- Jen Paschen
Acupuncture and TCM Support for Stress around the Holidays
There's nothing I love more than family traditions around the holidays - lighting candles, having the kids home, and looking through old pictures and videos.
However, there's no denying that the Holidays can be a really stressful time of the year. Curious and (hopefully) well-intended family members asking...
When will you two start having kids?
How come you're not drinking?
Watching your diet, eh?
Taking good care of ourselves often feels radical enough as it is, without having to explain our decisions to others.
It can absolutely be stressful to change your habits over the holidays and be someone your family might not recognize from past seasons. It's normal to also experience a sense of grief over who you used to be.
I've seen this time and time again with patients, and I want to tell you exactly what I've told them.
Feeling stressed or anxious is great communication from the body. It lets us know we need to take a step back and slow down for just a moment.
What we don't want to do is stress out over our stress!
Instead, start to reconnect with the body through acupressure. This is a technique that you can use anywhere - in the car with your in-laws, in uncomfortable conversations, or even under the table at Christmas dinner.
Apply pressure to this spot for a few minutes until you start to feel the tension leave your body and your breath deepen.
Acupressure is a technique that you can use anywhere and anytime to help relieve anxiety and tension.
One of the best points to apply pressure is the PC9 point, located at the tip of your middle finger.
Applying pressure here for a few minutes can help alleviate anxiety, irritability, headaches, upset stomach, and nausea.
My favorite de-stressing tonic. This alcohol-free holiday mocktail is liver-boosting, immunity-supporting, and delicious. Serves 4-6 people, and is a stress-free way to enjoy a fun seasonal drink.
Wild Blueberry Orange "Sangria"
3 cups pure wild blueberry juice
2 ½ cups freshly-squeezed orange juice or 2-3 lbs oranges, juiced
2-3 tbsp pure maple syrup, more to taste
1 cup sparkling water (optional)
1 apple, chopped
1 peach, chopped (or replace with nectarine or pear)
4-5 strawberries, chopped
4-5 orange slices
Directions: Combine all the ingredients in a large pitcher or jug. Stir until evenly mixed. Serve immediately.
Instant stress-zapping practice...mantra.
Mantra is the repetition of a sound, word, or phrase that focuses the mind and allows thoughts and stress to melt away. I've been loving the Sat Nam mantra.
Sat Nam means "I am truth".
To practice, inhale and mentally vibrate the sound Sat. Exhale and mentally vibrate the sound Nam.
It's simple but brings amazing benefits. This practice reduces negative emotions, stress, and anxiety by nourishing the mind and cultivating calm.
Chant this (aloud or to yourself) for 3 minutes in the morning of busy days to kick off your day feeling more relaxed.
Managing stress during the holidays can be challenging, but it's essential to take care of yourself during this busy time. Acupuncture and TCM can help relieve stress, and acupressure, herbal remedies, and mantra repetition can be practiced anywhere and anytime. If you're looking for acupuncture and TCM support in Chicago, our team of experts is here to help you manage stress and achieve optimal health and wellness.