Josse Ford L.Ac.
Transformational Life Coach & Wellness Expert.
Stress is killing all of us in plain sight, and most of us don’t even know it! Americans are dying in middle age at a rapidly increasing pace. The Number 1 reason is the perception of a loss of control – especially in relation to money.
We are facing a stress epidemic. Stress affects up to 83 percent of the workforce in the U.S. It is known as “the Silent Killer” because if unchecked it causes systemic inflammation, the underlying cause of heart disease, cancer, lung disease, autoimmune and fertility problems.
Being stressed for long periods of time causes excess cortisol – the fight-or-flight hormone leading to increased blood pressure and blood sugar.
We are the most stressed generation ever.
This has a number of causes – a lack of preparation for the challenges of “real life”, high expectations for success, and the birth of the gig economy – creating a perfect storm of stress around money, work and relationships. In our culture, there is no place for failure, only achievement and winning are celebrated. The stress tends to get buried under a busy work schedule. In the gig economy, fueled by entrepeneurial hustle, there is little or no health insurance, and always-on 24/7 working habits have become the norm.
We Wear Our Stress Like a Badge of Honor
We postpone doing something about our rocketing stress levels until a later date, when we start to get some serious signs that all is not well. Many people don’t realize that anxiety is the manifestation of their underlying stress.
An estimated 8.3 million American adults are unable to get the help that they need.
At Alchemy Radiant Health we specialize in treatments for anxiety, depression, and PTSD with a combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine, organic supplements, and coaching. We create a customized treatment program for each person.
Is Stress Holding You Back from Living the Life You Dreamed Of?
- Are you experiencig backaches or headaches?
- Do you feel overwhelmed and have difficulty making decisions and plans?
- Do you have difficulty getting things done or finishing your projects?
- Do you feel that you are aging faster than you should? Do you have excess wrinkles?
- Do you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep?
- Do you feel profoundly depressed or anxious or overwhelmed?
- Do you find yourself catching colds or other infections easily? Could your immune system be malfunctioning?
One of our patients, Emily (name changed to protect privacy), came to me with at a time when she was feeling a high level of anxiety. Work related stress had caused acute pain in her shoulders and neck, and the pain was affecting her ability to sleep well and experience a good night’s rest. This left her exhausted during the day with panic attacks and difficulty thinking clearly. The more stressed she became, the more she was unable to cope with the demands of work and raising a young son – and the pain in her shoulders got worse.
My first step with Emily was to explain how the pain in her shoulders was connected with the stress in her life. We made lifestyle changes including improving her nutrition and introducing stress reduction exercises. The most important part of the protocol though was regular acupuncture treatments. These eliminated the pain and reset her autonomic nervous system so that she was able to sleep peacefully.
A lack of sleep, which is common in anxiety disorders, may play an important role in lighting up brain regions that relate to excessive worrying. This leads to a vicious cycle of insomnia, leading to excessive worry, leading to anxiety and panic attacks.
Stress also causes damage to the grey matter in the areas of the brain responsible for self-control. Experiencing and not transforming stress also makes it more difficult to deal with future stress because it reduces your ability to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Chronic stress can also shrink the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory, leading to “foggy brain” syndrome and poor memory.
Stress Accelerates Entropy & Premature Aging
Entropy is a scientific principle describing a “gradual decline into disorder” within a system. Stress accelerates the effects of entropy in our bodies, leading to premature aging and ultimately, death.
In today’s fast paced life we are not integrated, we are scattered. We jump from one shiny object to the next, from the guru promising us enlightenment the to the latest growth hack productivity course, always looking outside of ourselves, never quite finding the missing link of peace and the deep sense of purpose we so desperately crave.
This feeling of separation from the source of goodness in life blocks the flow of Qi or life force through our bodies. Mental, emotional and physical stress leads to premature aging and stagnation. The blocked energy manifests as tension in our bodies – stiff shoulders and neck, sore back as well as emotional irritation, nameless anxiety and insomnia.
The tension goes deep into our body, into our tendons and bones. Like an armour, self-protection distorts our muscles. The tension becomes arthritis and emotional pain. We become addicted to pain killers. In the U.S. there are 46 deaths from a prescription overdose per day.
“When prescriptions [opioids] go up, deaths go up. When they go down, deaths go down. Prescription drug overdose is epidemic in the United States. All too often, and in far too many communities, the treatment is becoming the problem.Thomas Frieden, Director CDC
Life Force, the natural organizing energy that animates our lives, is always trying to break through these rigid structures in our bodies and minds.
It calls us to make the connection between our resistance and our physical aches and pain. Pain is our body’s and unconscious mind’s way of trying to get us to look at our life and the choices that we make. Pain is a message showing us that we are not in harmony with the flow of life or with our life purpose.
