I treat almost every patient for stress, whether they complain about it or not. The way I see it, it’s difficult to be a human being in this modern world and not feel the effects of stress.
It’s interesting, though, how many of my patients claim that they don’t suffer from stress, even when symptom after symptom points to that direction. Maybe it’s because we associate the word with emotional tensions and fighting or difficulty at work. Sometimes, stress is just having a lot to do; it’s taxing the body, even in enjoyable ways.
I made it a long weekend and drove to the Bay Area to take a seminar in Classical Chinese Medical Philosophy and visit with a friend. Just as I was about to leave on Sunday, my friend wanted another session of acupuncture. How could I say no? So, I ended up leaving for home a bit later than I’d originally anticipated… and thus drove six hours in the dark. When I was nearly home, my eyes felt fairly fatigued. So much so, I contemplated pulling over with just twenty minutes to go.
Yesterday, at work, I noticed my lower left eyelid had developed a twitch, and as the day went on, the pulsing became more regular. I intended to treat it right away, but–as luck would have it– I was booked all day. Coincidentally, so many patients came in with other signs of stress: frequent sighing, irritability, pain and/or tenderness just below the rib cage, menstrual issues…
“What is that? What causes it?” It’s Liver Qi stagnation, or a sort of energy / electrical slow down along the Liver meridian. Think of it this way, your “fight or flight” response is activated, the initial adrenaline rush is over, but the mechanism isn’t fully turned off yet. There’s a tightening of the tendons, maybe even a mild anxiety that accompanies it. Acupuncture can switch off that response and allow the body to finally RELAX!
My eye-twitching is from a bit more than stress. Twitching involves a component of something we call “Wind.” (Haha, not to be confused with what others call “passing wind!”) Wind can mean inflammation; it can mean an exterior pathogen (like a bacteria or a virus), and sometimes, it can literally mean “having been out in the wind.” My weekend saw hot days and cool evenings. Sometimes, we were caught outside in a post sunset chill without a sweater at the standby.
What’s great though is that acupuncture can usually resolve these sudden onset issues rather quickly. Two points in the feet, two more in the neck and shoulder and three around the eye and… in the time it took me to write this blog post, the pulsing in my left eye has finally subsided.
After almost 36 hours of feeling this constant pulsing, I’m finally free of that annoyance! I love acupuncture!!!