I gave a talk to the Students for Integrative Medicine at UCLA—many years ago at this point—on Mental Health and Chinese Medicine, and, while I tried to cover a lot of material in the course of the hour that I had to present, there were a few things that I tried to address in the course of the talk. The World Health Organization states that “Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”
The key words in this statement are coping with the normal stresses of life. It has been discussed at great length many places how our sympathetic nervous system (the one in charge of the infamous “fight-or-flight” mechanism) is overstimulated in modern life. What used to be stimulated only when being chased by a tiger, now plagues us for the most banal of reasons. Robert Sapolsky is one of the leading neuroscientists studying stress in primates and, ultimately, human beings, and has already discussed the myriad ways in which this adversely affects health (both mental and physical health). He is featured in this highly informative National Geographic documentary, Stress, Portrait of A Killer.
I am reminded of all of this because of another, much shorter video that I just saw on TED Ed. It is called How stress affects your body, and was written by Sharon Horesh Bergquist. It is fun and informative, and well worth the 5 minutes it takes to watch it.
How is this relevant to this website? Because stress, and the resultant mental health and physical conditions that are caused by stress, can be easily managed with Chinese Medicine. Again, the World Health Organization has stated that acupuncture has been proven to be an effective treatment for depression, one of the byproducts of stress.
Another common byproduct is having a suppressed immune system. With the coming months and the change of weather (even in Southern California!), having an immune system that is fully functional will make sure that you don’t get a cold this Autumn. As saying goes, an ounce of prevention…
Much recognition to the members of SIM, and thank you for coming out to listen!
(And in case you’re wondering—yes, the title is a reference to Organized Konfusion.)