Can’t Sleep? Feeling Anxious? Irritated? Depressed? Stress May Be The Cause. 

Meditating GnomeStress is a cause of many chronic illnesses. When we experience stressful life situations, the body releases hormones that are biologically intended to keep us safe from danger by kicking the body into high gear. This is the ancient human response to “the tiger is going to eat me, I have to run really fast in order to survive”. The heart rate increases, digestion is suppressed, energy increases as more glucose (sugar) become available for the brain. Because survival is the primary goal, stress hormones suppress otherwise necessary functions like digestion and excretion. 

Chronic Stress

The stress response is absolutely necessary in times of acute danger. But the body can’t always tell the difference between the proverbial tiger about to eat us and sitting in hours of traffic, so we experience chronic stress. Under chronic stress, our bodies often stay in a state of ‘fight or flight’. We experience tension, anxiety, insomnia, stomach problems, headaches. These chronic stress symptoms are really common, and with all of the overwhelm in the modern world, to say we are all stressed is probably an understatement. While many of us have learned to cope with stress, stress hormones may still be, well, stressing us out.  Over time this can negatively impact our quality of life.  

In Western medicine, the release of chronic stress hormones into the body causes chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is understood to put the body at greater risk for diseases such as heart and bowel disease, diabetes, arthritis and cancer.  In short, it affects all systems of the body.  This is because, as Eastern medicine teaches us, chronic inflammation sets off a cascade of reactions, throwing our system off balance.  

In Eastern medical thought, the body is striving for a balance of Yin and Yang, and plentiful, free-flowing Qi and Blood. Chronic stress interrupts that delicate balance and over time can deplete our reserves, causing us to “burn out”.  Just know that when we are constantly in fight or flight, the body doesn’t get to rest, restore, and repair. This leads to imbalances, which show up in different ways, depending on your unique constitution.  This is why it can be confusing to understand just how stress may be a factor in causing sinus issues, or PCOS, for example.  

Natural Ways to De-Stress

Our bodies are incredible and have natural ways to release stress hormones, but there are some things we can do to help the process along.  If you notice yourself feeling tense, worried, anxious, or in pain, trying some of these techniques will help your body relax and increase your overall health.  

Exercise. Moving your body, whether gently or vigorously will get the blood and qi flowing, releasing tension that gets stuck in the body. Walking, running, dancing, yoga, tai chi are all great ways to release endorphins and improve your overall well being. 

Laughter. Laughter really is the best medicine.  Laughter increases your oxygen intake, getting your blood flowing, stimulating your organs, and releasing endorphins, the happy chemicals in your brain. 

Deep breathing and meditation. Sitting quietly for just 5 – 10 minutes a day, practicing deep breathing activates the vagus nerve, allowing the body to relax from its fight or flight stage into rest and relaxation. The heart rate slows, digestion resumes, and stress hormones are no longer released. Meditation also quiets down the overactive chatter and worry we often have in the mind. 

Crying. The next time you feel sad or overwhelmed, you might want to let the tears flow.  Interestingly, crying is an excellent way to release cortisol, one of the main stress hormones. This is one of the reasons we sometimes feel better after crying a little.  

Hugs. A warm hug from a pet or a friend, often makes us just feel good.  This is actually because hugging releases oxytocin, sometimes called the “cuddle hormone”. Oxytocin may be a factor in reducing inflammation, and even if it isn’t, it sure feels good. 

We can’t take away the pressures of life and society.  In the modern world, stress is a part of life.  But we actually have a lot of simple tools we can use to support our body in releasing stress hormones and getting back into a restful state. Along with regular acupuncture, these techniques support the body’s natural processes and improve our quality of health. 

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"Amazing. Both acupuncturists I've seen here are wonderful, and I'm so impressed by the results. It's such a lovely atmosphere and comfortable experience!"​​​​​​​​​
Thanks, Sandy!
When I was first diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) in my early 20s, I was terrified about what it would mean for my future health and fertility. The doctor's advice at that time was to simply take the pill and consider IVF when I decided to conceive. ​​​​​​​​​
As someone who felt horrible on the pill and wanted to take a proactive approach, this advice didn't sit very well with me. I dove into the one (!) book I could find at the time, started acupuncture, visited a number of holistic health providers, and gathered all the information I could find. I was determined to understand the reasons behind my condition and find ways to address its root cause. I wished for a comprehensive resource that could guide me and help me tailor a plan that suited my needs.

