Mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, and too much stress are clearly on the rise. Despite having more comforts, and increased technological advancements, mental health issues are on the rise. In addition, we are still learning about the consequences of the covid pandemic, and its negative impacts on mental health.
This explains why mental health issues are among the most commonly treated disorders in our clinic.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine have been used to treat mental health disorders for thousands of years. Mental health issues are known as a disturbance of the “shen”, which is the “spirit” of a person. Our system of medicine has always understood the link between the mind and body; they are simply inseparable.
In fact negative emotions are considered the single largest cause of illness according to traditional Chinese medicine.
Anxiety can take the form of a generalized anxiety disorder where you feel excessive worry for little or no reason. Or it can take on a more severe form of panic attacks, where you feel terror that comes on randomly. Of course you can experience anything in between as well.
According to Western medicine, there is no clear cause for anxiety, but it can be associated with other mental or physical disorders, or from side effects of medication.
External factors that can lead to anxiety are stress from a variety of sources, drug use, other medical illnesses, and a lack of oxygen from pulmonary disorders or high altitude.
Depression is characterized as a low mood that lasts for at least two consecutive weeks, and interferes with your daily activities. Like anxiety – depression can be experienced on a spectrum, ranging from feeling “low” to intense feelings of grief, apathy, or even suicidal thoughts and tendencies.
The truth is that anyone can become depressed. Having said that, it appears that genetics play a large role in understanding who is most likely to become depressed.
If you have an immediate family member with depression, than your risk of developing this disorder is higher. As well, women are two times more likely to suffer from depression than their male counterparts.
Depression can occur for a variety of other reasons ranging from abuse and conflict, personal problems, loss of a loved one, major life changes, serious illness, side effects of medications, and from substance abuse.
Feeling sad, helpless and having difficulty with concentration and sleeping are common symptoms for depression.
Some stress is fine, and even beneficial – but it seems more and more people are feeling the negative effects of too much stress. It could be from making month end, a tight work deadline, toxic relationships, or from some other issue in life. Regardless of the cause of the elevated stress levels, too much stress can wear a person down and lead to illness on mental and physical level.
We’ve all heard the term “fight or flight”. Fight or flight is the body’s response to stress, whether actual or perceived. When a person feels threatened a chemical reaction occurs that leads to an increased heart rate and blood pressure, quicker breathing, and tighter muscles – all to help you either run for your life, or to fight for it.
We are able to handle small doses of stress, but it is longstanding chronic stress that has a negative impact on our health and wellbeing.
Too much stress on a person’s nervous system can lead to dysfunction in any system of the body, or can lead to mental health issues like a nervous breakdown. Making lifestyle changes, learning coping mechanisms, increasing exercise, counseling or therapy, and following through on difficult decisions can all help a person manage their mental health and well being.
Yet sometimes we need treatment.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are effective treatment options for stress
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are effective treatment options to help balance stress levels or treat mental health issues. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen a patient feel the euphoria of an acupuncture treatment as they leave the clinic with the classic look of an endorphin release on their face.
How many times has a patient come back reporting how much better they are feeling since taking herbs we prescribed for them, like my Master’s famous “anxiety combo”.
If you are feeling anxious, stressed out, or depressed please come in to see what treatment options we have available to help you feel better.