Acupuncture, for example, has been shown to modulate cortisol levels, which tones down the fight or flight response we can have in anxiety-producing situations (or for some, even just reading the internet). This greatly increases relaxation. On top of that, we basically force people to lay still in a quiet room for 25 minutes and given how sleep-deprived we all are, a forced nap can do wonders! Many of our patients are also going through extremely stressful procedures like IVF or dealing with cancer, they see Acupuncture as a safe haven. They get someone who listens to them, can help them wrap their head around what’s happening with their health, and also to be pro-active, doing something for themselves. Typically, clients incorporate Acupuncture into their lives in one of two ways – they either make it a part of their regular routine so it’s always coursing through their veins be it weekly, monthly or quarterly at the change of seasons. Alternately, some do a flash course of 3-4 treatments close together when they feel like life is really overwhelming them.
Another great technique for relaxation we pull from Eastern culture is practicing Tai Chi. Tai Chi leads to relaxation because it’s performed slowly and mindfully promoting a meditative quality. The heart rate slows, blood pressure decreases and your breathing deepens. The movements of Tai Chi themselves also effect the body because you are always moving from your center; creating integrated movement. Tai Chi is often called a "moving meditation" because of these physiological and movement-oriented effects on the body. The saying "move like a river, be still as a mountain" is often said to characterize the Tai Chi mind-body connection. People in the West often assume Tai Chi is only for the elderly, and we believe that is certainly a misnomer. In China for example, all age groups are taught Tai Chi, even children.