Stress effects our bodies in many ways, and although our bodies have evolved to handle even high stress situations in short bursts, it's the chronic stress lasting days weeks and even months that so many people in today's society often deal with that is relatively new for our bodies and is doing the most damage.
As I sit here writing this post I am well aware of this fact... I am also well aware of the slightly painful knot that sits just below and to the inside of my shoulder blade. It is no doubt stress related; work the past month or so has been extremely stressful, and I know I am not alone when it comes to stressful jobs. Unfortunately we need our jobs if we plan to remain living in our houses and driving our cars and well eating for that matter, which leads me to believe that it (the stress) will always be there.
This of course leads me directly to the point... it's how we deal with this stress that can make all the difference in the world. There are many approaches to dealing with stress; meditation, exercise, talking it out with friends, but at the center of it all a healthy diet must be a part of your regiment. There are many nutrients (vitamins and minerals) as well as anutrients (antioxidants, caratenes, etc.) that our bodies require in order to deal with stress and the toll they take on our immune system.
It is important to address the cause and not to get caught up with trying to deal with all the many side effects as if they were independent and unrelated. If you simply pop a pill for the aches and pains, and a pill to help you sleep, and a pill to help with the anxiety then you are fighting the same losing battle that so many others get caught up in... the same losing battle that is making pharmaceutical companies very very rich.
What your body needs is nutritional support that you can only get from a healthy diet consisting of fresh organic produce and natural whole grains, a "break from the madness" in the form of daily meditation or yoga or exercise, and any of the many natural (non-medical) remedies to help deal with the many symptoms your stress has brought with it.
For me it's this painful knot in my back, and I can assure you I will not be reaching for any over-the-counter drug for pain relief.