Here come the holidays. Full of joy, positivity, and giving. Though, they can too often come with resentment and negativity as well. Whether you find yourself ecstatic or seething at this time of year, or any time of year, the stress we undergo has an effect on us whether its source is “good” or “bad.” And there’s never a bad time to take stock of the ways in which you find that happy medium for yourself.

Some use exercise, creative expression, or time with friends as a way to blow off steam. An exceptional way to prepare for holiday ecstasy or other impending stressors is with acupuncture. Acupuncture’s use for relieving pain and stress are world-renowned.

But what is it like to have stress relieved with acupuncture?

I’m glad you asked. Initially, your acupuncturist will get to know the whole you. Not just why you’re stressed or how you got there, but what you do to cope and if there are any other health problems compounding your discomfort. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine is a medical system that is customized for everyone. No two people with stress are going to get the same acupuncture prescription. One person may also need to sleep better or reduce pain. And another may need to work on digestion along with mental stress.

When you’re resting during your acupuncture treatment, endorphins are released. These are the same “happy” hormones your brain sends out during exercise that give many that “runner’s high.” Since this release of body-calming chemicals is being circulated through your body during the passive act of lying down, many find themselves very relaxed, often falling asleep.

To explain the relaxed feeling from acupuncture is difficult to put into words. Though, “relaxed” is probably the best word available. But if you’ve never tried it, prepare to be “more relaxed,” akin to getting an amazing massage or having a great night’s sleep. It’s not to say you will leave your treatment in a daze or unable to function. There’s a balancing effect that takes place, where those that often come in hyped up from work and life stress leave feeling calmly ready to take on their day; while those that are weak and tired to begin with won’t feel worse but, instead, have more energy after a good treatment.

Complementary medicine, like acupuncture, is growing in popularity, and acupuncture has been a major mode of healthcare for the global population for 5,000 years. Nearly four of every ten adults seek out this medicine already. Have you tried it yet?

Here’s to a stress-free holiday season. Enjoy!

Jason Moskovitz, L.Ac., Dipl.O.M. is the author of Arthritis: Secrets of Natural Healing. Jason is a board-licensed acupuncturist, national diplomate of oriental medicine, herbal physician, nutritional counselor, and Tai Chi instructor at Tao Of Wellness. He has administered thousands of successful treatments in areas of women’s health, infertility, elder care, and joint pain. Jason teaches his patients how to embrace their ever-changing condition and all the ways in which the body can heal itself. Connect with Tao Of Wellness on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube.

*Photo by marniejoyce.