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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2023, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (3): 221-225.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2023.03.008

• Commentary • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Cultural stress: The undiagnosed epidemic of our time

Howard Murad   

  1. Inclusive Health Medical Group, Los Angeles, CA 90245, USA
  • Received:2022-06-17 Accepted:2023-01-06 Online:2023-05-15 Published:2023-05-15
  • Contact: Howard Murad

Global technologies that have made the world more interconnected have also, inadvertently, amplified the forces of stress that are now with us 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The accumulated impact of this stress I call cultural stress anxiety syndrome and call on integrative medicine practitioners to recognize that it is exacerbating whatever acute stressors are also present in our patients’ lives. In this Commentary, I outline seven major components of cultural stress (time pressure, digital intrusion, digital dependency, isolation, sedentary lifestyle, poor sleep, and uncertainty), describe their health consequences, and finally, offer cultural stress-specific remedies I have utilized in my own practice, along with studies that affirm their efficacy. My hope is that we, as integrative medicine practitioners who are cognizant of the role that stress plays in disease development, will more fully appreciate the added impact of cultural stress, and advise our patients on the importance of proactive stress management.

Key words: Cultural stress, Stress management, Integrative medicine, Lifestyle medicine, Functional medicine, Mind/body medicine

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