Anxiety is a feeling of fear in anticipation of a realistic or fantasized situation while depression is a feeling of intense sadness that keeps you from functioning as you normally would. The western approach to treatment for both conditions is usually very powerful pharmaceuticals. In most cases, anxiety and depression might be suppressed, but the pharmaceuticals occasionally come with unwelcome side effects. This type of treatment focuses on the symptom and does not take into consideration the entire body. It does not cure the root of the problem, just the symptoms of the problem.
To be clear, we are not against western medicine. Western medicine can do amazing things, and it is a necessary part of your life. Get your regular checkups, and for serious problems, go and see your doctors. There are, however, other ways to treat medical conditions besides heavy pharmaceuticals. Our bodies are amazing; they can actually heal themselves if we give them an opportunity. The simple act of needling (acupuncture) is just reminding the body of how it’s supposed to react and behave. Herbs can be used in conjunction with acupuncture to send reminders to the body and further promote balance. The treatments we provide work with your entire being, go to the root of the problem, and have little or no side effects.
Traditional Chinese medicine views anxiety and depression as pathogenic factors that become entrenched in the organ-meridian system of the body. These pathogenic factors are usually based in the liver, which is in charge of the movement of qi in the body. Qi, pronounced “chee,” is the life force energy that flows through your body. Early life traumas or recent life stressors remain in the body as a present factor hindering the free flow of qi. If the constant stressors from our world are allowed into our bodies, they constrict the qi in the liver channel, and perhaps block it completely. Once the flow of qi is blocked, or becomes stagnant, both emotional and physical wellness is compromised. This causes an internal tension or tightness and will result in depression, anxiety, mood swings, sighing, inappropriate anger, frustration and other symptoms.
The root of anxiety and depression is not always in the liver, but occasionally lies in the heart. The heart is responsible for the spirit of the body. Heart yin deficiency is seen when the yang rises up, thus demonstrating imbalance. Because of this imbalance, the spirit cannot settle down so you experience symptoms such as difficulty sleeping or staying asleep, vivid dreams and heart palpitations.
In both cases, acupuncture will promote balance in the body. The blockages will be opened and the qi will be free to flow as it should. Anxiety will ease and depression may fade and become nonexistent. Treatments can even be administered as a preventative measure to ensure minor issues are treated before they become major problems.
If you suffer from depression or anxiety, you’re not alone. Depression and anxiety are very common. Many of my patients suffer from some sort of anxiety or stress. One in particular had dizziness as a result of her anxiety. Her internal tightness almost seemed to block the flow to the brain, and she would get dizzy, weak, fatigued, and have trouble sleeping. About twenty minutes after being needled, she would feel a release in her chest, and fall asleep. After waking, she would feel very relaxed and calm. The result was no dizziness, no headaches, no fatigue and no anxiety. Her life is much happier and she’s in a better place. That’s the power of acupuncture.
Beyond receiving acupuncture treatments, there are other things you can do to combat anxiety and depression. Psychotherapy, yoga, certain vitamins and supplements, meditation, even something as simple as walking outside can be helpful in the treatment of anxiety and depression.
Mental discipline is also important. Our mind is a tool, it should not control us. It is not who we are. We are our connection to universal energy. When our mind takes over, it creates an imbalance. When our mind takes us to the past, we may have remorse, guilt or negative emotions. This can cause us to tumble into depression. When our mind takes us to the future, we experience anxiety. We start to worry about what is going to happen or what could happen. Mental discipline is just making sure we keep connected to the moment where we are living. Be grateful for what you have in this moment and don’t let your mind go too far into the future or too far back into the past.
Acupuncture is a very powerful, safe way of treating anxiety and depression without the side effects of pharmaceuticals. If you suffer from anxiety, depression or just overall stress, please call to make an appointment. Relief is closer than you think.