When I first moved home from acupuncture school in California, I worked at a well known hospital in Michigan. At this time, very few staff were familiar with acupuncture. As a way of education, I provided A LOT of treatments to doctors, nurses, and front desk personnel.
After receiving their first ever acupuncture session, most staff felt very relaxed and their tension and pain had melted away. Undoubtedly they would say “So, what’s in the needles?” I always responded by educating them that “there is nothing in the needles, its our own body’s natural healing response”.
Acupuncture works on the nervous system and supports the body in shifting from flight or fight to rest and repair. It is during rest and repair that the body can heal. The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) controls the body’s response to a perceived danger, which is more commonly known as the “fight or flight” response. The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) controls homeostasis, keeps the body relaxed and at rest, and is known as the “rest & digest” function. Acupuncture helps our body shift from fight/flight mode to rest/repair mode.
Acupuncture can also support our body in building and balancing chemicals that have a positive effect on our well being. These include: Dopamine, Oxytocin, Seratonin and Endorphins or DOSE for short! These are often referred to as “happy chemicals” as they produce positive feelings in our body. In addition to Acupuncture, there are a number of activities that support our body to naturally release these chemicals.
DOPAMINE keeps us motivated and excited
- Do something NEW!
- Music – Listen AND Make! (This includes singing in the shower and air drumming!)
- Be creative
- Try a detail oriented hobby
OXYTOCIN is the love hormone
- Giving and receiving touch (hugs, massage, kissing)
- Words of encouragement
- One on One time (taking time with people you love to really connect)
- Gratitude journaling
SEROTONIN is our stress reducer!
- Eat foods such as chicken, eggs, turkey, spinach, beans, lentils, dark leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, nuts to get more L-tryptophan which stimulates serotonin release
ENDORPHINS is often called nature’s pain reliever
- Deep Breathing
Allowing yourself some time each day or week to get your DOSE will definitely support you in your mental and physical health journey! If you are in need of an acupuncture session, please contact our West Bloomfield office for an appointment.