Evaporating Holiday Stress

The winter holiday season, including Advent, Christmas, Hanukkah, and the Winter Solstice, focuses on celebrating the symbolic meaning each tradition ascribes to “The Light.” With “The Light” comes an inspiring message of joy, hope, relief, expectation, gratitude, and awe.

The magic of anyone of these celebrations lies in one’s ability to be PRESENT to the EXPERIENCE evoked by the message of the story. Said another way, getting “into the spirit” of Christmas or Hanukkah requires one to FEEL, to be MOVED by the joy, the love, the hope, or the miracle described.

Being present in the moment requires one to let go of the stressors or built-up stresses (like too many demands on your time, not enough money, or the declining health of a loved one) that interfere with being open to being moved by the celebration.

Additionally, these same stressors interrupt one’s ability to be truly in the moment with the one you are with, robbing you of the joy of heart-felt connection. So if you are so stressed out that you can’t be moved by the celebration or be present to the one’s you are with, what is the point?  You go through the motions just to be filled with emptiness and maybe even despair.

There are many ways to relieve stress. However, when you need a quick, profound intervention that gets the job done, I can highly recommend acupuncture to quiet the sympathetic nervous system… that is the one in charge of the flight or fright response.  It is called auricular acupuncture and the needles are placed in the ears.

This treatment releases both physical and mental stress and it interrupts any cycle of pain and chaos that might ensue as a result of short-term stress, long-term stress or trauma. In fact, auricular acupuncture is often used for post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). If it works for PTSD, you know it will work to evaporate you holiday stress.

So give yourself (or a loved one) the best gift for the Holidays… the capacity to be present, in the moment, to yourself and others, and to be moved by the feelings of the joy, love, and hope as you celebrate the Light.


Daniel Ebaugh, M.Ac., L.Ac.

The Still Point