 adults found that over half of the UK are more stressed now than ten years ago, a third of us admit to comfort eating when stressed, a quarter confess to drinking alcohol and as a result 1 in 5 admit they put on weight.

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Despite 70 per cent of the UK saying they are aware prolonged periods of stress can have a long term impact on their health, almost half of people admit they just put up with it, and two thirds say stress is unavoidable in their life. A lack of time (41%), wanting to have it all (25%) and difficulty switching off from work (24%) were cited as the top reasons for the rise of burnt out Brits.

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In scientific terms, acupuncture has been shown to stimulate release of endorphins (the happy hormones) and oxytocin (the calm and contented hormone) – leading to reduction of stress and pain. Yet the statistics showed that 1 in 10 of us think stress isn’t serious enough to seek help, and 67% say they didn’t know acupuncture helps to release endorphins, in order to combat stress.

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In Chinese Medicine we view this process as harmonising Qi within the energy pathways of the body, restoring balance, health and wellbeing. It is why acupuncture is so relaxing and makes patients feel so good.

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Stress was originally a scientific term, first used to explain the temporary ‘fight or flight’ response in organisms, but is now used regularly to describe a range of physical and emotional symptoms.

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Many people suffer stress or feel “stressed out”, experiencing emotional signs such as feeling frustrated, irritable, tearful, overwhelmed, anxious, worried or depressed. Additionally, physical symptoms such as exhaustion, muscle tension, tight neck and shoulders, irritable bowel, nausea or migraine may also be indicative of high stress levels.

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In Chinese Medicine, we believe our emotions can be a huge cause of illness in our bodies – so stress, fear, worry or frustration can prevent the smooth flow of Qi energy in the body, creating stagnation in the channels, or depletion of the body’s overall energy, ultimately causing imbalance or pain.

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Acupuncture seeks to address the ROOT CAUSE of the stress, and relieve anxiety, exhaustion or overwhelm by boosting the energy that is lacking, or moving the stuck energy that is causing tension. It is this differentiation of identifying EXACTLY what is going on in a patient’s body, that is the benefit of using acupuncture to treat stress, and means the results are often better in the long term.

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I see many patients who are exhausted from being permanently stuck in this ‘fight or flight’ stress pattern – this is the daily norm for people, with extended hours in the office, balancing work and home life, a lack of proper rest or nourishing food. Acupuncture can provide vital support to break this vicious cycle.

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Rhiannon Griffiths Acupuncture AAW Thame

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To mark the awareness week I have many opportunities for you to get involved with learning more about how acupuncture could help you, & also for you to access FREE information about stress:

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+ see what my patients (pictured above) have to say about STRESS – pick up your FREE copy of THAME OUT

+ join the FREE “7 Day Stress Busting Challenge”, on instagram, Facebook & Twitter or sign up HERE

+ download your FREE “How to Help Physical & Emotional Stress” information sheet now

+ read the blog post “Top 10 Ways Acupuncture Helps Stress” on this website

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NOT SURE WHAT TRADITIONAL ACUPUNCTURE IS, OR HOW IT WORKS? WATCH THIS NEW VIDEO:

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THIS YEAR’S AAW 2015 CELEBRITY ENDORSER – DONNA AIR – ON ACUPUNCTURE & STRESS:

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SEE ME TREATING STRICTLY COME DANCING’S CAMILLA DALLERUP:

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WATCH THE PLAYLIST OF FREQUENTLY ASKED ACUPUNCTURE QUESTIONS:

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© Rhiannon Griffiths 2015

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Free Five Element Ebook CF




Top 10 Ways Acupuncture Helps Stress

By Rhiannon Griffiths

Lots of people know acupuncture is good for bad backs, migraines, fertility and frozen shoulders, but did you know acupuncture helps stress? Read on for the top ten ways acupuncture helps with stress:

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1. Stagnation of Qi

In Chinese Medicine we view stress as energy (or what we call Qi) that has got stuck or become stagnant in the body. This can cause emotional or physical stress, such as mood swings, irritability or tight neck and shoulders. For optimum health on all levels, the movement of Qi energy in the body, should be naturally free flowing throughout all the meridian channels or energy pathways from the top of the head to the tips of the toes. Acupuncture uses ultra fine needles, the thickness of a human hair, to actively move Qi in the channels, thereby tackling what we view as a root cause of stress.

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2. Happy Hormones

In scientific terms, acupuncture has been shown to stimulate the release of endorphins and oxytocin. Endorphins are the happy hormones that get released with exercise, and oxytocin is the calm and contented hormone, that is often associated with breastfeeding mothers. This leads to a biochemical reduction in stress levels, and is why acupuncture is so relaxing and makes patients feel so good!

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3. Talk It Out

In my treatment room, a large part of the session is spent talking to my patient, before I even think about picking up any needles. Discussing what has been going on for them emotionally, physically, at home, and at work. Not only does it help inform my choice of exactly which acupuncture points are needed for that session, but it also helps lower their stress levels with the old adage of “a problem shared is a problem halved”.

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4. Chinese Food Energetics

During an acupuncture session, your acupuncturist is likely to offer various lifestyle and dietary changes that complement your treatment. The way we view food is via the impact it has on the internal energy of the body, what properties the food has, and what it does. According to Chinese Food Energetics, or Chinese Dietary Therapy, green tea helps to move Qi in the body, making it the perfect drink to reach for when you feel your stress levels start to rise.

