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Stress - The Underlying Cause of Disease

By Melanie Wee



What is stress?
When the demands place on us becomes unbearable, the result is stress. The demands can come from circumstancesoutside of us or from within us. The expectations of other people of us to perform, the circumstances of life, our individual drive to achieve, and so forth are different forms of demands. In and of themselves, they are not detrimental. They are what pushes us to be better. However, when we are unable to think or fulfill those demands thrown at us, there will be worries, anxieties and fears.

The lack of ease, commonly known as worries, anxieties and fears, or "dis-ease", in time may translate into physical symptoms such as headaches, chest pain, palpitations, sleep disturbances, digestive problems, immune deficiencies, premature aging and more serious problems such as heart failure, stroke and cancer. Although not all diseases are caused by stress, many diseases are the result of stress. Hence, the reduction of stress can be seen as a preventative medicine.

According to TCM, stress affects the Liver. The function of the Liver, in TCM, is to regulate the flow of Qi inthe body. When the Liver is not functioning properly, Qi will not be flowing freely. The result is physical symptoms as described above.

How do we reduce stress?

Reduce the demands. This would be the most logical solution. However, this may be the hardest to achieve. Often the demands are outside our control.

Exercises, such as, Tai Chi, non-compatitive sports, swimming, walking, etc. Exercise circulates Qi

Having a good laugh by listening to a good joke, watching a good and humorous movie, etc.Laughingcirculates Qi in the body.

Acupuncture releases certain neuro-chemicals in the brain which combats stress. In termsof TCM, acupuncture circulates Qi. A person usually leaves an acupuncture treatment session feeling tranquil.

Diet plays a role in how we cope with stress too.

What is stress?
When the demands place on us becomes unbearable, the result is stress. The demands can come from circumstancesoutside of us or from within us. The expectations of other people of us to perform, the circumstances of life, our individual drive to achieve, and so forth are different forms of demands. In and of themselves, they are not detrimental. They are what pushes us to be better. However, when we are unable to think or fulfill those demands thrown at us, there will be worries, anxieties and fears.

The lack of ease, commonly known as worries, anxieties and fears, or "dis-ease", in time may translate into physical symptoms such as headaches, chest pain, palpitations, sleep disturbances, digestive problems, immune deficiencies, premature aging and more serious problems such as heart failure, stroke and cancer. Although not all diseases are caused by stress, many diseases are the result of stress. Hence, the reduction of stress can be seen as a preventative medicine.

According to TCM, stress affects the Liver. The function of the Liver, in TCM, is to regulate the flow of Qi inthe body. When the Liver is not functioning properly, Qi will not be flowing freely. The result is physical symptoms as described above.

How do we reduce stress?

Reduce the demands. This would be the most logical solution. However, this may be the hardest to achieve. Often the demands are outside our control.

Exercises, such as, Tai Chi, non-compatitive sports, swimming, walking, etc. Exercise circulates Qi

Having a good laugh by listening to a good joke, watching a good and humorous movie, etc.Laughingcirculates Qi in the body.

Acupuncture releases certain neuro-chemicals in the brain which combats stress. In termsof TCM, acupuncture circulates Qi. A person usually leaves an acupuncture treatment session feeling tranquil.

Diet plays a role in how we cope with stress too.

What we eat can affect our bodies and emotions. According to TCM, food, like herbs are categorized into fivegroups (according to the five element theory), properties and flavors. Foods pertaining to the Liver organ in TCM, often has the ablilty to combat stress related symptoms. For example, citrus peel (chen pi), is warm in nature and has the function of moving stagnated qi in the abdomen. It can be added in one's cooking to help reduce bloating (distention of the abdomen) and belching. However, for more serious conditions, other herbs or herbal formulas must be added.

Unlike, modern Western science, Chinese food cures are not based on understanding the functions of vitamins,minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and so forth. Rather, it is based on knowing which organ the food pertains to, whether it has a warm or cold nature, whether it has a regulatory or nourishing property and so forth. For more information on Chinese food cures, it is best to consult a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine or acupuncturist. For more information on vitamins, minerals, protein and carbohydrates and anything related to modern Western science, please consult a dietitian or nutritionist. You may reach me at 604-512-2829 for a free consultation on Chinese food cures.