Based on current scientific evidence, Chinese medicine treatment may be able to assist with:
- Management of pain, stress and fatigue related to some autoimmune disorders, in consultation with other treating health practitioners
- Management of pain, fatigue and nausea related to many chronic diseases
- Management of vomiting or nausea arising from chemotherapy
- Pain relief and management
- Chronic pain related to depression by managing the underlying chronic pain
Sometimes, well-meaning friends, family, and even online motivation gurus will tell you that depression, anxiety and other neuroses are things you can switch off or on if you choose. This is definitely not the TCM approach, any more than it is the approach of GPs and specialists.
Let’s start by defining our terms:
Depression: a pronounced feeling of lowness, heaviness and despair that is generalised and persistent. It is not simply ‘feeling down’ and, while it may be triggered by some life event, it can also be non-specific. So, if you have recently heard some bad news, suffered a loss, or are working longer hours and not sleeping enough, your low energy, low motivation and low spirits are not necessarily depression; it can be a normal response to a loss of some kind.
Anxiety: a generalised, persistent feeling of uncertainty and pessimism. Again, this is not the same as feeling anxious about a specific event or outcome (eg. exam results).
Neuroses: This broad term covers many aspects of moodiness, irrational over reaction, and anger that is not triggered by a specific event or outcome.
These conditions (whether mild or severe, pre-clinical or clinical) can affect all areas of life. They have an impact on our energy, sleep, concentration, focus and memory, as well as our relationships and enthusiasm for life. Seeking help is a good step to take, to bring about changes to improve your health. In fact, as our blog article on sleep explained, anything that interrupts your sleep may have a run-on effect to other areas of life.
Acupuncture therapy has many facets. This is an umbrella term for all the clinical interventions that stimulate the energy meridians in your body and help to clear blockages and return the body to balance. This is a group of modalities used in the treatment room which includes: different forms of moxibustion; cupping (stationary and walking); spooning (or gua sha); needle and laser acupuncture; electro-acupuncture; and other interventions.
In general, the use of Chinese herbal formulas may be helpful for some conditions; but we are careful to avoid any cross-reactions that may occur with any existing prescribed medications. This is something we are trained in, which is why we say that you must have a consultation with a registered and qualified Chinese Medicine practitioner before starting any Chinese herbal supplements regime. In fact, we recommend that you also discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, the effects of any OTC (over the counter) supplements or vitamins you may be taking, in case they have any cross-reactions with your medication. We are always happy to talk to your doctor about your requirements if you would like us to do so.
Chinese medicine treatment may be able to assist with stress. This may make it easier to face the stresses of daily life, make empowered choices, release negative thoughts and emotions about everyday life and relationships, and make healthy choices about food and exercise, which may in turn lift your spirits.
Are You Getting The Most Value Out Of Your Practitioner?
Your Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner probably has a great deal more to offer you than you are aware and it’s your job to ask them for recommendations and discuss any questions you have with them.
Unfortunately (or fortunately?), we’re not mind-readers and we don’t know exactly what is going on in your life unless you tell us. However, most problems signal their presence through your body, so your practitioner will observe the signs and symptoms of things like emotional distress, anxiety, stress, fatigue, exhaustion etc.
One area we may be able to add value to is with your emotional well-being. You know how sometimes life just seems overwhelming, reaching out to anyone seems impossible, restful sleep escapes you, your appetite is either ravenous or non-existent, you feel insecure and anxious and generally unhappy without any clearly defined cause.
The lovely thing about your TCM practitioner is that you don’t have to say very much at all about the nature of your problem and we can still work with you. Acupuncture, massage, and Chinese herbs will help unblock your Qi energy and provide your body with the nutrients it needs to heal and support your emotions.
Of course, it’s not just a matter of getting your TCM practitioner involved. We suggest that you take the following steps as well:
- Identify people and situations which upset you and take steps to deal with them or move them out of your life.
- Align yourself with people who nurture you and make you laugh.
- Ask for help from someone you trust so that they understand where you are at.
Most of all we’d like you to know that all the staff at our clinic respect your privacy, and care about you. We want you to enjoy the best possible health in every area of your life: mind, body, spirit and emotions, and we will do everything we possibly can to help you – if you ask us for help……