Stress Management and Chinese Medicine

Chinese Medicine and Stress

Stress is a common issue we all experience as city dwellers. It is important to take care of stress before it becomes a serious health problem in your life or the lives of your loved ones. Excessive stress can lead to headaches, digestive problems, insomnia, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, weakened immune system, and more. Stress can also cause premature aging, loss of energy and productivity, sexual dysfunction, cancer, diabetes and loss of memory.

How Chinese Medicine Views Stress

In Chinese medicine stress interrupts the flow of energy in the body.  From the Chinese medical perspective, energy flows through our body through a network of channels, much like the plumbing in a house. Stress, anger, or any intense emotion acts like clogs in the pipes, blocking the flow of energy in the body.

In the plumbing system, one clogged pipe can lead to backups in other pipes too.  Similarly, stress can affect many other functions of the body, such as digestion, sleep, energy, blood pressure and more. Through acupuncture, these blockages can be alleviated. Acupuncture points can serve as the roto-rooter for the body’s plumbing, helping energy flow smoothly, and alleviating not only the symptoms of stress and anxiety, but also the stress and anxiety itself.

From a Western viewpoint, acupuncture alleviates stress by releasing endorphins, our brain’s natural pain-killers.  In addition, acupuncture improves circulation of blood throughout the body, oxygenating the tissues and internal organs and cycling out waste products.  The relaxing and harmonizing nature of acupuncture also decreases the heart rate, lowers blood pressure and relaxes the nervous system.


  • Find happiness in everything you do. Change the things you can change. Accept the things you can’t and move on.
  • Smile. Law of attraction: like attracts like. Misery attracts misery.
  • Find your purpose and live it.
  • Get enough sleep. 8 hours is optimal. You don’t want to sleep too long or too little. Also, don’t wait till after midnight to sleep.


  • Mildly Pungent vegetables and spices: onion, leek, black pepper, ginger, cinnamon, fennel, garlic, nutmeg, mustard greens, watercress, fennel, various mints.
  • Beets, strawberry, peach, cherry, chestnut, cabbage, turnip root, cauliflower, broccoli, and brussel sprouts.
  • Raw foods including sprouted grains, beans and seeds.
  • Bitter and sour foods: unrefined apple cider, brown rice, rice wine, or other quality vinegars. Rye, romaine lettuce, asparagus, amaranth, quinoa, alfalfa, chamomile and licorice.
  • Avoid greasy, oily and highly processed foods. Also avoid late night eating and overeating.


Cardio and aerobics have their benefits but they keep your body in a fight or flight state. Practice body-mind-spirit exercises that relax you. Medical Qigong, Tai chi, and meditation relaxes your body, calms the mind, and balances the emotions.

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