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5. Emotions

In Chinese Medicine, we believe our emotions can be a huge cause of illness or imbalance in our bodies – anxiety, fear, worry, frustration or anger can prevent the smooth flow of Qi energy in the body. This creates stagnation in the channels, or depletion of the body’s overall energy, ultimately causing stress levels to skyrocket. Needling different acupuncture points helps to stabilise and regulate different emotions, restoring flow, and giving emotional support to reduce stress.

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Rhiannon Griffiths Acupuncture Thame

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6. Relaxing & Rebalancing

Contrary to popular belief, acupuncture is not scary and painful, it is actually an incredibly relaxing experience, during which many patients actually fall asleep on the treatment couch whilst the needles are in! This makes the acupuncture session itself de-stressing, but by rebalancing the system on a deeper level, this relaxation from the clinic continues at home. In Chinese Medicine we view acupuncture as harmonising Qi within the energy pathways of the body, restoring balance, health and wellbeing.

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7. The Four Gates

The number one de-stressing point combination in acupuncture is called the “Four Gates”. It combines LI 4, found in the fleshy webbing between the thumb and forefinger, with Liv 3 on the foot, over the “knuckle” between the big toe and the second toe. This combination strongly moves the Qi in the body, calming the system physically and mentally. These can also be massaged at home as a form of acupressure to de-stress, but should be avoided during pregnancy.

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8. Energy Boost

Sometimes we can feel stressed out when we are exhausted and overwhelmed. This feels very different to the frustrated or snappy energy that we often think of with the word stress. Acupuncture can help support and nourish the body, by using points that boost up energy levels, such as St 36 just below the outer side of the knee, thereby reducing this type of stress. Eating blood-nourishing foods, as according to Chinese Food Energetics, will also help here – add beetroot, beef, spinach, eggs, apricots, figs and kale for an extra boost.

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9. Bespoke Treatment

Traditional acupuncture is a holistic practice that treats YOU as you, as an individual, as a whole person. You may have a group of people all claiming to be “stressed out”, but the acupuncture points chosen for each person might be completely different, depending on what is going on in their lives, what symptoms are present, or which of the Chinese Five Elements they are. This bespoke de-stressing is one of the key reasons acupuncture is so effective at combating stress, it’s not a one-size fits all approach.

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10. Me Time

An average acupuncture session runs between 45 minutes and 1 hour. It is your time to stop, relax, and focus purely on yourself – how often do we get that in our daily routines? Patients often say that just knowing they have acupuncture booked into their diaries is enough to help their stress levels – knowing they have a support system in place, that will help them physically and emotionally, is de-stressing in itself.

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© Rhiannon Griffiths 2015

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Free Five Element Ebook CF




What Does Your Stress Look Like?

By Rhiannon Griffiths

Next week sees the arrival of the UK’s annual Stress Awareness Day, that happens on the first Wednesday of November every year. This year’s theme and focus is on stress being a balancing act. And acupuncture is ALL about BALANCE.

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The balancing and harmonising affect of acupuncture, that uses ultra fine needles as thin as a human hair, makes it well placed to deal with stress. In scientific terms, acupuncture has been shown to stimulate release of endorphins (the happy hormones) and oxytocin (the calm and contented hormone often associated with nursing mothers) – leading to reduction of stress levels.

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As a member of the British Acupuncture Council, and a traditional acupuncturist, I use acupuncture to address the root cause reason as to why a physical or emotional issue is present or persisting. The Five Element style believes that most often the root cause reason is in our default Element.

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what is my element ebook on ipad thumbnail mergedIn Chinese Medicine, there are Five Elements – Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood. We do have all of the Five Elements within us, but one Element is the dominant one, like our default setting, the one that shows itself the most in everything we do.

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I might have five people all coming for acupuncture because they are stressed out, but each of them might experience stress very differently, depending upon which Element is dominant for them. One might be overworked, overwhelmed, anxious and tearful, another might have tight shoulders and feel irritable or frustrated. Understanding the kinds of habits, behaviours, blocks and emotions that you experience in daily life, is the first step to managing your stress levels.

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The free ebook is intended to be a gentle introduction into the Five Elements, to give you an idea of what each Element is like, and to see if you can identify yourself in one of them. Download it by filling out the form below, I’d love to know what you think!

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© Rhiannon Griffiths 2014

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Talking Stress Reduction

By Rhiannon Griffiths

At the beginning of the month I was asked to appear on BBC Radio Oxford as their afternoon show – Jo Thoenes in the Afternoon – was covering the topic of stress, and how this can manifest in our bodies. Local personal trainer George Anderson spoke about the impact stress hormones such as cortisol, has on the body and the way it stores fat, making it difficult to lose weight.

I spoke about how acupuncture can help regulate hormonal imbalances, particularly adrenal fatigue (which is also linked to not being able to shift fat, as well as leaving patients exhausted), as it is a very regulating, balancing and harmonising treatment. And with hormones, balance is the key.

Acupuncture helps both physical and emotional stress, and the best thing about it being a completely holistic treatment, is that when these physical and emotional symptoms occur at the same time, we can treat them simultaneously – we treat YOU as you, not as a tense neck or shoulder… have a listen below!

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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVlbxE-TVf0%5D

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The piece finishes by highlighting some of the other things your acupuncturist can do in the treatment room. For example, we can recommend dietary changes, lifestyle advice, drawing attention to the rest vs exercise balance, and so on… remember, acupuncture is not ONLY about the needles, we have a whole wealth of Chinese Medicine theory to draw upon, to help you!

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© Rhiannon Griffiths 2011

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