- Cloud 9 Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine22 West Padonia Rd. Suite A-203
Timonium, MD 21093
Becoming Resilient to Stress
I once had to write an essay on the book, “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers” by Robert Sapolsky and I can summarize it to this day… The sympathetic nervous system elicits the “fight or flight” response. A third response is to freeze in place.
Modern humans often freeze in place, stall. Usually, we do not fight others or run (flight) like zebras run away from lions, but we just sit or stand in place, doing the same exact thing physically we were doing prior to the stress trigger. The cortisol elevates with the stressor, the adrenaline surges… and we sit (or stand) in place instead of using that fuel to launch into a sprint away from a predator (lion, tiger or bear, oh my!)
Zebras have no choice. They run or they die, or they run and die. Either way, they really must run. In turn, their bodies burn off the adrenaline surge and other stress hormones. This is why they do not get ulcers.
However, humans do get ulcers, because their ancient wiring “fight or flight” response designed to keep them alive during times of war with neighboring tribes, or being hunted by predators, simply goes off at very inopportune times… like when we’re stuck in traffic, or getting flack from our boss, or a friend phones with bad news … goes off, constantly, daily, sometimes multiple times per hour. This creates a cascade effect with the nervous system, the neuro-endocrine hormones and creates inflammation, extra body fat, cardiovascular disease, digestive disorders, anxiety, panic attacks, headaches, autoimmune disease, insomnia, and more. Everyone responds to stress differently.
Most people respond very well to acupuncture because it brings the nervous system and endocrine system into balance. Over time, with regular acupuncture treatment, patients become less triggered by stress as the “fight or flight” response becomes much more self-regulated.
Studies Show Acupuncture Helps Reduce High Blood Pressure
Those suffering from hypertension, or high blood pressure, are at risk for a host of other health issues including suffering a stroke or heart attack. And for some people, the prescription drugs used to treat high blood pressure either aren’t effective enough or bring on undesirable side effects. In recent years, studies have shown that acupuncture can be an effective and drug free alternative to combating high blood pressure. continue reading