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Overview

 

Elizabeth(pseudonym) has been stressed from relationships between her co-workers lately. She often feels heat flaring up to her face and palpitation during meetings, which makes her hard to converse normally. Even after she comes home, it is hard for her to calm down and it takes her 1-2 hours before she falls asleep. She also experiences frequent heartburn and occasional abdominal pain

 

Elizabeth is currently showing typical symptoms of SNS (sympathetic nervous system) hyperactivity. SNS comes into action when we have the flight-or-flight response (aka acute stress response.) For example, we confront a bear in the woods. To fight or flight, we require a large amount of blood supply to the muscle tissues, and our heart rate goes up to pump more blood. Thus the patient experiences palpitation. Increased blood flow to the muscle tissues naturally reduces blood supply to the gastrointestinal system, because digesting food matters very little when we are in life or death situation. Thus, digestive issues arise such as loss of appetite, heartburn, bloating and acid reflux altogether with sleep problem from being very alert to changes (confronting stress or a bear) to her surroundings.

 

Certainly, not everyone rapidly reacts to stress like Elizabeth. We know that there is always one friend who can sleep through a fire alarm no problem. Thus, those who are hot-tempered, strongly opinionated easily develop symptoms like Elizabeth. Of course, patients who are introverted can also suffer from hyperactivity of SNS, but they will not show skin sensitivity or red face (heat flare up to the face.)

 

 

Acupuncture

 

Nei Guan (Pc6) and Gong Son (Sp 4)

Point located on hands and feet that worked together to relieve stagnant sensation in the chest. (ex. Chest oppression, chest pain and heartburn)

Yin Tang

Point between the inner ends of the two eyebrows that strongly calms the mind and treats insomnia.

Shen Men (Ht7)

Point on the ulnar end of the wrist crease that regulates palpitation.

 

Herbal Treatment

 

Huang Lian (Rhizoma Coptidis)

Extremely bitter herb that is often used calm down the hyperactivity of SNS.

Ban Xia (Rhizoma Pinelliae Tematae)

Effective herb for nausea and acid reflux. Regulates secretions of mucosal tissues.

Gua Lou Shi (Fructus Trichosanthis Kirlowil)

Excellent herb for relieving chest tightness and pain