Stress Management

The psychological phenomenon of stress is closely allied to nervousness, fatigue, and anxiety, and all of them are pervasive features of modern life. In general terms, stress has been defined as a feeling of self-doubt about being able to cope with some situation over a period of time.

The phenomenon of irritability, or an irritable mood, must be familiar to almost everyone, exposed as we are to all of the noise, niggling inconveniences, and annoyances of daily life. Also, irritability is an almost expected reaction in overworked, overwrought individuals, who become irritable by force of circumstances. An irritable mood or feeling may be present without observed, or there may be an overt loss of control of temper, with irascible verbal and behavioral outbursts, provoked by trivial but frustrating events.

There are few persons who do not at some time experience periods of discouragement and despair. As with nervousness, irritability, and anxiety, depression of mood that is appropriate to a given situation in life (e.g., grief reaction) is seldom the basis of medical concern. Persons in these situations tend to seek help only when their grief or unhappiness is persistent and beyond control. From the patient and the family it is learned that the patient has been “feeling unwell,” “low in spirits,” “blue,” “glum,” “unhappy,” or “morbid.” There has been a change in his emotional reactions of which the patient may not be fully aware. Activities that he formerly found pleasurable are no longer so.

At certain levels, stress can break down the sea wall of almost everyone’s personal defences. The major defences that people have, to one degree or another, are self-efficacy and social support.

Self-Efficacy means having a sense that you can influence the course of events in your normal daily life and that you can deal with their normal consequences. It also means feeling confident and sure of yourself.

Social Support means having people around you or available to you that you can count on in times of trouble, worry or stress.

Acupuncture is found to be effective for the treatment of acute and chronic stress induced disorders such as anxiety, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, hypertension, insomnia, PMS, menopausal symptoms, and depression. The principle here is to clear the blocked energy (Qi) in the muscles and meridians, as well as facilitating the flow of pure energy in them. This ensures relaxation of muscle and mind, and relief from stress and tensions. The reason one person is stressed will not be the same for another person. Stress indicates that part of our life is not in balance. It needs to assess patient’s general state of health in order to identify the underlying pattern of disharmony and to give the most effective treatment including other therapeutic modalities of TCM.