• Lesley Heidrich

Time to Stop the Go, Go, Go

We live in a world where we are losers if we're not aiming to be overachievers. We're told success will never come our way unless we keep to the grind... if we’re not on the go 24/7 and our minds aren't thinking constantly, then there’s something wrong.

NO!! The mad rush of "go, go, go" is a problem. It's wrong! And it breaks my heart...

This is how I approach acupuncture treatments for anxiety:

1- When people come to me, they like to tell me their story (no matter what it is). Often people need an ear- a sympathetic listener. I believe this is a crucial role I play as an acupuncturist that should not be taken lightly. There is a lot of healing that comes from having someone listen and care. And it's a huge reason for me making sure my appointments are never rushed.

2- Heightened anxiety depletes the brain of proper blood and oxygen nutrition, much like depression does. With depression, treatments focus on lifting the mood whereas anxiety treatments are more sedating and relaxing to the brain and central nervous system. Increased blood and oxygen flow to the brain is actually more relaxing than it is stimulating! Also, I use relaxation techniques - focused on the chest - to help with breathing. (Taking in deeper breaths to help calm panic attacks, for instance). My main want is to help a patient quiet their thoughts - to shut the brain off and let it rest, so they can relax! As a result, restful sleep is the first thing most patients experience. They might not sleep longer, but sleep will be deeper and less fitful.

3- I also mention some dietary concerns such as sugar, alcohol, and caffeine to my patients, as those substances can increase anxiety. Certain supplements will cause agitation as well. And - depending on whether or not western medications have been prescribed - I also work with herbs to help with anxiety. I do no prescribe herbs, however, until 3-4 acupuncture treatments have been given.

4- It’s important to come weekly for the first 5 or 6 treatments. Acupuncture has a build-up effect. If it’s not done regularly in the beginning of treatment, a patient won’t reap the benefits later on.

Time with yourself, time spent in quiet, and time dedicated to self care is incredibly important. Give yourself a break... And get yourself an acupuncture treatment! I'm certain, you won't regret it.

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