When I established Four Flowers Wellness, I envisioned it to be the resource I had sought but couldn't find. Our mission is to help women solve their health and fertility challenges, not by handing them a magic pill (it doesn't exist), but by collaborating to find the best solutions for each individual and together crafting a clear plan to turn their dreams into reality. 

Over the past 20 years, the understanding of PCOS and women's health issues has grown significantly, offering a wealth of knowledge. However, with this abundance, there is also a flood of misinformation. At Four Flowers Wellness, we spend our days sifting through this vast sea of information so that our clients don't have to.

What has been the most significant obstacle you've faced while trying to solve your health challenges?
Trying to find a solution to your cranky injury, chronic pain, or stubborn tension?​​​​​​​​​
The answer could be a treatment using the humble soup spoon, known as Guasha! Guasha is a unique and effective form of soft tissue mobilization using simple, smooth tools such as these ceramic soup spoons. This therapy helps to transform your soft tissue injury back into healthy functioning tissue.

You may have never heard of Guasha before, but like many traditional Asian healing therapies, it has been rebranded in the West as "Graston" or "Astym" which are commonly used by professional sports teams and physical therapists.

Guasha is clinically proven to treat the following (and more!):

- Neck, shoulder, knee, and lower back pain
- Tendonitis
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Scar tissue
- Women’s health (post-Cesarean scarring)
“It’s like magic!”​​​​​​​​​
✨ This is one of my favorite things to hear from clients because even after years of practicing acupuncture, it really does still feel like magic! 

✨ Acupuncture is generally considered a cumulative practice in that we see the greatest results over time with regular treatments, but we can also often feel changes in the body immediately with even just a single needle. 

✨ These immediate changes with acupuncture treatment are most often noticeable when treating pain because the discomfort starts to change as soon as we place the needle. 
For more chronic issues, such as painful menstruation or infertility, we rely on tender areas that reflect the underlying imbalances. For example, many women with painful menstruation have a tight area below and just to the left of the belly button which corresponds to poor blood flow in the uterus and feels sore or painful with pressure. We will check in on this area throughout the acupuncture treatment to make sure that our points are changing the uncomfortable sensations in that area. 

✨ Often, these reflection areas change quite dramatically with treatment. When an area that was painful just a few minutes ago becomes perfectly comfortable just from placing a couple of needles, "It feels like magic!" ✨
Small joys, like flowers, are important reminders to stop, breathe, and find beauty in the moment. ​​​​​​​​​
What small joys can you find right now, in this moment?
8 Evidence-Based Ways That Acupuncture Improves Fertility. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
So you know what acupuncture is. Your friends are all telling you to try it to help you get pregnant. Maybe you’re getting frustrated with your fertility journey – why is it taking so long? – or maybe you’re just getting started but want to know you’re doing everything you can to have a healthy pregnancy and baby. But you’re wondering - How will getting treated with tiny needles improve your fertility? Here are 8 ways acupuncture can help you get pregnant:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
1. Hormone Regulation 〰️ Acupuncture regulates hormones that play a role in the menstrual cycle and ovulation, such as follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estrogen, and progesterone.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
2. Healthy Blood Flow 〰️ Acupuncture can significantly increase blood flow to the uterus and ovaries, improving egg quality and the ability of a fertilized egg to implant. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
3. Stress Reduction 〰️ Acupuncture regulates the nervous system to improve stress resiliency, allowing you to bounce back from stress more easily and reducing the impact of stress on your hormones.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
4. Improved Ovarian Function 〰️ Acupuncture can improve ovarian function and promote regular ovulation, which increases your chances of conceiving.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
5. Sperm Counts and Quality 〰️ Acupuncture improves both the number and quality of sperm in as little as 4 weeks.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
6. Reduced Inflammation 〰️ Acupuncture reduces overall inflammation in the body and balances immune factors to promote conception and implantation.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
7. Egg Quality 〰️ Acupuncture helps eggs have enough energy (mitochondria) and internal organization (chromosomal integrity) to successfully fertilize and implant.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
8. IVF Success 〰️ Acupuncture can lead to an improved number and quality of eggs and may improve IVF success rates by up to 65%.

Your Initial Consultation is Free.

Come in and meet us in person. Learn more about our approach and what we do. The free consultation is an opportunity to review your health history and goals and see if you’re comfortable with our philosophy and recommendations.

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