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Stress and Modern Day Living

May 27, 2012

Stress is a reality in every person’s life.  It is a way for the human being to adjust and be able to tolerate life, particularly life in these modern times.  Oftentimes stress can be overcome by rest and learning to adapt to a lifestyle.  When the person cannot seem to cope with the pressures of that lifestyle, that is when his stress becomes hard to control and becomes overwhelming that it greatly affects his physical and emotional health.

The mind of a person has specific mechanisms that help deal with stress.  Stress can manifest as a fight or flight reaction that helps a person secure his survival especially when he is confronted with a life threatening situation.  The sympathetic nervous system is the one that produces this response.  When this response happens physiological reactions happen which can include a faster heart beat, dilation of the pupils and the temporary suspension of the digestive function to give more energy to pump more blood to the limbs that in case if we chose to take the flight option, we do it in the fastest way possible.

This reaction is implanted into the nervous system but since modern stressful living is not about a flight or fight situation, this built in mechanism does not really work efficiently in our modern day lives.  Often the source of stress comes from the office environment manifested by hard to work with employers, unkind co-employee(s) and the nature of the job itself.

Sad to say, the person has to deal with this situation everyday and many years and this takes a great toll in human health.  The stress sustains the high blood pressure of the person and the immune system gets weakened.  As these goes on for an extended period, the results will be other health conditions such as depression, headaches and anxiety among others.

According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which acupuncture Louisville is a part of, extreme emotions like depression and anxiety affect the normal flow of chi along the body.  Chi is the life energy that gives life to the body and makes the body grow and be healthy.  TCM believes that chi flows through the body via chi vessels called meridians which act like blood vessels of the circulatory system only they convey chi not blood throughout the body.  Extreme emotions, be they positive or negative, affect the flow of chi in the body.  Extreme negative emotions create blockage in the energy vessels which stagnate the flow of chi.  When chi stagnates in certain areas of the body, it produces pain, aches ailments and disease.  Stressed people often experience neck, shoulder and back pain.  Stress causes the stagnation of chi along the meridians in those areas which causes these aforementioned conditions.