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Anxiety and Depression: Chinese Medicine perspective
Chinese Medicine categorizes organs into five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal and water). When the Qi is balanced, the flow between each organ is smooth. When there is an imbalance due to injury, stress, poor nutrition or toxic chemicals, the flow of Qi becomes disrupted. Much like cars on the freeway: If there is an accident, traffic on the freeway will be slowed down or halted. Some cars will be diverted to the nearest exit, causing more traffic jams. Others might be stuck in place for a while. Drivers get frustrated or upset as their day has been disrupted or they are late to work.
This analogy is similar to our body. Each organ has its flow of Qi on its channel. Some carries nutrients to various parts of the body. Others move fluids down to the Kidneys. When Qi is stuck or blocked, it caused disharmony. Organs cannot do their work. Much like in traffic accidents, Organs get ‘frustrated’ and Qi get disturbed. This causes our body to experience health issues.
2) However, when the ‘accident ‘is cleared, traffic moves again. The word Qi might seem foreign or archaic for some. To me, Qi is just another way of describing chemical reactions taking place in the body.
Using acupuncture to stimulate various points in the body, the imbalances can be corrected and the body can be returned to harmony.
The 5 Emotions and Mind-Body Connection
Five emotions represented by the five elements are: Eat a light meal prior to your appointment to prevent
– Water (fear)
– Wood (anger)
– Fire (happiness)
– Earth (worry)
– Metal (grief)
The mind and body is closely related and work in synergy. When the elements are in the state of imbalance, the result has deep psychological effect on the body.
By palpating the channels, looking at the tongue and taking the pulse, a trained and certified Chinese Medicine Practitioner can locate imbalance in the body. Using points on arms, legs or on the body, needles will be placed to balance the flow. Acupuncture can cause the nervous system to produce painkilling chemicals, jump-start the body’s natural ability to heal itself, or stimulate the part of the brain that controls emotions, including anxiety.
Research and Studies
In research done by CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics, acupuncture is comparable to cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which psychologists commonly use to treat anxiety (Errington-Evans, 2011).
In another related study appeared in Journal of Endocrinology, March 2013: Stress hormones were lower in rats after receiving electric acupuncture (Eshkevari, Permaul and Mulroney, 2013). It also slows the body’s production of stress hormones.
People treated with acupuncture often see results after one session, and the results improve with continued treatment. With frequent acupuncture sessions, one can regulate the body’s chemical balance naturally, taper off certain medication and eventually stop its long-term use. However, always work with your Primary Care Physician to wean off medication properly.
Risk and Benefit
In Allopathic medicine, some prescription drugs can have serious side effects and can lead to dependency. Acupuncture has side effects as well. These may include bruising and dizziness. Working with a trained Chinese Medicine Practitioner, the risks are almost nonexistent and far outweighed by the potential benefits.
Getting started with acupuncture
If you are already receiving treatment for anxiety, adding acupuncture to your current regimen will be beneficial. Acupuncture works faster to balance the body and help keep you drug-free in the long run. Other benefits include better sleep and jumpstart the healing of the mind and body.
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The material on this web site is provided for educational purposes only and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.