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Stress Less
By Peter Games, L. Ac.

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Acupuncture for Stress Reduction in Boise IdahoThis response is very appropriate for a physical threat that lasts for a short period of time. But what happens when we experience moderate stress repeatedly, day after day? Unfortunately, our bodies respond with the same fight-or-flight response, though to a lesser degree. When this happens, that very response designed to help us cope with danger becomes dangerous itself. Suppressing digestion can lead to gastrointestinal problems. Elevated blood sugar levels can contribute to diabetes. Increased cardiac output and rapid clotting can eventually lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, or stroke. Long-term stress has been shown to increase the likelihood of depression and to decrease our immune system function, making us more susceptible to infection or possibly cancer. In fact, it is estimated that 90% of all illnesses are caused or aggravated by stress.

So, even though the nature of our stress has changed during the past several centuries, our body’s response to stress has not. Now, we face stressful situations repeatedly, which stem primarily from psychological rather than physical threats. Our stress today is more constant, subtle, and harmful. Rather than brief episodes of high stress due to physical threats, today we experience more continuous low-level stress as a result of trying to meet the demands of our overly busy lives. Even our “vacations” can often be so jam-packed with activities and interaction that we lack an opportunity to truly relax and rejuvenate. For many, a vacation can become a source of stress itself.

Acupuncture & Alternative Medicine in Boise Idaho - Exercise (Running)Reducing stress in our lives can be a very important step in alleviating or even preventing illness. Effective ways to reduce stress are as varied as the people who make use of them. Some find exercise or yoga to be effective in reducing stress, while others prefer more sedentary activities such as meditation, breathing techniques, or receiving massage or acupuncture treatment. Another powerful approach can simply be choosing to change your attitude. In recognizing that you choose how you react to situations, many events that you previously found stressful may lose their power to push your buttons. As you make this realization, you may come to the conclusion that many of the things that upset you just aren’t worth getting stressed about.

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