Practical Solutions to Fight Holiday Stress

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The holidays are an occasion to celebrate, but they can also be a stressful time, exacting a steep emotional and medical toll. Rather than providing a break from the anxieties of ordinary life, the holidays often worsen certain problems and necessitate smart personal care.

As a doctor, I know how difficult this month can be - depression and a sense of isolation often increase during this purportedly happy time of year - leaving many with visible symptoms of pain and illness. Some of the more common effects of holiday-related stress, besides the psychological difficulties that coincide with the arrival of Christmas, Chanukah and the New Year, include skin disorders, poor sleep, hormonal fluctuations and loss of energy. The causes of these things, while not always the result of the onset of the holidays, definitely become more pronounced as we prepare for them. And, with an already bad economy facing individuals and families, the holidays are a cautionary tale about the risks of financial strain and personal illness. Finding a way to manage these issues - with a combination of innovative treatments and holistic procedures - is the best holiday gift a patient can give to his or herself.

One way to combat many of these problems is a technique known as facial acupuncture-- a safe and established means of lessening holiday-related stress-- which rejuvenates your health as well as your appearance. The treatment begins with an initial exam where patients answer questions concerning symptoms, health and lifestyle activities.  This is followed by a recording of pulse rate and an inspection of the tongue, which typically yields clues about a host of conditions. A doctor can then make an accurate diagnosis. (Bear in mind, acupuncture is, literally, a targeted science where fine disposable needles gently reach into strategic points on the face. The use of these needles differs with each patient, so the points of contact - which correspond on the face to specific symptoms - also differ with each patient.)

Acupuncture stimulates and increases the local production of collagen, strengthening the structure of the skin. A typical course of treatment consists of 10-15 sessions, best performed twice a week. After the treatment course, monthly maintenance sessions are a good way to prolong the rejuvenation effects of the acupuncture. The benefits of acupuncture can include: increased collagen production, improved tone of underlying facial muscles, reduced tissue sagging and puffiness, increased circulation to the skin for youthful color and vibrancy, tightening of pores, erasure of fine lines, reduction in hormonal fluctuations, better quality of sleep, increased sense of well-being and relaxation, and more energy.

Another way to treat these challenges is with Botox Cosmetic, which reduces or eliminates wrinkles in the upper third of the face, including forehead lines, frown lines and crow's feet around the eyes. When done by a licensed medical professional, Botox is a proven way of improving facial appearance with the added benefit of affordability. It has results you can see without the costly - and extremely invasive - alternative of plastic surgery, an indulgence even the wealthy continue to forego in this tough economy.

These treatments also include Aluma Skin Renewal System and Intense Pulse Light Photofacial, two programs that improve fine lines and reduce the effects of pigments and sun damage. The latter is important for people who want to improve their skin in a convenient and effective manner. And that is the common theme behind all these health options: safety, real results and an easy way to make holiday stress a thing of the past.

Dealing with the stress of the holidays requires a personal inventory of the various triggers that can make this time of year extremely difficult. Managing these challenges with practical solutions, such as seeing a doctor, is a smart way of making wellness a priority. Paying attention to the proverbial warning signs and consulting with a physician who can help is an investment with long-term benefits. Caring for your health and wellness may be the most important holiday gift you can enjoy.

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