Ghana Post Digital Address: GA-018-1233

Annual Lecture in the Sciences 2017

Stress and rest are two biological phenomena that are inextricably linked with physiological systems in dynamic equilibrium. These two scientific phenomena normally exist, appositely, in a stable state. In other words, whereas stress presents distressing physiology, rest, on the  contrary, mitigates reassuringly and calms the nerves. When stress or tension is applied to biology, the normal stable state becomes disturbed and agitated. The tension or stress that causes the disturbance is somehow positively adjusted by the system itself so that the original equilibrium state is restored. This is a natural phenomenon that has been variously expressed as ‘‘The General Adaptation Syndrome’’ by Hans Selye, or as ‘’The Principle of Le Châtelier’’, alternatively known as ‘’The Equilibrium Law’’. The principle is named after Henry Louis Le Châtelier and sometimes Karl Ferdinand Braun
who discovered it independently.

In this lecture, there is evidence to demonstrate that whereas chronic stress saps energy and promotes disease, rest, on the contrary, essentially mitigates fatigue and debilitates effects of disease. The role of enzymes and hormones used as biological tools facilitate the process of sustaining human health. This is emphasized in this
public communication. Pharmacodynamic modulation is a scientific principle that can be applied to mobilize physiological factors to ensure sustainable human health. Pertinent reference, in the lecture, is made to endogenous substances such as adrenaline, cortisol, histamine, cyclic adenosine monophosphate (Cyclic AMP) and also to the hypothalamo pituitary adrenal axis to illustrate pharmacodynamic modulation for
sustainable human health. 

The immune system also provides natural defense against stress, and this is illustrated in the lecture as constituting a necessary provision for rest following biological stress. 

The lecture, furthermore, endorses the need to practice prudent life styles to ensure that there is appropriate and sufficient rest to provide it when the need is required. In that regard there must be a significant rest component, particularly for those whose regular commitment to work entails much biological exertion and stress. The impact of stress without adequate rest on nationals of any country can be intensely devastating to economic development and growth of all nations. In Ghana, like all other nations, loss of revenue reflects loss of work time which invariably correlates stress time.

Progress in social life is also closely linked with the general pattern of stress and rest that reflects general behavior and societal mood.