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As mental health issues have come to the forefront in recent years, many have sought more natural treatment options that don’t involve pharmaceuticals and their potentially harmful effects. Acupuncture has become a popular option for treating mental health issues, including depression. But does it work? Before we answer that question, let’s give a proper definition to both acupuncture and depression. continue reading
The study and practice of acupuncture and acupressure have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years as an ancient healing technique in combination with herbal medicine and energy cultivation. Acupressure and acupuncture apply the same principles, but acupressure uses the hands to apply manual pressure on acu-points, instead of needles to achieve the desired results. continue reading
Major depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the United States, with an estimated 17.3 million people reporting that they’ve experienced at least one or more major depressive episodes in their lives 1. For some individuals, depression can impair and interfere with their ability to carry out everyday responsibilities and participate in life’s many roles. With the stress of COVID-19 and its related effects, feelings of sadness and helplessness can be magnified by loss of routine and financial uncertainty. That’s why it’s now more important than ever to take care of one’s self by eating nutritiously.
A study published by the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine looked at the holistic effects of acupuncture treatments. The study looked at how acupuncture treatments were conducted and evaluated. One of the areas this study looked at is how acupuncture influences the function of the brain. By using functional MRI imaging, the researchers were able to see that certain areas of the brain were stimulated during the acupuncture treatments. The study confirmed acupuncture on specific points can activate motivation centers in the brain, thus leading to increased physical motivation in the participants.
Everybody experiences times when they have lack motivation. Lack of motivation can be caused by many things: the weather, nutritional deficiencies, lack of physical activity/sunlight/sleep and yes, also by physical distancing, lack of routine, stress, threat of viral infection and unexpected semi-quarantining for over the last two months!
Motivation brings yang energy into our lives, and a lack of it is detrimental to one’s health. Even though we all know we should be exercising, eating nutritiously and getting proper sleep, many of us can easily fall into patterns where this is not the case. These unhealthy patterns can become bad habits that can actually help create and perpetuate depression, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, weight gain and digestive ailments, just to name a few. We might tell ourselves that we don’t have the time or motivation, but these are just negative (and non-productive) dialogues that we have within ourselves. EVERYBODY has time to care for themselves. Self-care is a conscious choice that we must make.
Acupuncture/acupressure, Chinese herbs and lifestyle recommendations (such as dietary adjustments, meditation and breathing techniques) can help to increase your energy. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), lack of motivation may be seen as either a deficiency of one’s constitution and/or nutritional intake and/or as stagnation along the energetic pathways that run throughout the body. Over time, this lack of movement frequently develops into depression. The good news is that TCM can address both the underlying causes of depression (that may manifest as lack of motivation), as well as the symptoms that you or a loved one may be experiencing. In TCM, this is known as treating “both the root and branch”.
The reason TCM works so well at addressing mental health issues is because it looks at the person holistically. When people go to their western doctor and tell them that they have no motivation, they’re frequently prescribed antidepressants, but the short-sightedness of that approach is that the underlying causes of the issue (or “the root”) are still not addressed. TCM looks at everything: the body, the mind, the environment and the emotions. This allows for treatments to be customized to the needs of the patient instead of a one-size-fits-all approach.
If you or someone you love is lacking in motivation or dealing with mental health symptoms, know that you’re not alone and that TCM can help. Schedule a virtual treatment today and we will create a customized care package for you to help bring some balance back in your life!