How to choose an acupuncturist

Acupuncture to Relieve Depression During the Holidays

The added stress of the holiday season makes it the opportune time to consult an acupuncturist for the care of your emotional health. When a patient presents depression, many factors are to be considered before choosing a course of treatment. Symptoms can vary from feeling blue to extreme despair. It is important to understand how depression is assessed in Chinese medicine. It is vital to be aware of the wide range of symptoms and the degree of disruption the patient is experiencing in their daily life. A multidisciplinary approach to care may be the best solution in providing the greatest relief.

Inspection is the process Chinese medicine describes as the first step of an acupuncturist in assessing a patient’s condition. We observe the physical characteristics of the eyes, hair, nails, and skin. We look at the tongue! That is why it is not uncommon to be asked to stick out your tongue during an examination.  Tongue diagnosis is one of the distinguishing methods in patient evaluation. The characteristic color, shape, and coating identify the health of the body from the inside out. We can tell from the tongue if there are pathogens in your body and to what degree.

Pulse palpation is the second distinguishing method of evaluation of Chinese medicine. We palpate the pulse on both wrists, feeling for the quality of each pulse. We record characteristics like floating or deep and tight or weak. Like the tongue, the pulse gives the practitioner one more pieces of the puzzle. If there is excess heat in your body, your pulse will present rapidly. Likewise, if there is excess cold, your pulse will be slow and deep. Determining any imbalance of heat, cold, damp, or phlegm in the body is part of the process of identifying the underlying cause of disease. We believe that some pathogens are the main cause of illness that lead to an imbalance in the body and eventually poor health.

After a thorough history and physical exam, a pattern emerges from which we can formulate a plan for care. Combining the results of our exam with the theories of Chinese medicine allows us to determine which acupuncture points will produce the desired results. The Theory of Five Elements provides a foundation of achieving them. The elements of water, wood, fire, earth, and metal have organ and tissue correlations: water/kidneys; wood/liver;  fire/heart; earth/spleen; and metal/lungs. The emotions of fear, anger, joy, pensiveness, and sadness are also associated with each element: fear/kidneys, anger/liver, joy/heart, pensiveness/spleen, sadness/metal. These associations allow us to create a customized treatment plan for restoring emotional health.

These organ relationships of the five elements are intricate and require careful balance to achieve optimal health. Feelings of depression and other emotional disturbances can result from pathogens that have affected one or more organs, causing a body imbalance. We aim to restore  balance through manipulating acupuncture points associated with each organ’s function. The kidneys, liver, heart, spleen, and lungs have specific energies and qualities outlined in Chinese medicine. Mappings, or what we call meridians over designated body parts, are specific to each organ. Throughout each meridian lie acupuncture points. Each point has a specific effect when manipulated. It not only affects the function of a specific organ’s meridian, but it can have an effect on other organ functions as well. 

Chinese medicine refers to the energy in the body as Qi (Che). It is the vital life force that flows through the body. All emotions have an effect on Qi. Balance in the body is achieved when our Qi is flowing smoothly. Disruption of the flow of Qi causes an imbalance, leading to illness. Depression can result from the disruption in the flow of Qi. In short, it gets stuck or stagnates. This is one common pattern we see with depression.  As acupuncturists, we manipulate the movement of Qi in the body to produce or restore balance; this includes rebalancing the emotions.

We all have experienced feelings of sadness. If this applies to you, consult a health care professional when symptoms persist for over two weeks. It may include a loss of interest in daily activities. In addition, visit your local acupuncturist for holistic health care options. The added stress during holiday time can have a real impact on your health. During this time, it is essential to incorporate healthy lifestyle practices that include a diet enriched with whole foods and mood-enhancing supplements. Make exercise and practices like Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Yoga, and meditation a routine. Take advantage of Mother Nature and indulge in walks or related interests in the outdoors to elevate your mood. Start each day with gratitude and positive affirmations. Enjoy quality time with family and friends this holiday season!

She Is You
Make sure to sign up for our newsletter to be the first to hear about new events, articles, and everything She Is You!
follow me
1 Comment
  • Debbie Werner
    Posted at 09:20h, 01 December Reply

    The theory of sadness is metal is lungs is relatable as sadness seems to bring a tightening of the chest. Good stuff. Looking forward to refreshing my self care to help with the holiday load. THANKS!

Post A Comment

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Be the first to hear about new events, products and all things She Is You!