Depression is a condition that involves both the mind and the body and affects how a person feels, thinks, and behaves, and may make a person feel anxious and apathetic. Many people who suffer from depression or anxiety complain of muscle pain, headache, upset digestion, fatigue, and loss of interest, among other things. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) evaluates the entire body system, including physical conditions and emotional symptoms, and treatments are uniquely tailored to each patient with the goal of healing the body and mind, as well as revitalizing the spirit.
Central to acupuncture practice is the total evaluation of a person’s “qi”, pronounced “chi”, the body’s vital life energy, and how to accelerate the circulation of qi and blood through a system of specific channels running throughout the body, called meridians. Each meridian relates to major body organs and functions, as well as emotions. The emotions associated with loss, repressed expression, and other stressful events, will cause the muscular structure surrounding the chest cavity to constrict and tighten on the lungs and heart. The chest constriction restricts the qi flow to the liver and heart, a condition diagnosed in TCM as qi stagnation in the liver. Without release, the tension now contained within the chest cavity will continue to strain the heart, which, left untreated, results in panic attacks, anxiety and panic syndrome, also described in TCM as a condition called ‘Heart in the Heart’.