Many people experience a lack of energy and mild depression during the wintertime. Some refer to this as the “wintertime blues”. There is a scientific explanation for this lack of energy. We simply do not get enough sunlight during the winter months. This lack of sunlight makes us Vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to muscle and joint pain.
Lack of sun, or artificial lighting that simulates the sun, can also lead to “Seasonal Affective Disorder” or “SAD”. The symptoms of SAD include loss of energy, fatigue, overeating, oversleeping, lack of concentration and mood swings.
To beat the “wintertime blues”, some resort to the following:
- Taking a vitamin D supplement
- Sitting in front of an artificial light (which mimics natural sunlight) for 20 minutes per day
- Visiting a sunny climate a few times during the winter months
Still, there is another way to regain your energy and beat the wintertime blues. This entails getting acupuncture treatments.
Acupuncture is the ancient practice of inserting surgical needles into specific points in the body to address certain health issues. It is one of the most ancient medical treatments that has been around for over 2,000 years.
The Chinese learned over 2000 years ago that inserting needles into precise points in the body had curative effects. Acupuncture is now used to treat various physical and mental health issues including:
- Back Pain
- Muscle Pain
Acupuncture is also used to help people lose weight and stop smoking.
So how does acupuncture help people beat the wintertime blues?
One explanation is that an acupuncture treatment helps our brain release certain chemicals like endorphins and endogenous opioids. Endorphins and endogenous opioids are chemical substances in the brain known as neurotransmitters that affect the nervous system by transmitting electrical signals.
When we are under stress and/or pain, our body secrets endorphins and endogenous opioids which function like natural tranquilizers and pain killers. But when stress and pain become chronic, our brain cannot produce enough and then we become depressed. Acupuncture treatments make our brains release more endorphins and endogenous opioids by inserting needles into specific areas of our body.
Endorphin secretion has a wonderful effect on us. They make us feel happy and euphoric. They allow us to feel less pain and make us feel psychologically, and emotionally, upbeat and happy. All of us have experienced endorphin rushes at one time or another. If you are a runner or go to the gym, you are most likely very familiar with these feelings of euphoria and well-being.
After a few acupuncture treatments, your acupuncturist has literally rewired your negative state so that you start to feel much happier and upbeat on a regular basis. This doesn't mean that any of those negative thoughts that come up during the winter months will completely disappear. It simply means that you are displacing most of those negative feelings with positive feelings which in turn re-energizes your body and mind.
You don’t have to live with the wintertime blues. Visit your local acupuncturist and start feeling better today.