Stagnancy can manifest not just in our bodies and energy flows, but in our minds. We become stuck in rigid patterns. We become addicted to our beliefs and patterns.
This leaves us with poor survival skills. We live in a super-fast changing world. Automation will be replacing many jobs. The ability to turn on a dime, to handle change in a graceful and resourceful way is essential. The future of jobs will require the ability to learn new skills and let go of old ideas.
Our restricted thoughts and habitual patterns leave us unable to deal with the changes that life throws at us. Challenge is what makes us feel alive. We need to learn how to handle stress and anxiety in a useful away.
The “Stress Theory of Aging” proposes that humans who have superior ability to handle various forms of stress live significantly longer than those who handle stress less effectively. The ability to mount an effective response to environmental and cellular stressors plays an important role in determining health, longevity and the onset and progression of disease and aging. Being able to “go with the flow” is a vital key to attaining radiant health and a long life.
“We Are Meant to Do More Than Just Survive. We Are Meant to Thrive..”
Josse Ford LAc.
We Are Meant to Do More Than Just Survive. We Are Meant to Thrive.
In ancient China this meant to live in harmony with the Tao (the absolute principle underlying the universe). To be truly happy and healthy we must live in harmony with ourselves, our planet, our understanding of the spiritual laws of the universe, and one another.
The roots of Chinese medicine go back to the Taoist Adepts who were martial artists and master herbalists. The purpose of martial arts was to train a warrior’s mind and body. As well as physical fitness and a warrior’s mind set, their chief focus was longevity and immortality. They understood that a subtle energy known as life force, Qi or prana, helped connect us to a higher state of consciousness and our True Self.
They developed meditation and movement exercises known as Qiqong in order to strengthen the flow of this life force throughout the body. Many of the great yogis such as Ramakrishna also developed yoga poses to increase the kundalini so that it would flow uninterrupted throughout the body.
Developing this flow of life force throughout our body is a way of accelerating our spiritual growth and change in consciousness. We see life from a higher perspective, we are more aligned with the flow of life force, and we are more able to “go with the flow”. Early Taoist adepts understood that man stood between Heaven and Earth, and that he had a a divine purpose to fulfill.
When our life force is strong we are able to respond easily to stress and the challenges of life. Other people or the environment can’t drain our energy, and our immune system is strong. We are clear on our purpose and confident in our ability to make it happen.
“Mystics understand the roots of the Tao but not its branches; scientists understand its branches but not its roots. Science does not need mysticism and mysticism does not need science; but man needs both.”
In Modern Science This Is Known As The Flow State.
Our life force energy flows unobstructed throughout our body. There’s a level of focus and clarity, a sense of purpose, where we feel fully present in the moment. We have full access to our creativity and our intuition, insights come out of left field and we seem to have incredible luck.
The Flow State cannot be accessed with a pill because it involves knowing your place in the great web of life and that we are all connected. There is no one magic bullet for our health problems because our body functions more like an open system. For example, maybe we are super stressed about an emotional problem we don’t really want to look at, and our leg goes out in a skiing accident. Forced to rest in bed, we take some time out and meditate upon our lives, and we start to see the connection between our strained leg and our emotional problem.
By making the connection we are able to let go of both the emotional stress and the physical trauma.
True healing requires more than a reductionist biochemical approach – it requires acknowledging that we are mysterious being – a vehicle for a miraculous force that links Heaven and Earth.
“The more we study the major problems of our time, the more we come to realise that they cannot be understood in isolation. They are systemic problems, which means that they are interconnected and interdependent.”
Alchemy Tools to Alleviate Anxiety & Stress
Most stress relief articles will advise you to manage your stress and anxiety through exercises such as a yoga routine, a coloring book exercise, meditation, or listening to soothing music. Although stress reduction exercises such as meditation are useful in training your mind to relax, only acupuncture can actually restore the body’s homeostatic system, reset the nervous system, and stop the vicious cycle of poor sleep, anxiety and feelings of overwhelm.
Acupuncture relieves insomnia by normalizing the levels of stress hormones such as cortisol. Instead of remaining in a constant state of anxiety, the acupuncture reduces the stress response and returns it to normal levels.
Acupuncture also increases the levels of the feel good hormone serotonin, helping us to sleep more easily and to feel more mellow towards life’s challenges.
The Science Behind Acupuncture and Stress
Enlightened Acupuncture Treatment
This signature acupuncture treatment from Alchemy Radiant Health balances the energy flows of the body and resets the nervous system allowing you to quickly let go of stress and anxiety, sleep peacefully and feel naturally relaxed.
