Creating Mental and Emotional Wellness with Acupuncture and TCM

A woman sitting in the lotus position with her legs crossed.We must all occasionally deal with major upheavals or emotional distress at some points in our lives. These events can trigger a host of unexpected feelings and behaviors from depression and panic attacks to major disruptions in sleep and eating. Not only can acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine alleviate symptoms associated with mental health issues, it can treat the root cause of the problem by helping to rebalance the body’s internal environment.

Mental health disorders are medical conditions that disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others, and daily functioning, which result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.

Serious mental illnesses include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and borderline personality disorder. The good news about mental disorders is that recovery is often possible. Mental disorders can affect persons of any age, race, religion, or income.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine theory (TCM), mental illness occurs when there is an imbalance within the body. Imbalance can come from an excess or deficiency of yin and yang that disrupts the flow of qi or energy through the body.

Traditional Chinese Medicine does not recognize any mental disorder as one particular syndrome. Instead, it aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual using a variety of techniques such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, bodywork, lifestyle/dietary recommendations, and energetic exercises to restore imbalances found in the body. Therefore, if 100 patients are treated with TCM for anxiety, each of these 100 people will receive a unique, customized treatment with different acupuncture points, different herbs, and different lifestyle and diet recommendations.

TCM can offer an entirely new method of healing for patients suffering from mental health issues. Depression is most commonly discussed, but ailments like anxiety, mania, various phobias, stress, and even schizophrenia can be alleviated by traditional Chinese medical methods like acupuncture, herbal treatment, massage, and qi gong exercises. Above all, patients may find it refreshing that the very process of diagnosis in TCM is different than in Western medicine. The TCM process is thought to be more personal, taking an increased amount of history and examination into account to design a unique treatment tailored to the patient, one that addresses both symptoms and the pattern of disturbance in the energetic equilibrium of the body.

Sandra Moynan-Longworth  R. Ac, R.TCMP

Registered Acupuncturist and

Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner