Is Sitting What Ails You?
In a recent poll conducted by ABC/Time magazine (January 2005), 62 percent of those commuting reported feeling frustrated with driving; 56 percent nervous, and 43 percent even angry.
All of this increases stress and anxiety for professionals and others, young and old alike. Stress and anxiety can wreak havoc on our minds and bodies, manifesting in a number of disturbances, from headaches, to digestive disorders, sleep problems, fatigue, irritability, poor memory and lack of concentration.
Traveling to and from work in a car, or just plain sitting for prolonged periods at home or at the office, can also lead to back and neck pain and stiffness, headaches, shoulder soreness and leg cramps. New research is also beginning to show that a more sedentary lifestyle, be it sitting in a car, or at a desk at work, or at home on the couch, can be a factor contributing to poor health. Rather than just suffering through the sitting-induced pain, or taking medications, consider an alternative and more natural approach: acupuncture.
Acupuncture is a form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) that is time tested to be an effective form of treatment for a variety of conditions. Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine have been staples of standard healthcare in China for over 2,000 years, and can be found today in many hospitals and healthcare clinics around the world. Even today more and more research projects and studies are being undertaken to explore the uses and effectiveness of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine for a variety of disorders. Today the World Health Organization recognizes the ability of acupuncture and traditional medicine to treat over 43 common disorders (see box above).
Whether you have a specific complaint, or just feel “off,” acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine can help to reset your body and mind and rebalance a system that is out of whack. Treatments usually involve the placement of very fine, flexible needles deftly inserted by a skilled acupuncturist into specific points in the body. Depending on the ailments, the acupuncturist selects a variety of points that will calm the patient and function to send a message to the body to reprogram the mind and stimulate the body’s innate ability to heal and balance itself.
Although many people in this same poll reported “loving” to commute, as it gives them a sense of independence and can be relaxing, it also can be a source of tension, stress, discomfort and even pain. Whether you love your down time or not, if you suffer on occasion from aches and pains or general discomfort, consider this alternative approach to health and wellness.
| ||Acupuncturist Annie Haas is a graduate of Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego, where she earned a master’s degree in traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture. She also holds a national certification in acupuncture and chinese medicine. Creative Wellness offers a holistic approach to health and well-being with acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine, as well as with massage therapy, chiropractic and a variety of classes.|