A little stress is good for you
Are you feeling restless or easily agitated, having difficulty to relax, or finding yourself constantly worrying? Are you experiencing tiredness and fatigue, aches and tense muscles, headaches, stomach cramps, insomnia, grinding of teeth, chest pain and rapid heartbeat, loss of sexual desire? If so, you may be suffering from chronic stress.
Stress affects almost everyone, be it the students or the working population. It is a psychological and physical response to events or situations that make you feel disturbed or threatened, and interferes with the physiological equilibrium of your body. A little stress is good for you. It helps to keep you motivated, alert and energetic, and increases your ability to cope with difficult situations. When the stressful events are over, your body shuts down the stress response and return to a normal relax state.
When stress affects you negatively
However, the hectic, demanding modern life in Singapore precludes relaxation and expose your body to long-term stress. Students are often overloaded with academic home works, and over-scheduled with various co-curricular activities. The conditions are aggravated with poor sleeping and eating habits. The situations are no better for the working adults who have to constantly face unrealistic expectations, long working hours, and difficult bosses or clients. Prolonged exposure to stress can lead to serious health problems, and has a detrimental impact on your mood, relationships and quality of life.
Different people respond to stress differently, and the symptoms may vary considerably. Some of the serious health problems relating to long-term chronic stress include:
- Mental disorders, such as depressions and anxiety
- High blood pressure
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- Sleeping disorders
- Stomach ulcers
- Menstrual disorders
- Sexual dysfunction
In addition, people under tremendous stress often turn to many negative ways to help cope with stress, ranging from addiction to alcohol, tobacco, caffeine and other drugs to overeating &abusing food, which aggravate the existing health problems. In turn, these habits add up to stress and lead to a vicious cycle.
Macpherson TCM & Wellness Clinic provides TCM treatments, which involve either acupuncture, tuina or Chinese herbal powders, or a combination of the three treatment methods, to help you manage and cope with stress. They are natural, safe and effective in helping you to reduce stress and prevent the harmful manifestations of stress.
How does Stress cause imbalances – from a TCM Viewpoint
From TCM’s Perspective, when a person is exposed to long-term stress, the flow of Qi and blood in his or her body becomes stagnated.
When the Qi and blood along the Heart meridian is stagnated, the circulatory system may be affected, resulting in high blood pressure, palpitation and coronary heart disease. As the Heart also governs mental activities in TCM context, the stagnation of the Heart Qi may also lead to restlessness and irritability.
From TCM’s perspective, the Liver is related to muscles and tendons, emotional wellness and menstrual cycle for women. Therefore, when stress affects the Liver Qi,
it may result in rigid and tight muscles of the neck, shoulders and back, leading to pain and soreness over affected area. As the Liver Qi becomes stagnated, the person may feel moody and depressed. This stagnation of Liver Qi may turn into Liver Fire, causing the person to become easily agitated, and having frequent headaches. For women, they may experience irregular periods, menstrual cramps, and breast tenderness during menstruation.
Stress may also cause the Qi along the Spleen Meridian to be impeded, resulting in symptoms relating to the digestive system, such as stomach cramps and abdominal bloating. With prolonged exposure to stress,the function of the Spleen may weaken. As the Spleen function weakens, internal dampness may also build up. These can result in constipation or diarrhoea, fatigue,and heaviness over the body.
In TCM, the Kidney relates to the reproductive system. When stress affects the Kidney Qi, Yin or Yang, men may experience premature ejaculation,erectile dysfunction,
low sex drive or male infertility while women may experience irregular periods, a reduction of menstrual flow (or even absent periods), and reduced sexual desire.
TCM Treatment for Stress
Based on syndrome differentiation, I will design a therapy plan that cater to each individual’s conditions. The treatment plan will focus on ensuring a smooth flow of the Qi & Blood, nourishing the Qi & Blood, calming the mind and eliminating any heat or dampness. The therapy will not only help reduce uncomfortable and disturbing symptoms, but also improve your overall health and wellness, leaving you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.