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Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has thousands years history. It has unique basic theories and diagnostic methods. It is a very effective therapy in treating many chronic diseases and some acute diseases. If you are interested in TCM, welcome to pop in to this TCM forum, let's discuss on any topic about Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture. If you have any health problem, you are welcome to visit my clinic Knowhow Acupuncture at No.1 Harley street, London. If you are far away from London, you can pop in my online clinic to get some help. If you like this blog please share it to your friends.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

A natural way of anti depression

Tiejun Tang
Do you feel depressed? Many people will say yes. Depression is the No.1 psychological disorder in the western world. About 20-30 % of people experience symptoms of depression and it is growing in all age groups. It can also happen with different life style, from unemployed to millionaire, from teenage student to puerpera. Statistics showed that 1 in 4 Britons suffers from a mental health problem within a given year, with anxiety and depression being the most common combination of mental health disorders in the UK.


Psychiatrist and Psychologist use antidepressants to treat this disorder, but some antidepressants cause sexual dysfunction in male (Jeffrey H. 1995), and cardiovascular toxicity in both male and female. (Pal Pacher, 2004). Although antidepressants can reduce the suicide rate of depression patients, most of them still prefer not to take them because of the side effects.

Christmas is coming soon and it is the right time to kick depression away! Chinese medicine can help you get rid of depression and give you health and a happier mood.

In traditional Chinese medicine, depression falls within the category of Yu Zheng (郁证) and Zang Zao (脏躁). Chinese medicine believes that low mood, anxiety and irritability are caused by liver qi stagnation; insomnia, dream disturbed sleep, memory loss and palpitation are due to heart shen disorder; poor appetite, low energy and other indigestion symptoms are due to spleen deficiency; hot flush, night sweat and dry mouth are due to yin deficiency; cold extremities, pale complexion and low libido are due to kidney yang deficiency.

TCM has many advantages in treating depression. According to the symptoms of different cases, we can remove the stagnated qi, regulate the function of Zang Fu organs, and balance yin and yang. We can select herb pills such as Xiaoyao Wan, Chaihu Shugan Wan or Guipi Wan. Alternatively, we can prescribe decoction based on Xiaoyao San, Ganmai Dazao Tang and Suanzaoren Tang. There may be different symptoms in each depression case, therefore we must modify our prescription according to individual conditions.

Selection of acupuncture points should focus on the liver and heart meridians, combining with some points on the Du meridian and extra points on the head. Commonly used points include Taicong (LV3), Ligou (LV5), Zhangmen (LV13), Qimen (LV14), Shenmen (HT7), Shaohai (HT3), Neiguan (PC6), Baihui (DU20), Shenting (DU24), Yintang (EX-HN3), Taiyang (EX-HN5). Apart from needling, some Tuina massage especially on the head points above will also help relieve depression. There were many clinical trials conducted on using acupuncture to treat depression. Treatment methods included manual acupuncture (John J 1998), electric acupuncture (Huan Cui 2004), and laser acupuncture (Joo Smith 2005). These research reports showed acupuncture could significantly relieve depression.

Lastly, enjoy your Christmas, enjoy your life. Without depression, you will be happier and healthier in the new year.

Reference:
Allen B, Rosa.N et al. (1998). The Efficacy of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Major depression in Women. Psychological Science. 9(5): 397-401.
Han Cui, Li Xiaohong, Luo Hechun.(2004) Clinical study on Electro-acupuncture treatment for 30 cases of mental depression. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 24 (3): 172-176.
Joo Im Quah-Smith, Wai Mun Tang (2005). Laser acupuncture for mild to moderate depression in a primary care setting – a randomised controlled trial Acupunct Med 23(3):103-111.
Jeffrey H. Hsu (1995). Male Sexual Side Effects Associated with Antidepressants: A Descriptive Clinical Study of 32 Patients. The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine. 25(2): 191-201.
Pal Pacher, Valeria Kecskemeti. (2004). Cardiovascular Side Effects of New Antidepressants and Antipsychotics: New Drugs, old Concerns? Curr Pharm 10(20): 2463–2475.