“Take Acupuncture to Work Week” continues with an amazing group of people that are deeply committed to health and wellness, and certainly go above and beyond — Nurses!
The first known Nurse, Phoebe, was mentioned in Romans 16:1. During the early years of the Christian Church, St. Paul sent a deaconess Phoebe to Rome as the first visiting nurse. She took care of both women and men. Nurses are the champions of the ill and recovering, provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their family members.
In the United States (according to the 2010 US Bureau of Labor Statistics) there were 2.74 million RNs, 752,000 LPNs, and 1.5 million nursing, psychiatric and home care aides. That is quite a lot of people caring for other people!
There are a lot of challenges to being a nurse, and stress can be a major issue.
Some nurses work just 36 hours a week. But those hours are sometimes compressed into three 12-hour shifts, sometimes on consecutive days. A 40-hour workweek might consist of four 10-hour shifts. Furthermore, some states permit health care workplaces to institute mandatory overtime to make up for staffing shortages.
Regardless of the hours, nursing takes a toll on the body as well. Nurses risk joint and muscle strain from walking, standing and moving patients. They’re exposed to body fluids and other biological hazards, viruses, harsh sterilizing chemicals and radiation from X-rays and other diagnostic tools.
The job can be psychologically draining, too. They may experience emotional weariness from being closely involved with people’s suffering — sometimes called compassion fatigue — or from feelings of inadequacy and self-blame, a condition called stress of conscience. Conflicts between personal values and employer practices on ethical issues can lead to moral fatigue.
Stress and fatigue are two things that acupuncture is great at relieving — here’s how acupuncture can help nurses!
Stress is a blanket term for a number of factors that describe the brain’s response to events (typically unpleasant ones), which the patient feels he or she has only limited control over. Stress can manifest itself in a virtually unlimited number of ways, including headaches, muscle spasms, depression, insomnia, hypertension, and inappropriate social behavior, among many others.
Acupuncture’s goal is to re-unite the body with the mind so that the flow of electricity, blood, lymph, and qi (life force) is harmonious in the body. The end result is a place of peace; a solid foundation for managing our stress. The positive changes that occur as a result of an acupuncture session can last a long time, and are cumulative in effect.
There are many relevant point sites, and our choice will depend on the patient’s story of signs and symptoms. The treatment is gentle, painless, and relaxing. Lots of relief from even the first treatment!
Fatigue is a general term for a number of issues that affects people mentally, physically, or both. Also referred to as exhaustion, lethargy, languidness, tiredness, languor, lassitude, and listlessness, fatigue is typically classified as a symptom as opposed to a condition. Physical fatigue is indicated by a general lethargy or listlessness, while mental fatigue is characterized by a feeling of drowsiness and an inability to pay attention.
Both of these types of fatigue are obviously a severe challenge to a nurse needing to stay on alert and at the top of their game — here’s how acupuncture can help.
Acupuncture is very helpful in the treatment of the symptoms as well as in the underlying causes of the fatigue, also often after just the first treatment. A thorough history, and an individual approach in the choice of point sites will usually give immediate positive results.
Acupuncture analysis includes a peek at the tongue, as well as checking the pulses. Improving the diet is always a good idea. Often patients remark that for even other primary concerns, fatigue was the first improvement they noticed. That is encouraging, and helps them continue further treatments for the other perhaps more stubborn symptoms.
When the body is internally balanced and in harmony with the external environment, energy flows smoothly throughout to nourish all organs and tissues. By adjusting and stimulating the flow of energy through acupuncture, we stimulate the body’s natural healing ability to maintain health and protect against disease.
Thank you to those amazing nurses out there — good health and happiness to you!
For more information, please visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com
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Author: Andrée Lambertson
Sources: DeWit, Susan (2009). Fundamental Concepts And Skills for Nursing. Missouri: Saunders Elsevier. p. 964.
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