Stress covers a huge range of phenomena from mild irritation, chronic fatigue, occasional insomnia, and tension headaches to the kind of severe problems that might result in a real breakdown of health. Nearly 16 per cent of the patients seeking treatment at our clinic come for some kind of psychological problem, including stress, depression, anxiety and panic attacks.
Symptoms of stress
Everyone reacts to stress differently, People who are chronically stressed may have irritability, constant anxiety, loss of appetite, lack of concentration, loss of sex drive. There can also be physical effects, which may include excessive tiredness, skin problems, such as eczema, aches and pains resulting from tense muscles, heart palpitations, feeling sick, stomach problems and for women, missed periods.
How to understand stress by Western Medicine
Stress is the consequences of the failure of a human to respond appropriately to emotional or physical threats to the organism, which can break into three stages.
Alarm is the first stage. When the threat or stressor is identified or realized, the body's stress response is a state of alarm. During this stage adrenaline will be produced in order to bring about the flight or flight response.
Resistance is the second stage. If the stressor persists, it becomes necessary to attempt some means of coping with the stress. Although the body begins to try to adapt to the strains or demands of the environment, the body cannot keep this up indefinitely, so its resources are gradually depleted.
Exhaustion is the third and final stage . At this point, all of the body's resources are eventually depleted and the body is unable to maintain normal function. At this point the initial automic nervous system symptoms may reappear (sweating, raised heart rate etc.). If stage three is extended, long term damage may result as the capacity of glands, especially the adrenal gland, and the immune system is exhausted and function is impaired resulting in decompensation.
How to understand stress by Chinese medicine
Chinese medicine theories think that stress is caused by STAGNATION OF LIVER QI. The Liver is responsible for the smooth and even movement of Qi throughout the body.The liver is sensitive to the emotional environment. Anger, constraint, frustration and tension can weak the function of the liver. If the Liver is not smoothing the Qi, it moves unevenly, causing people have the stress symptoms.
Stress and acupuncture
Anti-anxiety drugs such as diazepam won't help you learn to cope better with the stresses you face, just make you less aware of them. You may also become dependent on this type of drug. There are great advantages to using acupuncture as a way to treat stress. Usually a combination of acupuncture and acupressure are used. After the needles are inserted, you will relax for about 30 minutes.
Tension tends to accumulate around acupuncture points. When a muscle is chronically tense, the muscle fibers contract due to the secretion of lactic acid caused by fatigue, trauma or stress. Smooth moving Qi enable the fibers to elongate and relax, blood to flow freely, and toxins to be released and eliminated. Increased circulation also brings more oxygen and other nutrients to affected areas. This increases the body's resistance to illness and promotes a longer, healthier, more vital life. When the blood and bioelectrical energy circulate properly, we have a greater sense of harmony and well-being.