How I Treated Depression with Acupuncture
Total years in practice: 10
When Patient 1 came in to see me, there were complaints of depression. He had said that he had experienced depression after he separated from his wife a couple of years ago. He had a feeling of being stuck, unable to move on. He was resentful with very low spirits. He couldn’t seem to meet anyone new. He had insomnia, fatigue, digestive problems (bloating, weight gain), as well as an overall lack of joy. I diagnosed Patient 1 through assessing his pulses. The pulse is the most common way of diagnosing in Chinese Medicine.
After examining him for a considerable amount of time, it was discovered that there was a blood stagnation in his chest. As a result of this, dampness in the abdomen had been accumulated. In addition to this, there was a special pulse quality as well, which indicated that there was an unresolved trauma. This led to him feeling “suspended in time.” There was a very uneasy vibrating feeling on the deep level of the pulse, which was presented by the pulse quality.
On a psychological level, I was aware that Patient 1 required strength for his digestive system to function normally. The blood from his chest should also be moved. The condition led him to feel negative. Other feelings that he was suffering from included fatigue, weight gain, bloating, sluggishness and obsessive thinking. Since his blood was also stagnant in his chest, it was causing low spirits, insomnia and look forward to a brighter future. The ideal for all treatment is to discern the root of the problem and treat it.
On the basis of the diagnostic findings, I was led to believe that the primary factors behind the condition were trauma and unresolved emotions, which had stemmed right around the time when he was getting a divorce. The findings indicated a special pulse, which is often associated with having a difficult time, moving from one stage of his life to the next one. The person becomes stuck in time, unable to move on to the next “stage.” A trauma can commonly cause this. It’s almost like being hit by a car. The shock can stagnate the blood. Mental trauma can have the same effect on the body as physical trauma. When an individual experiences shock - let that be of any kind, it causes the blood to become stuck. This, in turn leads to severe physical and emotional pain.
Just as we were trying to pin-point towards one root cause of the problem, it was discovered that the inflammation caused in the stomach ended up weakening the digestive system of his body. When Patient 1 underwent the first treatment, there were major effects that took place. I treated an acupuncture channel associated with the special “trauma” pulse I found. There were several points of Acupuncture, which we discovered. These points were essentially around the blood stuck in his chest. I also chose points to bring energy back into the abdomen, which encouraged it to rise into the chest. The patient ended up feeling numerous releases of emotions, caused as a result of the acupuncture treatment. While the patient had tears at first, it didn’t take for him to overcome the emotional release and feel relieved. He had stopped crying and had become so calm that he fell asleep for some time.
When the patient woke up, he reported to us that we was feeling lightness in his chest. Another observation that was also reported by the patient was that he was feeling clarity of the mind. The patient was informed that the treatment’s effect will continue to be felt by him for a few days. I advised him to return the following week so I could assess the effects of the treatment and provide continued support. When the patient returned to my clinic next, he gladly admitted to being extremely satisfied and amazed by the results of the acupuncture treatment. He had continued to “process” old emotions throughout the week. He experienced a lot of “letting go,” and feelings of rectification of the past. He had started dreaming a lot more in his sleep and was feeling fulfilled by the amount of sleep he was having lately.I noticed the vibrating quality of his pulse had diminished. The patient was clearly pleased with the results of the acupuncture treatment. After he reported of the same, I advised to him that it is imperative that we continue his treatment but reduce the number of times he was coming in for it. He was then called in for the acupuncture treatment only once every week.
I am extremely delighted by the fact that the Patient 1 had showcased major signs of improvement post the treatment.He is now in a serious relationship, contemplating marriage and a child. He no longer feels suspended in time. His low spirits have lifted. His insomnia has fully resolved. He has lost weight and feels generally better. As a result of the treatment, his digestive systems had also returned to its normal functionality. We had arrived to a conclusion that the patient needed more support when it came to dealing with extreme emotions. It was suggested that the inability of dealing with emotions is associated with his personality. Thus, it is him, that will need to learn how to manage emotions.
We continue to work on this, regularly clearing heat from the stomach and strengthening pancreatic and liver function. There were numerous steps that had been proposed for the patient to adapt in his daily lifestyle. These suggestions aimed towards helping his digestive system to function normally. There were changes recommended to his diet and also an addition to his exercise regimes. Acupuncture sessions have numerous healing benefits. Out of the many benefits, Patient 1 was able to experience the feeling of a speedy recovery. It is an incredible feeling to see a person grow from being low and negative in life to regaining all his lost strength and positivity. It is even better to support them in their journey.
It only goes on to suggest how closely integrated the mind and the body are. Most of the treatments that take place in my clinic, usually require me to address the physiology as well as the psychology of the patient, regardless of what they might be suffering through. My experience and past education has led me to believe that it is important to address the body as well as the mind for a complete healing. The same case is relevant when it comes to treating a patient for depression that may have been caused due to a injury from a sporting accident. With every case, the strategy changes - however, the focus on both, mind as well as the body remains consistent. We need our minds to be involved to empower our immune systems. The blood must be free to rebuild body tissues. The heart is the organ in charge of circulating the blood.
The Chinese Medicine represents the heart as the abode of one’s spirit. It is the spirit of one’s body that is responsible for nourishing the tissues and cells. It is that which creates healing. If the blood is stuck, the spirit is too. Tissues will starve, the mind and emotions will feel agitated or depressed. Freeing the blood is key to all regeneration and healing. Understanding and implementing this “truth” has led to many instances of successful healing in my acupuncture clinic.