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Singapore has one of the highest stress levels. According to a study done in 2019 by Cigna 360 Well-Being Survey, a whopping 2% of the respondents reported feeling stressed at work. A study also estimated that Singapore spent 18% of its healthcare expenditure on stress-related illnesses every year. 

Stress can affect one both mentally and physically, yet people often do not talk about their stress or seek medical attention for their condition. Being aware that one is under stress is also another issue many of us face. 

If you are easily agitated over small things in daily life or find yourself constantly yawning or having difficulty sleeping, you might be under stress. While a little stress is good for motivation and to help cope with difficult situations, being stressed at work can lead to chronic stress that leads to other health issues. 


Symptoms of Stress

The first step to managing stress is to recognize when you are under stress. Here are some telltale signs of stress: 

    • 头痛
    • Muscles tensions [shoulders, neck]
    • 忧郁症 
    • 失眠 
    • Fatigue
    • Poor concentration
    • Palpitation
    • Loss of appetite

TCM Perspective

In TCM, the flow of Qi, or vital energy, is what keeps the body and mind healthy. When the flow of Qi is stagnated, it can lead to illness in the body and affect the body mentally too. 

The five major organs of the body are the heart, lungs, spleen, liver and kidney. When stress affects any of these five major organs, it gives rise to different illnesses. For example, if stress affects the liver, it will result in muscle tensions in the shoulders and neck as the liver is believed to be linked to the muscles and tendons. When Qi becomes stagnated in the liver, the person may become depressed or easily agitated. That’s because the Liver plays a role in our emotional wellness as well. 

If you experience a loss of appetite or constant fatigue, Qi might be stagnated in the Spleen due to stress as the functioning of Spleen is linked to the digestive system.


TCM treatments 


Acupuncture can help to stimulate specific points to produce healing effects. With needles as thin as hair, physician will insert these needles along the meridian points on the body. It is mostly painless with maybe just a slight prick of the needles. 


Chrysanthemum teas are good for a healthy liver. Drink 2-3cups daily. You can get them easily at any TCM stores in Singapore. Add some rock sugar to sweeten the tea or mix it with other teas such as roses for a different taste. 

Jujube fruit, also known as Da Zao, is a sweet, dried Chinese date sold in packets in TCM stores and supermarkets in Singapore. You can eat them as it is or let it steep in hot water for a few minutes and drink it as tea. 

There are other tcm treatments as well such as acupressure, tuina and more! Based on the TCM physician’s assessment of your condition, they will create a treatment plan to cater to your condition. It will focus on improving the flow of Qi in your body and alleviating the symptoms caused by stress.