The faltering economy, potential job loss, post holiday blues, mounting bills, falling home prices, depression can and does affect many these days. It’s estimated that there are about 8 million Americans that are afflicted with this condition.
Depression is characterized by daily or near daily physical tiredness, lack of energy or motivation, unexplainable sadness and melancholy, emotional or physical withdrawal, and anxiety or feelings of worthlessness. Rapid weight gain or loss without major changes to diet is also commonly seen as well as insomnia or excess sleeping.
Drug therapy has flourished with the current epidemic; the most commonly used drugs such as Effexor, Paxil, Zoloft, Wellbutrin and others work by increasing the availability of the brains chemical messengers, these are neuro transmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine. All of these medications have potential side effects, must be taken on a regular basis to be effective, and shouldn’t be stopped abruptly.
With Traditional Chinese Medicine our goal is to define the underlying patterns or “root” causes that lead to depression.
Many depressed individuals have Liver energetic disharmonies. In Chinese Medicine the Liver is associated with feelings of anger and frustration; prolonged feelings of this nature can cause this energetic to become stuck or stagnant. This pattern that causes depression is called “Liver Qi Stagnation”. Acupuncture and herbal therapy is very effective on treating this pattern.
Lung imbalances are also implicated in depression; the emotions associated with lung energetics are grief and sadness. Lung energetics govern or control Qi (Energy), when uncontrolled sadness and grief are present they deplete this Lung Qi. Other symptoms that may be present with this imbalance include a weak voice, tiredness, pale complexion, slight breathlessness, and a feeling of oppression in the chest.
Acupuncture, combined with Chinese herbs can be a very effective alternative for treating mild to moderate depression, anxiety, and the stresses of everyday life we face in this day and age. If your one of the 8 million affected consider this approach as one of your alternatives.