Acupuncture and Herbs Help Depression and Anxiety

January 2001

An enormous quantity of drugs is dispensed to treat depression and anxiety. How many people really need to be on these drugs long term? Let's take a look at how Traditional Chinese Medicine views these conditions and what therapies may be helpful to those who suffer from them.

According to Chinese medical theory, depression and anxiety are general terms for disorders originating from emotion suppression. The liver is in charge of one's emotions. Emotion suppression can cause liver Qi stagnation or liver fire flaring up which will result in disharmony of body Yin‑Yang. Common symptoms are: mental depression, distress of the chest, hypochondriac pain, abdominal pain, nausea and abnormal bowel movement. The patient is aware of generalized tension and apprehension, a tendency to startle easily, and an uneasiness and nervousness at work or with people. Using acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can help the above problems and restore a new body Yin‑Yang balance.

Here is a typical success case to share with you: A.D.: He has had depression and anxiety for 5 years. He was suffering from headaches, insomnia, body trembling, nervousness and precordial pain. He was on two anti-depression pills and two tranquilizers. When he first came to my office he couldn't sit still, and even didn't want to talk to me. He almost yelled and repeated, "I have bad pain in my chest, just give me needles." I told him that 1 couldn't give him any needles before I finish my questions and have a differentiation. 1 went through four examinations quickly. His tongue edges and tip were red with a white sticky coating; pulses were thin and wiry. He does meditation and it seems to help. His blood pressure was normal 135/85. The differentiation showed that his liver Qi is ascending and liver wind is moving internally.

Acupoints used: Ren17 12, Liv 3,14, P6, H7, Sp6, 4, K3, G43
Herbs: Shi Jue Ming, Sheng Di, Dang Gui, Bai Ji, Dan Pi, Zhe Xie, etc...

I gave him a once a week schedule. He told me on the 2nd visit that the chest pain was relieved for a couple days after the 1st treatment, but now it's back. The same acu-treatment was offered. After five treatments his acupuncture schedule is down to once every 2-3 weeks.

Three months later, he told me that he feels great and tells everybody that acupuncture and Chinese herbs worked for him. He said, "I took aspirin every day before, now I don't. No more headaches, no more trembling. I sleep well. I am so much better and calmer; when other people get me upset, it doesn't bother me. I'm a different person now."