Depression affects our normal functioning and has symptoms, both psychological and physical. Medicines and methods that are available today, generally treats depression, with the use of anti-depressant drugs and phycotherapy. These treatments, do not address the specific symptoms to find a solution. This is where, the approach by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) differs. They do not diagnose depression as a specific illness but treats the specific symptoms of an individual in a variety of ways. These forms of treatment are by way of massage, Chinese herbs and acupuncture.
Acupuncture for depression, has been found to have a comprehensive and positive effect on patients. This was especially true when acupuncture was used along with herbal treatments and psychotherapy. Acupuncture strives to address the body as a whole. That is, the mind, spirit and emotions. he process is accompanied by life-style counselling, energy-cultivation exercises, diet and herbology. The objective being, to create harmony within ourselves and with the outside world. TMC recognizes that intellect and feeling, exist in the cells of our body. Chinese medicine appreciates that, a person is depressed because of scarce or stagnant energy. Or an imbalance in the two polar opposites i. e. the ying and yang. This imbalance can take many different forms. The acupuncturist determines them, by evaluating the tongue, pulse, palpitation, posture, and skin tone, brightness of the eyes, voice, smell and behaviour of the person.
The TCM diagnosis will define and outline harmony or disharmony. The state of the spirit, essence, blood, energy, fluids, organs and channels are assessed. In our body, there are fourteen main channels, called rivers of energy. These channels run through our body and are connected with each other. On the surface of our body, there are more than 365 acupoints which are called wells or vortexes. From these acupoints, it is possible to tap into the energy rivers that flow beneath. Each acupoint, has several fuctions. When a needle is placed in the acupoint, it facilitates the flow of life force. Energy is brought back in areas where they are lacking and in zones of stagnation, the flow of energy is released.
The different acupoints on the body are the gateway to resolving the problems that besiege a person. Lung points are used to resolve grief. Where there is an absence of joy, heart points are utilised. Anger or depression is resolved by using liver points. Kidney points are used to treat shock or fear. To settle the spirit and move energy, the needles are placed on the head, stomach, the lower arms and lower legs.
Acupuncture for depression is a pleasant, restful and totally energizing experience. The acupuncture needles are hair thin and sterile. These needles are never used twice. The whole experience of inserting the needles is generally painless. A pulling sensation or soreness means that your qi or vital energy has connected with the needle. The person is made comfortable and suitably draped. The whole experience is one of comfort and peace as your body gets back into equilibrium.
Acupuncture, focuses on treating the basic root cause of imbalance in a person's body. These causes may vary from person to person. But as acupuncture attends to a specific problem, the cause of depression can be addressed and resolved.