April is National Stress Awareness month… and Tax Day?

By Vikki Nestico

Seriously? yes!

… and research shows chronic stress is a causative factor for conditions including depression, anxiety, insomnia, digestive disorders, obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and an overall decrease in immune function.

In “Stress in America 2014,” a survey by the American Psychology Association, 1 in 5 respondents reported an extreme  level of 8, 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale. In that same group respondents reported physical or non-physical symptoms of stress, including irritability or anger, muscle tension or pain, fatigue, feeling overwhelmed or changes in their sleep.

What is the top source of stress according to 64% of the respondents? Money! So with April’s tax day approaching it’s a good time to find ways to cope with stress.

How does acupuncture help? Acupuncture helps by reducing the stress hormone response, improving quality of sleep, eliminating pain and muscle tension and keeping our energy up and emotions balanced. Balance is the key to health in Chinese medicine!

From a Western viewpoint, the balancing treatments of acupuncture reduce stress a few different ways. First, acupuncture triggers your brain to release natural pain-killing chemicals, called endorphins. It also improves your circulation, not only to keep your tissues oxygenated but to help remove waste products, including cortisol, more efficiently. And of course, the relaxing effects of acupuncture can decrease heart rate and lowers blood pressure.

6 Tips for Coping with Financial Stress

  1. Take breaks from the computer when doing bookkeeping. Computer work is hard on your neck, shoulders and upper back. Get up every 45 minutes to walk around and stretch. Take deep breaths. Keeping your body relaxed helps your emotions stay level.
  2. Take charge of your finances. Track your earnings and spending every day for a month. When you have a clear picture of your income and expenses make a reasonable spending plan to keep them balanced. Don’t budget on what you hope you’ll make or wish you’ll spend. Be realistic. Having a budget will give you control and reduce your financial stress.
  3. Plan your splurges. It’s difficult to stick with a financial plan if it is overly restrictive and deprives you of what you love. Budget in treats.
  4. Balance making more with spending less. Sometimes taking extra shifts at work is smart and sometimes spending less is the best plan. Make conscious choices about which strategy gives you the most pleasure.
  5. Plan your shopping trips to avoid impulse buys. Stick to a list and make sure you are fed, hydrated and relaxed before you go.
  6. Find support. A friendly ear for feedback when you’re tempted to blow your budget.

Even though few people celebrate Tax Day, it doesn’t have to be stressful. Call and book a free consultation to find out how acupuncture can help you through the difficult times.

Stay Well —Vikki