Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine have been traditionally used to treat and help manage emotional disorders. These emotional disorders may include depression, anxiety or stress. According to Chinese Medicine, when an individual experience an emotion that is too intense, sudden or prolong will definitely lead to the dysfunction of the Qi (Life Force Energy) and Blood. Later on it will lead to the imbalance of the internal organs. Through the use of acupuncture or with the combination of herbal medicine, the body and mind are able to reconnect again thus restoring mental and physical health. Some studies have suggested that acupuncture has shown clinical and economic benefits for people who suffer from depression (1). Acupuncture can also be a good concurrent treatment along with conventional western medicine for mental health.
What is depression?
While it is normal to experience a low mood from time to time, some individual experience depressive mood more intensely and for longer periodsof times, it could be months or even years. This mental health disorder can be range from mild to very serious.
Although symptoms and signs do vary from individual to individual,most people with depression tend to display most of these signs:
· Low spirits
· Sighing in despair
· Tendency to sorrow
· Lack of interest
· Feeling hopeless
· Guilt/ shame
· Idea or action of suicide
· Loss of appetite/ Digestive issue
· Change in sleep pattern (Insomnia or excessivesleeping)
· Fatigue/ aches and pain
What is stress?
Stress refers to a feeling of being constantly under pressure. Alittle bit of stress is sometimes desirable in life and can even be beneficial. It can allow us to stay motivated and adapt to the changes in our lives, and sometimes necessary for our only survival. However, too much of it can lead to the imbalance of the body and often predispose to serious illnesses such as hormonal issues, hypertension, diabetes, stroke, depression, chronic fatigue,etc.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety disorder refers to an individual who is constantlyin an uncomfortable state of mind in which they fear or worry about the future.Anxiety can be your body’s natural response to stressful situations however too much of it or feeling excessive anxiety can cause imbalance to the body. People with an anxiety disorder may tend to display the following symptoms, feel nervous, restless, sighing, shortness of breath, fatigue, heart palpitation and muscletightness.
Depression, stress & anxiety – Chinese Medicine perspective
According to Chinese Medicine, the most common cause of emotional disorders could be due to the dysfunction of the free-flowing Qi. It is because of the quick-paced lifestyle, financial burden, relationship issue, improperdiet or stress from work that can all cause our free flow of energy or Qi to become stagnated. Once our Qi becomes stagnate and is not moving freely then emotional disorder such as depression, stress or anxiety will start to take form. If this stagnation is allowed to stay in the body for a long period of time then organs imbalance will also occur. Symptoms of these imbalances may include but not limited to loss of appetite, hormonal issues, Irritable bowel syndrome, Chronic Fatigue etc.
Through using Acupuncture and Herbal medicine we are able to reestablish the free flow of energy and release the stagnation within the body. By reestablishing the free flow of energy and restoring the imbalance of the organs we are able to reconnect the body and spirit and assisting our patient to reach an equilibrium state of mind.
Please look after your mental health during thesedifficult times and reach out to your health practitioner if you requireadditional support.
Useful Resources for mental health
1. MacPherson H,Vickers A, Bland M, Torgerson D, Corbett M, Spackman E, Saramago P, Woods B,Weatherly H, Sculpher M, Manca A, Richmond S, Hopton A, Eldred J, Watt I. Acupuncture for chronic pain and depression in primary care: a programme of research. Southampton (UK): NIHR Journals Library; 2017 Jan. PMID: 28121095.