To say that this year has been an emotional roller coaster ride would be an understatement. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed nearly every aspect of the way we live our lives, and for many people this has led to an increase in stress-related ailments like anxiety and insomnia. The good news is there are ways to combat these ailments without resorting to pharmaceutical drugs. Traditional Chinese Medicine is a holistic healing system that can be a powerful tool in treating a wide range of health issues including anxiety and insomnia.
What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been used for centuries to treat everything from chronic pain to emotional disorders, digestive issues, sleep disturbances, and more. The practice takes a holistic approach to healing by utilizing natural therapies like acupuncture, nutrition, massage, and reiki to address health issues. These natural therapies not only help with existing symptoms, but they can also be preventative.
Acupuncture is a healing technique that involves inserting very thin needles into key points on the body to correct energy imbalances. The idea is that everyone has energy or Qi (pronounced ‘chee’) flowing through their bodies, but sometimes this energy can become blocked in certain areas. When this happens, you may experience joint pain, headaches, restlessness, anxiety, or a general feeling of malaise. Acupuncture aims to unblock these areas and open the meridians so that energy can flow more freely throughout the body. Studies show that acupuncture also stimulates areas of the brain that process pain and manage stress hormones.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the physical body and the mind are interconnected. For example, when we experience stress, our bodies produce hormones that increase the heart rate, elevate blood pressure, and increase blood sugar levels in the body. These hormones can also affect the organs and various systems. Over time, constant exposure to stress hormones can cause damage to various organs, and this can manifest as psychological conditions including depression, anxiety, and insomnia. A customized nutrition plan can help detoxify the organs and restore a balance between the body and mind.
Massage therapy is not only an incredibly relaxing experience, but it can also help heal the body and calm the mind by stimulating blood flow, releasing energy blockages, and regulating the nervous system. TCM massage therapies like Tui Na and Gua Sha focus on key acupressure points to open the meridians and get Qi flowing. This helps to correct imbalances and ease tension that may be causing anxiety or sleep disruptions. Massage also encourages the body to release feel-good hormones like endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine, which help elevate the mood and produce an overall feeling of well-being.
Reiki is an ancient healing therapy that originated in Japan, but it has been used for hundreds of years in many Asian cultures. The name can be broken down into ‘rei’, which means ‘universal energy’ and ‘ki’, which means life energy. It involves a practitioner placing their hands above certain areas of a patient’s body and channeling energy to promote relaxation and balance mental and emotional states. Many people find that reiki sessions are incredibly calming and help them release stress, tension, and negative emotions. This is a great option for those who want a non-invasive therapy to help manage stress.
How Red Leaf Wellness Can Help
Red Leaf Wellness is a highly acclaimed wellness clinic with two locations in Edmonton, Alberta. We offer acupuncture, massage therapy, reiki, and functional medicine services. We specialize in creating individualized treatment plans for a range of conditions including insomnia, anxiety, PTSD, pain management, weight loss, and more. Working closely with you and your primary care physician, we will design a holistic treatment plan that is tailored specifically to your symptoms and wellness goals.