Research is showing that stress is a major factor in most disease processes and chronic health conditions. If you have a lot of stress over a long period of time you are more likely to get cancer, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, allergies, digestive problems, reproductive problems, respiratory problems, sore muscles, headaches, and on and on. Some ways to minimize the effects of stress are: see them as challenges, maintain a positive attitude, regular, moderate exercise, relaxing activities such as yoga, Tai Chi, or meditation, cultivate a network of friends you are close to and can count on, eat fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains, minimizing meat – organically grown food preferably. From the acupuncturepoint of view, we have adverse reactions to stress because our energy system and organ functions are out of balance. For instance, according to Chinese Medicine, one of the functions of the liver is to handle stress. When the liver energy or meridian is out of balance, or blocked, it is more difficult to deal with stress. There is a tendency to be irritable, have headaches, have tight neck and shoulder muscles. When the liver energy is balanced, the feelings of irritability are replaced by a sense of confidence and peace of mind and the muscles are more relaxed. Interpersonal relations and unresolved feelings can be a source of stress. In Chinese acupuncture anger, resentment, frustration, are present when the liver is out of balance, worry is present when the spleen energy is out of balance, anxiety is present when the heart energy is out of balance, fear is present when the kidney is out of balance. Traumatic events can leave a person chronically stressed. In these cases, often the adrenal gland is exhausted. When the bodily energy is balanced with acupuncture, peace of mind is restored.