Kristen Sparrow • June 30, 2014
I was going to simply skim this article, but it turns out that a fair portion of it concerns my research focus, which is stress reduction. Since I tend to think in “Mainstream Lingo” that part of the paper wasn’t too pertinent, but I am happy to see such interest in a topic that fascinates me.
…Consider the following:
|U.S. Stress Statistics||Data|
|People regularly experiencing PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS from stress||77%|
|Regularly experience psychological symptoms caused by stress||73%|
|Feel they are living with extreme stress (vs. <22% “quite a bit” PLUS “extreme” in Canada)||33%|
|Saying stress has a negative impact on personal & professional life||48%|
|Percent who say they are “always” or “often” under stress at work||30%|
… One such milestone appeared when I made the discovery and connection about the pathophysiology of stress of according to biomedical terms.
In TCM – as hopefully we all know – stress is the subjective experience of liver depression qi stagnation (gan yu qi zhi)…
Clear understanding of both the language and concepts of the stress mechanism within the biomedical model can be learned and apprehended quickly and with little effort.
The Language of Stress
In biomedicine, the pathophysiology of stress is understood as an up-regulation of the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system (ANS).
The result of a hyperactive sympathetic nervous system is:
…The curious effects of acupuncture are – to a large degree – the exact effects that down-regulate sympathetic nervous system hyperactivity and thus disrupt and modulate the stress response…
What Does Acupuncture Do In Holistic Medical Terms?
Acupuncture only moves qi in the body. That’s it. Any other therapeutic effects or theoretically stated treatment principles all derive from this one primary effect.
If you think you are literally draining dampness, transforming phlegm, breaking blood stasis or supplementing blood vacuity with needles – you are delusional . . . unless, you understand that you are affecting the above aspects of yin substance via regulation of the qi mechanism.
In other words, it is by coursing the liver and rectifying the qi mechanism that any and all other therapeutic benefits are achieved.
And why should that be so far-fetched? Furthermore, why should this point be so important to understand?
If you go back to the biomedical explanation of the pathophysiology of stress (i.e. liver depression qi stagnation) you can see for yourself that each and every clinical marker of stress relates to:
From that basis, it only takes the most elementary logic to puzzle out for yourself that stress (i.e. gan yu qi zhi) causes or contributes to:
And so on…
This kind of logical introspection is the exact kind of bridge-building I do when I lecture to physicians about acupuncture and holism.
This is also exactly what they respect and respond to – i.e., logic and a little due-diligence in looking to the modern research that has already substantiated so much of what acupuncturists seek to convey to mainstream physicians.