One of the main symptoms of stress in our lives and one that most of us will experience at some time is musculoskeletal pain. Ever noticed that feeling you get when you're under pressure and your shoulders start creeping up towards your ears? Your neck starts to ache, you become stiff, tight, and lethargic, and you start to feel OLD! Is it any surprise that you may be experiencing this tension because of increased stress in your life?
As mentioned in our overview article, in Oriental medicine the Liver energy is particularly affected by stresses in our environment and this can be expressed in the body in a number of ways. The Liver is in charge of the tendons, sinews and connective tissues in the body, and responsible for the smooth movement of Qi, Blood and our Emotions. When there is a disturbance of Qi circulation through stress, the tendons and connective tissues will not be adequately nourished and our emotions can become stuck giving rise to frustration and irritability or anger. Over time, as these stress factors continue to impact on the Liver energy, circulation becomes increasingly restricted, our tendons and connective tissues become undernourished and we start to tighten up mentally and physically more and more. >>
Ondol Clinic Location: 129 Sylvan Road, Toowong, Q 4066 | Phone: (07) 3371 0100 | Website: www.ondol.com.au | Ondol Oriental Medicine Clinic © 2015 | Designed by Roz Stokes Design
Stress management is a topic of ever increasing importance in our modern world. There are more and more environmental pressures which impact on our health, personal and professional lives. Modern medicine is investing more and more effort and interest in finding answers to the challenges of stress management.
We all experience some amount of stress in our lives and, in fact, we need some stress to achieve new goals, develop new skills and maintain dynamic relationships. The problems start when we experience prolonged periods of stress.
This can lead to negative health impacts such as:
In Oriental Medicine each organ system is linked to specific emotional and physical aspects of the body.Thus body and mind are intimately interconnected. Not only that, even environmental factors such as seasons and food are correlated to a particular organ and its healthy functioning.
This concept of interconnectedness proves to be helpful in tackling the multifactorial challenges of chronic stress and its impact on our health.
Ondol Clinic Location: 129 Sylvan Road, Toowong, Q 4066 | Phone: (07) 3371 0100 | Website: www.ondol.com.au | Ondol Oriental Medicine Clinic © 2015 - 2018 | Designed by Roz Stokes Design
The regularity and quality of the menstrual cycle is a very good indicator of a woman's overall health. As mentioned in our previous articles, stress impacts strongly on Liver physiology. The main functions of the Liver energy are to harmonise the circulation of Qi throughout the body as well as to store and regulate the movement of Blood. We have a saying in Oriental Medicine ‘The Qi moves the Blood and the Blood nourishes the Qi’. When the function of the Liver is impaired, the free movement of Qi is obstructed and the Blood does not flow well. If the Blood is not flowing well it cannot nourish the uterus and ovaries. Consequently, this can lead to various menstrual issues. Therefore stress plays a direct role in Liver Qi & Blood stagnation.
Signs and symptoms of Liver stagnation in the female reproductive system can be:
By harmonising the Liver energy and limiting the negative effects of excess stress on the movement of Qi, we can ameliorate the quality of the menstrual cycle. >>
Ondol practitioner Jim Bermingham provides practical tips to manage stress in two short videos.
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We spoke about how stress affects moods and physical tension in our previous articles. We all know that sleep is essential to our well being, yet insomnia is prevalent in our modern culture, especially with technology and distraction at our fingertips 24/7.
Nothing is worse than not sleeping well. When we can’t sleep well, nothing is right. We are tired, moody, irritable, our muscles are stiff, our head hurts, we can hardly think or function. Furthermore, lack of adequate sleep can cause serious health problems. The cumulative long term effects of sleep loss have been associated with a wide range of deleterious health consequences including an increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack and stroke.
Western and Oriental medicine hold different approaches to the issue of insomnia. In Western medicine, if there is no obvious physical reason for the inability to sleep, it will usually be seen as an emotional problem due to stress, anxiety, or depression. A patient with a mild case of insomnia is told to ‘relax more, cut back on caffeine, try a hot bath or warm milk before bedtime.’ For chronic insomnia, the usual treatments are the prescription of sleeping pills or anti-depressants.
In Oriental medicine, insomnia is considered to be the symptom of a disease/dysfunction. The cause of a disease is a functional imbalance in one of the major organ systems (Lungs, Heart, Spleen, Liver, Kidneys). When a person suffers from insomnia, the three organs - from an energetic perspective - most often out of balance are the Heart, Spleen and the Liver. Each of these organs houses a specific aspect of the spirit (Shen). If they are out of balance, >>
Mood swings; irritability and tension are some of the most prevalent signs of stress in our lives. These symptoms become overwhelming for many of us, and often we turn to self-management strategies like overindulging in food or alcohol, or vegging out in front of the TV. Unfortunately, these behaviours don’t address the causes of our stress, and can lead to further health imbalances.
From the moment our feet touch the floor each morning we have the choice of going about our day consciously or not. It’s easy to go through the motions and let circumstances control us, rather than the other way around. However, it’s not very satisfying and we never quite get on top of things that way. Alternatively, we can shape them from the start and go into the day from a good place physically, mentally, and emotionally. Then, even if events don’t unfold the way we’d like them to and stress creeps up, we’re in a better place to respond. Unfortunately, there is no magic pill or miracle cure for managing stress; however, there are some strategies we can use to reduce stress related symptoms.
Here are a few tips to get started:
We are dehydrated by morning, so it’s best to have a glass or two of water before we hit the tea or coffee. Good hydration gets your body going in the right direction from the start. >>
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