Adrenal Stress & Acupuncture

Chronic stress may have serious health consequences including excess cortisol production (Hypercortisolism).  At a physiological level, stress generally leads to elevated cortisol, adrenal imbalances and other health problems.  For so many Americans, a state of constant stress locks the adrenals in a “fight or flight” survival response.  In this state, the adrenal glands produce increased amounts of adrenaline and cortisol, which is unhealthy over a prolonged time.  In response, may people experience symptoms like:

  • Poor sleep and waking tired
  • Work stress with a feeling that continues at home
  • Dieting programs that don’t work
  • Relationship troubles
  • Dependance on stimulants such caffeine and sugar
  • Digestive problems
  • Excessive exercise
  • Chronic Illness or infections
  • Overwhelming responsibilities at home

Under normal conditions, cortisol helps us overcome the challenges of life by converting food into energy, keeping the mind alert, balancing electrolyte levels, normalizing heart rate and pressure, and reducing inflammation. In the short run, cortisol is even protective and restorative.  However, problems can develop as stress forces the adrenal glands to be on constant “full alert” resulting in sustained high levels of cortisol.  Continually high cortisol levels are damaging in the following ways:

  • Slows down healing and cell regeneration.
  • Reduces the availablity of molecules needed to make other vital hormones
  • Impairs digestive functions, metabolism and mental ability
  • Interferes with healthy endocrine function
  • Lowers immune system response

Adrenal imbalance may be a factor in many other serious conditions, including fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, arthritis, and more.

The good news is that this condition is entirely reversible.  Although this process may take time, there is a solution – a way to rebuild adrenal reserve and re-balance the body.  Some of the key steps include:

  • Avoid or minimize the use of stimulants
  • Remove food intolerances (especially gluten)
  • Stabilize blood sugar (using a moderate or low-carb diet)
  • Practice stress management and relaxation techniques
  • Have fun, laugh and make pleasure a regular part of your life
  • Avoid dietary causes of inflammation (refined flours, sugar and industrial seed oils)
  • Ensure adequate intake of DHA & EPA
  • Get regular acupuncture treatments

Acupuncture one of the best ways to rapidly recover from adrenal fatigue. The key to acupuncture’s effectiveness here is it’s ability to turn on the “relaxation” part of the nervous system (parasympathetic). When the parasympathetic side turns on and the sympathetic nervous system switches off the heart rate returns to normal, digestion improves, and sleep becomes more deep and restful.
A basic treatment plan consists of:
1.) An extensive consultation on the first visit. Follow-up includes specific feedback and advice on diet, supplements and lifestyle factors.
2.) A custom herbal (powder) formula, taken 3 times a day for the first month. A custom formula will be created based on specific constitutional factors. This condition has different presentations clinically, so an herbal formula would need to be customized based on your “pattern” in Chinese Medicine.
3.) Acupuncture treatments, given 1 time each week for the first month. After the first month, acupuncture treatments will be scheduled every other week for 4 additional sessions.
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