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Handling Stress

The dictionary defines stress in multiple ways, but there is only one that matters when we discuss how stress affects our physical bodies. Stress is defined as a physical, chemical or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension. Stress actually does have a function in our bodies, it’s the body’s way of signaling for help or a break in the routine. If we don’t listen to these signals, we can develop imbalances in our bodies, which can lead to illnesses. Cortisol is the hormone most closely related to stress. Cortisol is a big component of the “fight or flight” response we feel when we are scared or threatened. In small bursts, cortisol is helpful. However, when stress becomes chroni

Research Update: Acupuncture and TCM for Motivation

A study published by the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine looked at the holistic effects of acupuncture treatments. The study looked at how acupuncture treatments were conducted and evaluated. One of the areas this study looked at is how acupuncture influences the function of the brain. By using functional MRI imaging, the researchers were able to see certain areas of the brain were stimulated during the acupuncture treatments. The anterior insula and striatum, areas involved in motivation processing, were very responsive to the treatments. The study confirmed acupuncture on specific points can activate motivation centers in the brain, thus leading to increase

Acupuncture for Harnessing Willpower

Ever had one of those days or weeks where you just can’t pull yourself out of bed in the morning? Or perhaps you just can’t say “No!” to the dessert tray. Regardless of the activity, willpower is what keeps some people disciplined. But it doesn’t make you a bad person if you have dessert with every meal, buy more shoes than you really need or take longer to get going in the morning. It just means your willpower isn’t strong. And just like any other habit, that can be changed. Willpower is like a muscle. It can be trained. Willpower also uses energy and is limited, just like muscles. Exerting self-control uses energy and over time, this energy can become depleted, making it easier to have the

Research Update: Acupuncture and Seasonal Affective Disorder

A study published by the National Institute of Health looked at the management options for treating depression. Depression is one of the most prevalent symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. This study was conducted by the Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments. They looked at multiple complementary and alternative methods for treating depression, including light therapy, acupuncture, exercise, yoga and natural health supplements like Omega 3 fatty acids and St. John’s Wort. The study concluded acupuncture is most commonly used as a third line of treatment for those seeking alternative methods to deal with depression, despite the fact it tends to be very effective. Seasonal Affec

Five Ways to Wake Up and Get Active

Everybody experiences times where they have no motivation. Lack of motivation can be caused by many things: the weather, depression, nutritional deficiencies, rejection and even not exercising. For many, this seems contradictory. If I have no motivation, how am I supposed to go exercise? Well, it all comes down to choices and doing what is best for your body. Lacking motivation can be detrimental to your health. Even though everybody knows they should be exercising, eating right and getting proper sleep, many of us choose not to. This becomes a bad habit that can actually develop into depression, fatigue, insomnia and even nutritional deficiencies that cause worse physical problems. We tell

Seven Ways to Set and Achieve Your Goals

No matter what you’re trying to accomplish, setting goals is one way to help you get there. Often, when people have no goals, they lack motivation, focus and direction. Setting goals also provides a benchmark to determine whether or not you are succeeding. But how do you set goals if you’ve never done so before? Or what if you have set goals in the past, but you didn’t achieve them? Do you just give up and tell yourself that goal setting doesn’t work? That’s one option, but let’s put things into perspective. 1. Set goals that motivate you. What does this really mean? The goals you set for yourself should be important to you, making you feel there is value in achieving those goals. S

Research Update: Acupuncture and Pain Management

A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine examined how acupuncture can be used to treat low back pain. The researchers looked at multiple trials to determine that acupuncture shows great promise in relieving chronic low back pain. The trials were inconclusive about acupuncture for acute low back pain. Since chronic low back pain is more common, it makes sense the majority of the trials scrutinized found more evidence to support acupuncture usage for this condition. Pain affects everybody at some point in their lives. It may be either acute or chronic. But regardless of the type of pain, it can be debilitating. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, nearly 100 mil

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