Stress and Chinese Medicine: Too many problems & never able to solve them?

Did you know that nearly 75% of employees are suffering increased stress levels in Ireland? 

A 2016 study by the ESRI found stress, anxiety and depression were the second highest causes of work-related illness in Ireland. They are also associated with the longest absences from work.

A European-wide survey on working conditions conducted by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work found that 22 per cent of workers in Ireland experienced stress at work ‘always’ or ‘most of the time’. The proportion that ‘always’ experienced stress was the third highest in the EU15 and tenth highest among the 34 countries surveyed.

Unfortunately there are no tools to identify and measure stress in the workplace in order to help to manage it. 

"Life goes up and down too quick for me", "I'm constantly stressed about money even though I'm debt free", "My girlfriend broke up and I feel lost", "I feel like life is getting harder, and I am completely overwhelmed. I don't know what to do", "I'm constantly with the feeling that I am going to vomit blood": these are some common situations that people might suffer at some stages in life no matter if you are a kid, teen or an adult. 

Life may become uphill at some stages. Some times we have to deal with so many problems and it seems we are not able to solve them at all. We try & try & try and keep getting worst and more complicated than ever. As consequence, we feel to lose the ability to cope with anything in life, losing self-confidence and self-esteem.

According to Dr. Hans Selye, the physical experience of continuous stress has three stages:

  1. Alarm: our body engage in their biologically programmed fight-to-fight mode. The stress hormones such as adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol are released by the adrenal glands, that prepare the body to "fight".
  2. Resistance: the body works to heal itself by adapting resistance mechanisms to counter the negative effects of stress.
  3. Exhaustion: if the stress continuous, the body falls into a mental and physical fatigue and stress-related disorders may surface.

It's critical to find ways to handle stress no matter if they are natural, medical or via chinese medicine approaches as discussed in this chapter.

Ideally people who suffer from stress should consider positive ways to manage stress first: there are a variety of lifestyle, nutritional and supplemental approaches out there:

  1. Lifestyle: develop positive attitudes toward life's challenges, train your mind to react positively to current triggers, become more flexible and let go things you cannot control, improve time management and organizational skills to prevent stressful situations from occurring, embrace close friendships (love and feel beloved), get regular exercise, get adequate sleep night, quit smoking and practice medication.

  2. Nutritional: drink calming herbal teas such as chamomile, lemon balm and passionflower, eat low-glycemic carbohydrates foods such as whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables and fish and flaxseed which contain essential omega-3 fatty acids. Avoid caffeine and alcohol as they can trigger and worsen stress, avoid fast and processed foods and sugary foods, overall. 

  3. Supplements: B complex vitamins, calcium and magnesium, lactium and suntheanine; panax ginseng, relora, rhodiola, valerian and Vitamin C

Dosages and recommendations must be established by your therapist, doctor or practitioner. 

How Chinese Medicine helps to manage stress?

As mentioned in previous posts, Traditional Chinese Medicine treat the symptoms as well as the root of the disease. 

The liver is the first line of emotional defense for the entire organism. As such, it's something to be considered initially at the first consultation. It deals with the stressors by assuring constant movement and circulation of Qi, thus preventing stagnation. The liver network expresses the capacity for growth, development, expression and change so any life experience that inhibit this potential would directly affect the ability of the liver to maintain the free Qi flow. 

When confronted by continuous and prolonged psychosocial or emotional stress, the liver's function of spreading the Qi is impaired; the liver cannot maintain its free and unobstructed flow and the Qi stagnates. Once a Liver Qi Stagnation happens, it might generate either a Depressive Heat creating Heart/Shen Disturbance; Blood Stasis or Spleen vacuity which would generate Fire Dampness. Fire Dampness would turn into Phlegm/Food Stagnation. All these syndromes would be expressed by a variety of symptoms.

There are studies that find acupuncture effective for the treatment of chronic stress as blocks stress hormones. The specific actions by which electro-acupuncture relieves chronic stress and anxiety have been proven effective on induced stress reduction by affecting the adrenal glands. 

Get in touch with us in order to help you manage your stress. Phone us today at 089 400 5106 or send an email to for booking an appointment.