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Treating Depression, Anxiety and Insomnia with Chinese Medicine
[dropcap]E[/dropcap]veryone wants to be happy and avoid suffering and pain. Our body’s nervous system hardwires us to pursue this attainment. So when anxiety, depression, stress or insomnia affect us, we understandably seek a relief from our afflictions. Western medicine offers drug and talk therapy for these conditions. Working with a trained professional is helpful to identify and work with the cause of our mental unrest. But many do not wish to go this route. More and more I hear from patients that they don’t want to take pharmaceuticals, due to side effects and long-term nature of the therapy. Many depression and anxiety drugs are difficult to get off of once started.
Chinese Medicine has effectively treated mood disorders for over 2,000 years
Chinese medicine offers a different approach to treating shen disorders. Shen is the Chinese word referring to the concept of the mind-spirit. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has a long history of treating shen, or mood disorders, dating back to the Han dynasty in China (206 BC–220 AD). At that time, Dr. Zhang Zhongjing, an eminent Chinese physician and the father of modern, Chinese herbal medicine, wrote a formula called Rambling Powder to promote a free and easy, rambling spirit for those who feel tense, uptight, angry and irritable. This formula remains one of the most widely used and popular herbal formulas today, as westerners lives are stressful. In fact, I use a variation of this ancient prescription as my go-to formula for insomnia, as it is highly effective.
How Acupuncture treats depression, anxiety & insomnia
With Chinese medicine, we use a combination of acupuncture and herbal therapy to effectively treat mood disorders. Acupuncture induces a deep, relaxed state, quite helpful for those who are tense and stressed. Studies show acupuncture releases endorphins in the brain which lift the mood, and are responsible for giving runners their high.
I use Balance Method TM acupuncture We have certain treatment protocols with Balance Method that effectively calm the mind to treat mood disorders, such as anxiety or insomnia.
How do Chinese herbs treat emotional problems?
Chinese herbal therapy is used instead of drugs to treat mood disorders. I compound customized formulas that address the nuances of each patient’s individual condition. Certain herbs have the ability to calm the mind (wheat does this). Heavy medicinals, such as shells (abalone and oyster) settle the shen, useful for treating anxiety and insomnia. These herbs are combined with others that address the underlying problem.
Can Chinese medicine help me to stop taking drugs?
For those who are on medications, Chinese medicine can effectively treat the mood issue so that you can stop taking the drug. I have reduced and eliminated prescription drugs for many patients in my clinic with uncomplicated depression, anxiety and insomnia. For mild conditions reducing and eliminating drugs is generally easy to do under a physicians or pharmacist’s guidance. For more serious shen conditions, such as bi-polar disorder, working with your psychiatrist is required to safely decrease the dosage of your medication.
How long will I need to come for treatment?
The length of treatment really depends on the patient and the severity of the problem. In Chinese medicine we think in terms of courses of treatment. One course being 10-12 acupuncture treatments or weeks of herbal medicine. Shen conditions usually take more than one course of treatment to resolve. I usually recommend beginning with weekly acupuncture treatments. As the patient begins feeling better, treatments can be reduced to 10 day intervals, and later bi-weekly treatments, while the herbs are continued. The chronicity and severity of the condition will determine the length of treatment. Mild, short-terms problems respond sooner, and more in-trenched, long-term issues take longer to resolve. Given time, emotional problems do respond well to Chinese medicine. I have seen many cases of depression, anxiety and insomnia become symptom free with Chinese medical treatment.
Thank you for your help. I believe the acupuncture and herbs helped get me back on track to better health. At least I feel I’m in a better place to handle my emotions from these most recent blows – loss of job and my beloved, long time friend . . . my cat . . . Thanks again for your help in getting me to a better place to be able to handle these curves.
Peace, Gwynne Sylva, NC
Thanks so much for helping me. I’m making so many life changes at once and you’re the core at ensuring that I can handle it all and come out on the other side happier and healthier. I trust in all of your expertise and think you’re a pretty cool chick on top of all that!
Karen Stryker, Asheville NC