Wellness

People are placing greater emphasis on wellness nowadays, and the definition of wellness has evolved over time. The phrase no longer refers to just a lack of illness and disease alone, but also to a more holistic state of being, where one’s mental, physical and emotional health are all in sync.

Although the concept of wellness is very broad and covers many different areas, however in our case we shall be looking only at the following 6 areas and the types of treatments that can be used for each area:

  • Athletic Performance
  • Insomnia
  • Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS)
  • Irregular Menstruation
  • Female Infertility
  • Stress, Anxiety And Depression

 

ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE

Athletes put their bodies through tremendous amounts of physical and mental stress, in order to excel in their own sporting fields. And many are now turning to various alternative therapies to help them enhance and optimize their performance.

Acupuncture is one of these therapies. Studies have shown that when acupuncture needles are inserted, they stimulate the release of natural chemicals called endorphins and enkephalins, which have natural pain-relieving effects. At the same time, acupuncture has also been shown to reduce stress hormones which in turn speed up the recovery times of athletes.

Cupping is also another option that has been shown to be beneficial for athletic conditioning, as it helps to improve muscle health and functionality, clear out pathogens and enhance the immune response. It has also been used to provide relief to athletes experiencing certain sport-related injuries, e.g. Plantar Fasciitis.

Natural herbal remedies are also being increasingly used by athletes to boost their physical and mental performance as well. Examples of herbs that are commonly used for this purpose include ginseng, ginger, gingko biloba and green tea.

INSOMNIA

When it comes to the area of insomnia, there are many possible causes such as obesity, sleep disorders, hormonal imbalances, digestive system disorders, poor diet and food allergies. And it is already widely known that prolonged insomnia and fatigue can have serious consequences on a person’s long-term health and well-being.

Acupuncture is 1 of the methods commonly used to treat insomnia and studies have shown that it helps to improve the sleep quality of those affected by it.

Meditation has also been found to be an effective treatment for insomnia. Most people can learn these techniques, but it usually takes several weeks before they can master them well enough to ease their insomnia.

At the same time, certain herbal supplements have also been known to treat insomnia as well, such as chamomile, valerian root, passion flower and lemon balm.

PRE-MENSTRUAL SYNDROME (PMS)

Up to 90% of women of childbearing age have symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) at one point or another in their lives. But at the moment there is no cure for this condition.

PMS has a wide range of symptoms, such as abdominal cramps, acne, headaches, fatigue and mood swings. And treatments that work well for one woman might not help another.

Acupuncture has been shown to stabilize PMS mood swings by treating hormone imbalance symptoms, and it does this by balancing the subtle energies within the body naturally, thereby minimizing the intensity of mood swings.

Some women have also reported relieving their PMS symptoms with the use of natural herbs, such as ginkgo, ginger and chasteberry (Vitex agnus). And in some cases, meditation has also been shown to improve the physical and emotional symptoms of PMS as well, by calming the mind of those affected by it.

IRREGULAR MENSTRUATION

The normal length of a woman's menstrual cycle (i.e. period) is usually 28 days. Irregular menstruation occurs when the length of the cycle is more than 35 days or if it varies in length.

Possible causes of irregular menstruation include stress, hormonal birth control, thyroid problems, eating disorders and uterine fibroids (tumours that develop in the wall of the uterus).

As stress and irregular periods are linked, reducing stress and anxiety by meditation might help to make periods more regular. Acupuncture help to balance the flow of “qi” within the body and might be able to regulate the periods as well. Similarly, herbs such as black cohosh, mugwort, and chasteberry can help to treat such a condition as well by moderating and regulating such irregular periods.

FEMALE INFERTILITY

The main symptom of female infertility is the inability to get pregnant. A menstrual cycle that's too long (35 days or more), too short (less than 21 days), irregular or absent can mean that the female is not ovulating, and there may be no outward signs or symptoms to indicate such a condition.

Female infertility can be caused by various factors, such as ovulation disorders, damage to the fallopian tubes (tubal infertility), endometriosis (occurs when tissue that normally grows in the uterus implants and grows in other locations) or various uterine or cervical causes.

When it comes to alternative treatments, acupuncture is a possible option to consider as it enables the “qi” energy to flow to the affected areas of the female body, thereby triggering a healing response from the body. Research has also found that acupuncture balances the hormones that regulate ovulation and aids in blood circulation, thereby increasing the changes of a fertilised egg implanting in the womb.

Herbal treatments have also found to be beneficial as well, as they treat infertility by harmonising and regulating the body functions and addressing the “Yin” and “Yang” problems affecting the blood, liver, kidney and spleen.

STRESS, ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Stress and anxiety affect everyone at one point or another in their lives and are the most common mental health problems affecting people around the world. But at the same time, many people also experience chronic stress and anxiety as well, with a range of symptoms such as nervousness, agitation, tension, a racing heart and chest pain.

Depression is also another mental disorder that affects about 121 million people worldwide, and is a serious disorder with a wide range of symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, frustration and irritability, prolonged feelings of hopelessness and suicidal thoughts.

Acupuncture is 1 of the methods that can be used to decrease overall stress and anxiety levels as well as depression. In the case of depression, acupuncture not only helps to alleviate the signs and symptoms accompanying depression, but it can also address the root causes of the depression in the first place.

Meditation can also help people experiencing chronic stress and anxiety by calming the mind and easing physical, emotional and mental tensions.

At the same time, herbal supplements have also shown some promising effects for those people suffering from chronic stress and anxiety as well as depression. Examples of such herbs include ginseng (stress), chamomile (anxiety and depression), saffron (depression) and lavender (anxiety and mood disturbances).

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