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Partial List of Stress Disorders

Below is a partial list of stress disorders that can frequently be eliminated by practicing deep relaxation. This list is based on my experience with patients and on reports from major experts in the field. There no doubt are additional stress disorders that did not get included in this list because there are so many of them.

Some of these disorders can be caused entirely by physical problems. For example, although high blood pressure is usually caused by chronic low-grade tension, it can be caused by a malfunction of the kidneys. It is extremely important, therefore, that you check with your physician before you use relaxation therapy to treat the stress component of any conditions that are serious or could become serious. Do so only with his (her) approval and supervision.

Neck pain is another example of an issue that can be the result of either a physical cause or stress. The expression “he (she) is a pain in the neck” acknowledges that people can sometimes cause us a lot of stress, which then leads to bracing or tensing of the neck muscles so much of the time that it results in actual pain. On the other hand, arthritis can certainly cause neck pain. Sometimes, a person may have both at the same time. Relaxation practice can treat the stress component, but not the arthritis.

Even though some symptoms on this list may have a physical cause, they can frequently be improved by engaging in relaxation practice because stress often exacerbates symptoms caused by physical disorders. All the systems of the body function better when the body is held in a relaxed manner rather than in a tense manner. Relaxation training will teach you how to accomplish this.

If you are taking medicine for any of these conditions, you may be able to gradually reduce and eventually eliminate them after several months of deep relaxation practice. But you must never do so without explicit direction from your physician.

The list is alphabetical, first by categories and then by individual symptoms. Additional information can be found on some of them by clicking on the name of the disorder.

Anxiety Problems

  • Bruxism (Teeth Clenching and Teeth Grinding)
  • Poor Concentration
  • Dry Mouth and Throat
  • Hyperhidrosis (Excessive Perspiring of Underarms, Hands, Feet, and/or Crotch)
  • Irritability
  • Nervousness
  • Nervous Mannerisms
  • Panic Attacks
  • Performance Anxiety
  • Phobias and Fears
  • Shakiness
  • Social Anxiety
  • Startle-Prone, “on Edge”
  • Test Anxiety
  • Tics
  • Unable to Sit Still
  • Tendency to Worry

Breathing Problems

  • Chest Breathing
  • Hyperventilation (Shallow, Rapid Breathing)

Mild Depression
Gastrointestinal Problems

  • Burping
  • Constipation
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Nervous Stomach
  • Spastic Colon
  • Spastic Esophagus
  • Frequent Urination
  • Difficulty Swallowing

Heart Problems

  • Heart Pounding
  • Palpitations
  • Premature Ventricular Contractions
  • Skipped Heartbeats

Neurological Problems

  • Restless Body
  • Restless Legs


  • Migraine Headaches
  • Tension Headaches
  • Neck Pain
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Low Back Pain

Skin Problems

  • Dermatitis
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Rosacea
  • Oily Skin

Sleep Problems

  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares

Vascular Problems

  • Cold Hands and Feet (Even in a Warm Room)
  • Flushed Face
  • High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)