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Stress
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Facts & Statistics

According to the Center for Integrate Healthcare 2013 Stres Survey,

  • 75 to 90% of all medical office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints
  • stress is linked to the 6 leading causes of death in America – heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide
  • stress is also implicated in hypertension, smoking, obesity, alcoholism, drug abuse, gastrointestinal problems, arthritis, immune system disturbances, skin disorders, neurological conditions, etc.
Signs & Syndromes

Physical

  • Fatigue (often one of the first signs)
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle aches/stiffness (especially neck, shoulders and low back)
  • Heart palpitations
  • Chest pains
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea
  • Trembling
  • Cold extremities
  • Flushing or sweating

Behavioral

  • Pacing
  • Fidgeting
  • Insomnia
  • Nervous habits (nail-biting, Foot-tapping)
  • Increased eating
  • Smoking
  • Crying
  • Yelling
  • Dwearing
  • Throwing things or hitting
  • Frequent colds

Mental

  • Decrease in concentration and memory
  • Indecisiveness
  • Mind racing or going blank
  • Confusion
  • Loss of sense of humour
 

Emotional Symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Worry
  • Irritability
  • Impatience
  • Short temper
Case Studies

Case 1: Susan, 56, runs a decorating supplies shop, and has been visiting us for over four years. She first tried acupuncture because the conventional medical approach to her condition of arthritis was disappointing. 'I was in a great deal of pain and had very little movement in my hands until I started to have acupuncture, which keeps me mobile and pain free' says Susan. She now also visits for help with stress since, last year, she was diagnosed with a tumour in the bowel and had to face major surgery.

'Acupuncture has definitely assisted me through this whole stressful experience,' says Susan. 'It helps me relax and also gives me a boost of energy. I am still running my busy shop and walking my dogs every day.'

Case 2: Jennifer, 50, came to visit us when she realised she had become an alcoholic. 'My drinking was completely out of control,' Wilma recalls. 'I drank because I was under a great deal of stress and I didn't know how to give it up.'

Living in the center of Silicon Valley, Jennifer was also keen not to publicte her problem by going to a local Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. 'I wanted to deal with the problem privately so I went to an acupuncturist with experience of drink and drug addictions. Even after just one session I felt a weight lift off me and I stopped drinking completely after a few weeks,' she says. 'Stress and drinking were interfering with my life far too much. I now feel fine, stress-free, and I never crave a drink at all.'

Comon Causes

The body has an inbuilt physical response to stressful situations. Faced with pressure, challenge or danger, we need to react quickly, and our bodies release hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline to help us do this. These hormones are part of the "fight or flight" response and affect the metabolic rate, heart rate and blood pressure, resulting in a heightened - or stressed - state that prepares the body for optimum performance in dealing with a stressful situation. Many things (or the anticipation of them) can lead to stress:

Sometimes, there is no particular reason for developing stress, or it arises out of a series of minor irritations.

Emotional Symptoms:

  • Pressure to perform at work, at school or in sports
  • Threats of physical violence
  • Money worries
  • Arguments
  • Family conflicts
  • Divorce
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea
  • Bereavement
  • Unemployment
  • Alcohol or drug abuse