How to stop being stressed?

It may be more manageable than you think

If you are looking for ways to improve your overall health? Give our office a call today at (425) 686-4498 to schedule your initial consultation to learn more about how we can help you achieve your health goals.

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How to stop being stressed?

Stress, it is all around us but some experience it more frequently than others. Many experience symptoms of stress that can be subtle but may pose a health risk if not addressed. Some common symptoms are anxiety, tight muscles, headaches, poor sleep, low energy, irritability, skin rashes, and even digestive upset. When we are stressed it is like our body is in the Flight or Fight mode aka sympathetic response all the time. In order for us to heal, refresh, and rejuvenate our bodies need to get into that parasympathetic mode which actually turns on when we sleep. Which is one of the reasons why sleep is so important and is one of the foundations to health. 

How do we measure our stress?

One way to actually measure your stress is heart rate variability (HRV). It is a measure of the autonomic response and is the amount of time between when your heartbeats fluctuates. These variations can be subtle or undetectable but can help to identify heart conditions and even anxiety. 

My top 4 tips on how to stop being stressed:


“You are what you eat” is a common saying but it is true, just like “Food is Medicine.” Fueling your body with foods that help to regulate blood sugar and limit foods that cause spikes in blood sugar is key for helping to combat stress. This is avoiding the 4 F’s: Fried, Fatty, Fast, and Fake Foods. There is so much evidence out now that links sugar to anxiety. Also, the correlation of the brain-gut axis. If certain foods are causing digestive upset, bloating, or even IBS symptoms, it is also common for people to experience anxiety, depression, and even migraines. Read more about the Brain-Gut Connection, here.


How well are you sleeping? How many hours of sleep do you get every night? If it takes you longer than 1 hour to fall asleep, or you wake up several times during the night and can’t fall back asleep, or you don’t even sleep at all. It is time to get to the root cause(s) on why your sleep is disrupted. One of the common reasons why people have poor sleep is stress leading to “monkey mind” at night and their brain just won’t shut off. This leads to less sleep and poor quality sleep. By developing a calming nighttime routine can do a lot to help promote restful sleep. Some tips are to: go for a walk in the evening, limit screen time at least 1 hour before bed, drink calming tea to help promote relaxation, do a guided meditation, and make sure you block out all lights in your bedroom. Check out our previous post on how acupuncture can help with sleep here.


There are so many health benefits to exercise but one being its role in helping to reduce stress. Movement and sweating can help to bring blood flow to tissues, ease muscle tension, and help to boost energy. Ever hear of the “runner’s high?” Studies show that even light to moderate walking 10,000 steps 5-6 days a week or moderate intensity exercise for 150 minutes a week can have a profound effect on stress levels. Even Tai Chi has been show to help promote relaxation and ease stress. Read more about how Tai Chi can promote health in our previous post here.


Does acupuncture reduce stress overtime? In a study looking at how acupuncture affects heart rate variability in hypertensive patients found that patients receiving acupuncture over a longer course of treatments, being monitored for weeks to months after a series of visits showed increase in HRV and decrease in their physiologic stress response. In addition, it has been found that acupuncture can help to control stress because it can increase endogenous opioids, enkephalins, in the central nervous system as well as serotonin, which have been found to help regulate mood and have anxiety lowering effects.

All of these tips are just a part of the wellness puzzle, each playing their own significant part. By working daily on ways to help reduce stress can do wonders for not only your mood, energy, sleep, health, but quality of life.

If you are looking for ways to improve your overall health? Give our office a call today at (425) 686-4498 to schedule your initial consultation to learn more about how we can help you achieve your health goals.

Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist in Bothell, WA at her practice Starting Point Acupuncture. She specializes in chronic and complex cases and commonly treats neuropathy, fibromyalgia, migraines, autoimmune, and infertility cases. Dr. Ellie Heintze is also the author of the book, A Starting Point Guide to Going Gluten-Free  and Keep Calm and Zen Out available on Amazon.


Tai Chi:

Acupuncture and stress reduction:

Acupuncture and Serotonin:

Call or Schedule Now! (425) 686-4498

Call or Schedule Now!

(425) 686-4498

Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc

  • Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
    Bastyr University
  • Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
    Bastyr University
  • Master’s Degree in Chemistry
    Northern Arizona University
Dr. Heintze Acupuncturist and Naturopathic Doctor

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