The adrenal glands are two tiny glands that sit on top of the kidneys. They are part of the overall endocrine system that produces hormones that regulate the body. The adrenal glands produce three very important hormones, adrenaline, cortisol and aldosterone. Adrenaline, also known as epinephrine, prepares the body to spring into action during stressful or life-threatening situations. Cortisol helps regulate metabolism and assists the body in responding to stress. And aldosterone helps control blood pressure. When the adrenal glands are not functioning properly, many diseases can develop.
Adrenal fatigue is becoming increasingly common in Canada and other affluent nations. Excessive and unrelenting stress can deplete the adrenal glands over time.
Stress plays a factor in how our bodies thrive and survive. Chronic stress can have serious health implications. Stress causes the adrenal glands to produce excess cortisol and adrenaline, which puts these glands in a constant state of “fight or flight.” This can lead to symptoms such as poor sleep, weight gain, digestive issues and chronic illnesses. Cortisol normally helps the body convert food into energy, while keeping the mind alert and also reducing inflammation. This is why many people who are diagnosed with fibromyalgia may also be clinically experiencing adrenal fatigue and chronic stress.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) provides some of the best tools available to battle chronic stress and adrenal fatigue. Acupuncture is one of the tools used. Studies have shown acupuncture treatments actually turn on or stimulate the relaxation areas of the nervous system, also known as the parasympathetic nervous system. When the parasympathetic nervous system is switched on, it helps to regulate the heart rate, improve digestion and balance sleep cycles. Most people experience deep relaxation and alertness during and after an acupuncture treatment. Some actually fall asleep!
Herbal medicine is also an important tool in the TCM chest. Herbal medicine offers simple, safe, and amazingly effective remedies for many chronic problems. There are many herbal products that help with stress and adrenal fatigue. However, what may be appropriate for one person may not be suitable for another with similar symptoms. Many factors, based on the principles of TCM, are involved in choosing an effective remedy. To find what is right for you, talk to Catheryne, licensed Acupuncturist and Practitioner of TCM.
With all the excess stress placed on people today, it is quite feasible that nearly everybody deals with some sort of hormone imbalance and adrenal gland weakness. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Take advantage of what Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine has to offer you!