Overload, overwhelm, over it.
All feelings that you are probably familiar as we emerge from the most recent COVID lockdown in the UK. No matter what your personal circumstances, we are living through a time of collective trauma. Toxic, traumatic stress wreaks real havoc on our nervous system, which is why it can feel like it wouldn't take much to tip us completely over the edge (if we haven't already experienced some time in free-fall).
Some of our important relationships have changed and may never recover. We may have lost people we love. We may have had COVID, or are now experiencing Long COVID. We may have been diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses and not been able to access healthcare. We may have had a child in isolation and missed out on the support of community that makes those early days, weeks, months ok. We may have lost our job, or had to find a whole new way of using our skills to earn money. Back to living with parents, stuck in a house-share with people we don't love, having a bright light shone on the darkest parts of our selves, and those around us.
Toxic, traumatic stress.
And, as we start to try and put the world back together again, we face another set of challenges. The world is changed. There is no 'back to the way things were'. Some of this may be extremely positive in the longer term. But how do we cope in the here and now? How do we begin to process this all without it feeling heavy?
How do we embrace the future without getting lost in our grief for the past?
We need to find a way of adjusting, To adjust means to change, and this is where Five Element acupuncture can be invaluable. In 'The Tao of Trauma' Alaine D. Duncan talks about 'the zone of resiliency', a state of being where the tension between both states of our nervous system, the sympathetic and parasympathetic (ie 'awake and alert' and 'rest and digest') are balanced. She suggests in her book that when these are in balance we have a greater capacity to manage life's challenges (assuming we had a secure and loving childhood. That's a whole other post). She calls this the 'zone of resiliency'.
What has happened to ALL OF US over the last year or more, is that we have all ended up spending far too much time in the red zone of toxic stress. What that means is that it is more than likely our nervous system has gone out whack, whether we are aware of it or not. We have had to mobilise all of our adaptability and primal drive to survive as a species, and as individuals, to try and find a way through this. One of the ways we cope with trauma is just to focus on surviving it. We don't think about it at the time, we are too busy dealing with it.
What seems to be important now is that we each of us find ways to come to terms with what was, what has been, and what will be. That we find our way back to our own zone of resiliency. There is a lot of research that shows how acupuncture can help regulate the nervous system. You can find some of those references here.
What we know helps is this: Sleeping well. Exercising appropriately. Eating a healthy, balanced diet. Hugging. Spending time in nature. Having a pet. But also....
If you find your sleep is not what it was, or should be, or could be, or you are anxious, worried about re-engaging in 'normal' social activities, you have had a worsening of skin conditions, or IBS or even your libido has disappeared, then perhaps you could consider working with an acupuncturist to help your body, mind and spirit catch up and feel supported, so that you can navigate this new world with more ease.
And as a 'sweetener' (I'm sorry, honestly, the older I get the more 'dad' my jokes get) here's a link to the best song about overload ever, by the original line up of the Sugababes. It's a stone cold classic. Did I mention a good old sing your heart out can also help?!
Passionate about the pins.
Please contact me if you would like to book a free telephone consultation. You can also follow me on social media via the links below.
Weds: 2pm-9pm CRYSTAL PALACE
Friday: 9am-2pm CRYSTAL PALACE
Saturday: 9am-2pm BRIXTON
+44 (0) 7958 916722