In Chinese Medicine depression is seen as a mental emotional problem and has many different aspects to it. Depression is mainly understood by looking at both the mind and the spirit. I will begin talking about several areas which will include the nature of the mind, the spiritual aspects of the human being, the effects of the emotion on the mind and spirit, as well as the prevention of these problems. The Mind in Chinese medicine is also called the shen and it is the most important part of the body. The word shen means spirit or soul and creates thinking, worrying, insight, memory as well as how we translate ideas in our individual world. For these reasons alone, it is very crucial that our minds are free and clear as well as open rather than bogged down by many dreary thoughts.
Thinking depends on the Mind. If the Mind is strong than the thoughts will be clear, if the Mind is weak, than the thoughts will be slow and dull. Memory has to do with the ability to remember thoughts and also depend on those thoughts as a reference. If the Mind is healthy than the Heart will also have a strong consciousnesss and insight. If the Heart is disturbed than the patient will suffer from poor sleep, memory will be weak, their insight abilities will suffer and their conscious will be muddled.
The soul is responsible for maintaining a normal balance in life. Emotions are part of our normal mental health, although we all experience, anger, sadness, worry, and fear, it is more about the degree to which we tend to have these many emotions. For example, I currently treat a patient who was taking antipressant medicine for about ten months and came to me to try a different approach because of his reactions to his medication and his lack of sexual arousal. As far as his medications are concerned, I cannot take him off of these since I am not a medial doctor but I can introduce herbs and acupuncture to remedy his situation. He began coming twice a week and was given two Chinese formulas. Over a period of two months, he began to feel less anxious and became much happier and decided to approach his western doctor regarding going down on his milligrams. The doctor, being so impressed with him decided to go along with his requests. During the treatments I requested that this patient begin to exercise as well as monitor the type of foods he was eating. The results were astounding and within three more months the patient was off his medication and smiling quite a lot.
In Chinese Medicine, I have found that it is also the idea of stagnation which creates many problems. By creating physical activities the patient seems to get rid of this tendency. Of course many people are now preaching diet as well as exercise can account for many changes within an individual, although I feel that treatments as well as herbs can really make many profound changes. The idea of all of these protocols together will easily eliminate depression, mood swings, lack of sleep, lack of interest in the world around you as well as the idea of fatigue and diminished abilities of thought. There are also different degrees of depression as well as different reasons for it’s occurrence. Acupuncture has shown positive results in changing the neurotransmitter levels in the brain which is what several western medications so as well.