Physical and emotional stress is a fact of modern life. Natural disasters, war, and general unrest are painting an uncertain picture of the future, which can leave many people with undue stress. Although the American Psychological Association reports that 63 percent of Americans say they are taking action to reduce their stress levels, 43 percent suffer adverse health effects due to stress. Studies show that Chinese medicine, which includes acupuncture, massage, Tai Chi and Qigong, can significantly help reduce stress.
The body's reaction to stress is meant to protect us. Our body adjusts to its surroundings to maintain homeostasis. Our natural reactions to danger or challenge can be positive, but when we feel intense pressure or feel out of control these reactions become negative stress. The "fight or flight" response from the sympathetic nervous system occurs as we react to physical and mental changes in our equilibrium. In Chinese medical language, excessive emotional stimulation or suppression causes imbalance of qi, thereby injuring the body and producing disease.