Depression and mood disorders

Many of us struggle daily or seasonally with mood disorders.   One may feel sad, hopeless, unmotivated or out of control.  It is normal to experience the full range of emotions.  The ability to return to emotional equanimity and understand that a strong emotion will pass indicates emotional well being.   Chinese medicine asserts that when one lives in harmony with the seasons, emotional and physical well being follows.  

Today's lifetsyles demand a pace that takes us away from the natural rythms the body follows seasonally.  During the winter months we are meant to sleep more, retiring earlier and waking later.  We require more rest and warmer, heartier meals.  Food needs to be warm, heavier and more nourishing.   We need to work less and rest more.  This is hard to do when work schedules are demanding.  

According to Chinese medicine, in the winter months one must avoid overexertion. Sweating too much (to the point of being drenched) depeletes the yang qi and aggravates depression and anxiety.   Gentler exercise is better and less taxing on the body's resources.  

How does Chinese Medicine support mood stability and emotional well being? 

Chinese medicine utilizes unique diagnostic methods to discern the cause of imbalance.   Herbal medicine prescriptions and acupuncture treatments restore balance to the body/mind.  Treatments are taken once every one to two weeks and herbal rememdies are changed as needed.   Exercise and dietary regimens are evaluated to make sure they are appropriate for the person.   

It is ideal to work on seasonal mood disorders in the season preceding the problematic time period.  For example, if one tends to feel depressed in the winter, that person needs to start seeking treatment in the fall.  Then he can take a break in spring if desired, or decrease frequency of visits.   It is ideal to work on balancing the qi in the previous season which will prevent the issues from arising.  Alternately, if the spring brings with it anxiety and panic attacks, the winter is when treatment should start.   

Warm wishes, 


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