It’s real power goes beyond relieving physical symptoms. It is also focused on helping us to tune into our life purpose and awakens our consciousness to our higher selves, gently encouraging us to let go of old energy blockages, emotions that no longer serve us, and to make the connection between tension and pain in our body and messages from our subconscious.
The latest scientific research points to the power of quantum healing. In this model of reality consciousness controls the flow of energy through our system, influencing the biochemical processes of the body and and our ability to heal. In other words, healing involves not only the balancing of the physical body, but also understanding the interaction between consciousness and our perception of life, and the clearing of blockages in information flows due to faulty thinking or traumas from the past.
Super Effective for Trauma, PTSD and Anxiety
Cupping is a method that uses glass suction cups to pull stuck, stagnant energy and stuck blood out of painful or injured areas. The suction pulls toxins and stagnation up through the skin. The cups are left on the body for about 15-20 minutes. Cupping improves the microcirculation, moves stuck blood, promotes normal circulation and removes metabolic wastes resulting in less stiffness and pain. Athletes often feel that cupping improves flexibility, range of motion and recovery time after intense workouts.
Cupping also is a very effective treatment protocol for emotional trauma such as PTSD as it can help bring to the surface deep repressed emotions such as trauma from a fearful situation. Often there can be an emotional release as fear, guilt, blame, and old negative beliefs are released. Often someone with chronic anxiety is exhausted. Cupping helps to release the suppressed feelings while acupuncture and herbal medicine can strengthen the weakened organ functions.
The Science Behind Acupuncture and Stress
There are many Chinese herbal formulas focused specifically on treating stress and anxiety such as Xiao yao wan (also , gan mai da zao tang, chai hu shu gan san, yi guan jian, yue ju wan, and gui pi tang. Each formula depends on the particular pattern that your body is exhibiting. During a herbal consultation with a trained professional doctor of oriental medicine, your health history and your current body signs and symptoms are taken into account and you are given a truely individualized formula – with no dangerous side effects. The formulas is focused on balancing your energy flows and your constitutional imbalances. It deals with the root of the imbalances, not just the sumptoms
In contrast, Western medications are focused on getting rid of the symptoms and they come with strong side effects. Some of the more commonly prescribed anti-anxiety medications have side effects such as addiction, drowsiness, lower sexual performance, stomach upsets and weight gain. Although there are times in severe cases where anti-depressants are necessary, they should not be considered a cure. In fact, there are many questions about their long-term effectiveness. Some drugs such as benzodiazepine are very difficult to stop taking without severe withdrawal symptoms.
100% Organic Tonic Herbs
Adaptogenic herbs have been around for five thousand years. In Chinese medicine they are known as Qi and Kidney Tonic herbs. An adaptogen has **”non-specific” activity** and acts by **increasing resistance** of the organism to a broad spectrum of adverse biological, chemical, and physical factors. This helps to **regulate or normalize organ and system function** within the organism and educes the impact of stressful situations allowing you to handle stressful challenges more successfully without burning out your adrenals. In ancient times adaptogenics were often used prior to a long or arduous journey, before going into battle, or before an important expedition or hunt. Some of key benefits of adaptogenic herbs are:
- Gives you energy – combats adrenal fatigue without needing to use stimulants
- promotes anti-aging and longevity by reducing inflammation, stress
- boosts the immune system by reducing stress
- Improved recovery from fatigue
- Alleviation of sleep problems
- Improvement in sexual performance
- Improvement in liver function and prevent liver disease.
Interested in a Stress Detox Session?
What a stress detox session can do you for? Imagine yourself arriving at the Alchemy Wellness Clinic. You are greeted with a cup of detox adaptogenic tea that will help you relax, rejuvenate you and help you burn fat. Essential oils help you release old emotional blocks and stagnant energies. Tiny acupuncture needles are inserted into key vortex areas in your body, quickening the flow of energy throughout your body. You hardly feel them and soon you feel yourself drifting into a deeply relaxed state. You might drift into sleep, a deeper sleep then you normally experience. In the background a Solfeggio healing sound plays and you find yourself in quiet space where you have an opportunity to breathe, to let go, to meditate and put your life into perspective.
You will leave your treatment in a calm and serene state and this will carry on into the rest of your day. For the next week or so you will sleep better than you have in a long long time.
This is because the acupuncture treatment combined with the essential oils have reset your nervous system to a deeply relaxed state, lowered your cortisol levels and provided an opportunity for your Higher Self and your Radiant Heart to be in charge. You may find you have new insights about your life or you are able to let go of something that has been bothering you for quite some time.
Have questions or like to schedule an appointment? Please Contact Us.
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