Life has its ups and downs, so it’s normal to feel disappointed, discouraged, and sad from time to time. What’s not normal, however, is when those feelings last for more than several weeks and affect day-to-day living. If this is the case, you may be suffering from depression.
One of the most common mental disorders in the United States, major depression affects about 10 million people a year. Fortunately, there are a number of treatment options available, including acupuncture and other Chinese medicine therapies.
At Integrated Oriental Medicine in Seattle and Bellevue, Washington, Dr. Beijing Men and his team use Chinese medicine to restore your health and energy and help you find balance in your life. They perform a thorough evaluation in their comforting environment and offer alternative solutions using traditional techniques like acupuncture, herbal medicine, qigong, tuina (therapeutic massage), and more.
Whether they’re treating depression, back pain, migraines, infertility, or something else, they always give a thorough explanation of Chinese medicine and how each treatment works.
What are the symptoms of depression?
Symptoms of depression vary from person to person. They can include:
- Sleeping and/or eating too little or too much
- A decrease in energy levels
- Persistent physical symptoms like headaches and chronic pain
- Feeling hopeless, pessimistic, or sad
- Having suicidal thoughts
- Restlessness, irritability, and trouble concentrating
What causes depression?
A variety of factors can lead to or contribute to depression including:
- Imbalanced brain chemicals
- Environmental influences
- Lack of sleep
- Certain medications
Experts in Chinese medicine believe depression can be caused by the retardation of qi (chi) and the accumulation of phlegm. While there is no exact word in English to translate qi, it is often described as one’s energy.
Without a sufficient amount of qi, the body cannot maintain its yin and yang (the harmony of seemingly opposite forces), and balance is disrupted in the form of illness and pain. Typically, depression is classified into one of three categories:
- Liver qi stagnation (the most common)
- Kidney deficiency
- Yin and yang separation
How can Chinese medicine remedies help treat depression?
After you have been diagnosed with depression and other possible causes — like drug-induced depression or depression caused by chronic illness — are ruled out, Dr. Men and his team develop a comprehensive treatment plan.
Acupuncture is a key component and used to restore mental clarity and calm the heart and mind. With a history going back more than 3,000 years, acupuncture employs sterile, ultra-thin needles to access specific points in the body to release pain, encourage energy flow, and provide for proper blood flow.
Infrared or moxibustion (the burning of herbs with the resulting heat applied to specific body points) may be used in conjunction with acupuncture.
Additional treatments can include tuina, a therapeutic massage that can help relieve neck muscle tension, and a special depression herbal formula created to disperse the liver qi, increase the available energy in the kidney and harmonize the yin and yang.
If you’ve been suffering from a depressed mood or decreased interest in activities you once enjoyed, call or click to book an appointment with Dr. Men today and explore treatment options found in Chinese medicine.