Stress and anxiety appear to show up together a lot. Sometimes the terminology is used interchangeably. Some people will even say things like, “my stress causes anxiety” and vice versa. These two conditions appear so frequently together, ‘stress and anxiety’ will roll off ones tongue as easily as ‘peanut butter and jelly.’
As a practitioner I see them as different. On the outside the difference is subtle and barely noticeable. Symptoms resulting from either can look identical; shortness of breath, chest palpitations, sweating, digestive upset, insomnia, etc. I consistently observe a key subtle difference that can a big impact.
With, symptoms related to stress, we often can identify a direct cause: “I’m feeling stressed, I’ve got a big deadline at work.” Symptoms related to Anxiety may not have a clear direct cause: “I was driving down the road and I had a panic attack so sever I had to pull over.”
The symptoms related to these two conditions may look identical however stress is usually related to resources and anxiety has a relationship to one’s alignment, balance and integrity.
For instance: Imagine two college students come for treatment for unexplained chest palpitations. One is overwhelmed with this semester’s course load and never learned effective time management. She loves the subject matter yet she’s struggling with keeping on top of all the assignments. For this student along with Acupuncture treatment, I might recommend time management resources, a task management app or a project management seminar.
The second student shows up with the same symptoms, unexplained chest palpitations. He is struggling to stay on top of his course work. He has always been good in math and science and was guided to study engineering by family and teachers. He doesn’t enjoy his studies at all. During prior semesters he used will power to push through and he’s at a point he can no longer muster the energy and focus. He’s passionate about other subjects but not able to take any of those courses with his demanding engineering coursework. For this student along with Acupuncture, I might recommend things to help him get clarity such as mindfulness exercises, journaling or some personal growth reading.
Can you see how if I recommended the time management resources to the second patient, it wouldn’t help? That’s where having enough information to clearly identify is the a patient’s symptoms are stress and related to resources or anxiety and related to alignment is really critical in being able to support them.
In my practice initial appointments are 2 hours in length because it provides adequate time to get to the root of a persons symptoms. Interested in learning more about Acupuncture treatments for stress and anxiety, set up a free phone consultation and let’s talk.