Stress can be considered a silent killer. The social pressures add to the already overwhelming responsibilities and demands of daily life and survival. Stress affects every level of our lives and impacts us on a mental, physical, emotional and spiritual level, and leads to the two most common disorders, depression and axiety. Both disorders that involves how people feel, behave, and how they react to certain situations in and around them. Depression, a state of low mood and aversion to activity, can affect a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings and physical well-being. Often feeling sad, anxious, guilty, irritable, restless, worthless, hopeless, or helpless, depressed patients may loss interest in activities that once attracted them. They may also experience loss of appetite or overeating and fall in troubles of concentrating on something, remembering details or making decision, and most seriously, may contemplate or attempt a suicide.
The number of depressed people is constantly increasing recently around the world. According to a survey in 2010 of the World Health Organization (WHO), the average incidence of global depression is around 11% and about 340 million people are diagnosed as depression. At the same time, about 15 million American adults suffer from depression.
Mood disorders and several diseases can cause clinic depression. Mood disorder, considered to be the primary factor of depression and some other psychiatric diseases, is the result of some life events including personal conflicts or disputes with family members or friends, bereavement, moving, losing a job or income, divorce, retirement, social isolation, and social rejection. In addition, a number of infectious diseases and physiological problems may lead to depression. These diseases, often called non-psychiatric illnesses, mainly refer to Addison’s disease, Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis, sleep apnea and disturbed circadian rhythm.
What's the traditional way to deal with depression and axiety?
Today, taking antidepressant and anti-anxiety drugs is the main choice to control depression in America for those who do not know much about Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture. According to the Physicians’ Desk Reference, the top antidepressant drugs only address signs and symptoms associated with depression, which is why they provide only temporary relief. Despite of the short term benefit, they can cause a variety of adverse effects, including impaired function of kidney and liver, agranulocytosis, insomnia, anxiety, listlessness, fatigue, body rash, tremors, facial tics, diarrhea, loss of appetite and sexual dysfunction. So, to effectively curb and harness depression and finally keep health, we should search a more nature, safe, drug-free and effective way. In addition, people with mental illness are more susceptible to other medical conditions due to their lifestyle and side effects of medication. Taking an integrative approach and addressing these issues are crucial to the recovery and wellbeing of these people. Then, there comes to TCM and acupuncture.
Why Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine is effective in treating depression and axiety?
According to the theories of TCM, there is a powerful interplay between our body and emotions, the two are inseparable. For instance, when we experience emotional upset or physical problems, our internal environment becomes disrupted. Over time, this disruption, if left untreated or aggravated, would lead to what an acupuncturist calls “stagnant” or “depressed” Qi. From the perspective of TCM, Qi is the vital energy that animates the body and protects it from illness. The passage in which Qi flows through the body is called meridians. Physical and/or emotional symptoms, in turn, will occur when Qi within the meridians becomes stagnant or depressed. It is a vicious circle accompanies with depressed patients. Practitioners of acupuncture and TCM fully understand this situation and are specifically trained to unlock the meridians and promote the flow of Qi within the human body.
How does Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine work to treat depression and axiety?
When you accept acupuncture treatment, we will first evaluate your physical and emotional condition patiently and passionately, and write down your symptoms, signs and other information used for diagnose. Secondly, we will find out where Qi has been stagnant or depressed and how the imbalance going in the body. Thirdly, we will work out a practical and unique plan for your treatment. Finally and most importantly, we will carry out the treatment focused toward balancing and activating the Qi by manipulating corresponding points on body.
The effectiveness of acupuncture has been recorded and demonstrated in many clinic reports. The Shanghai journal of traditional Chinese medicine, 2012, January 31 (1) "four god will cover acupuncture point (Chinese shiatsu name) for the treatment of depression curative effects", for example, declared that the rate of total effectiveness of the treatment group is 83.3%.
In sum, TCM and acupuncture can not only simply and effectively help to alleviate the signs and symptoms involved with depression, but also address the root causes and underlying imbalances that have contributed to the problem, safely and naturally.