Western medicine views depression as an imbalance of brain chemistry while Chinese medicine views it as a problem of the chest, liver, and heart. Patterns include stagnation of qi and blood, accumulation of dampness, heat in the heart, qi and blood deficiency and others. Generally, some kind of restraint is present in the form of repressed emotions, grief, sadness, or a feeling of hopelessness or “stuckness”. If left untreated, depression can begin to affect many other organ systems and lead to a depleted condition.
Symptoms of depression range from minor demoralization to major depression in which a person may not want to get out of bed in the morning. Appetite changes, reduced sex drive, constant fatigue, anxiety, withdrawal from social situations, sleep disturbances and digestive problems can all be symptoms of depression.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs along with cognitive behavioral therapy can help reduce the symptoms of depression and calm the mind. Ideally, treatment should be once or twice a week to address your particular pattern of imbalance.
Studies have shown that receiving acupuncture increases "feel good" endorphins and enkephalins to improve mood. It also works on an energetic level to move stuck energy in the body and allow the free flow of emotions to pass through us.
If we are stressed, we can be in a state of "fight or flight" that keeps us physiologically unwell. Because acupuncture supports the parasympathetic nervous systems, it can shift our state into one of "rest and digest" and provide relief on not only to our mind and moods, but also our immune, digestive, and other body systems.
Suggestions for improving your mood: