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Emotional Disorders treated by Acupuncture and TCM

TCM Acupuncture believes that emotions are associated with the Five Elements. We balance the Organ associated with the emotion to balance the emotion. Sometimes the Organ is out of balance and produces the emotional imbalance. Sometimes the emotion imbalance can produce an Organ imbalance. The TCM methods are aimed at preventing a reoccurrence of the problem. An example follows:

A patient comes to us with extreme fits of anger, problems with sleeping, and changes in vision and constipation. We immediately suspect the Liver as being out of balance. We can help the patient achieve balance with his Liver through Herbs and Acupuncture. As the Liver returns to balance, the vision improves, as does the sleeping and bowel movements. However, if the patient is in a job he hates, working with people that make him angry, his fits of anger will remain and the Liver will go out of balance again causing a stressful state and despair of recovery.

Another patient with the same symptoms can also have the Liver Imbalance corrected and symptoms improved. If the Liver Imbalance occurs due to excessive toxins from Chemicals, then once the Imbalance is corrected, the symptoms should not return. In the first case, the anger caused the imbalance and in the second case, the imbalance caused the anger. The organ is out of balance either producing the associated emotion or the imbalance is produced by the associated emotion.

TCM explains that Anger is the raging fire that Burns Wood, Joy is the ash that Dampens Fire, Pensiveness is the vapor that Masks Earth; Grief is the furnace that Melts Metal, and Fear freezes and solidifies Water. The Liver is associated with Wood and Anger, the Heart with Fire and Joy, the Spleen with Earth and Pensiveness, the Lung with Metal and Grief and the Kidney with Water and Fear.

A patient can experience imbalance in more than one organ and therefore have more complicated emotional disturbances. If a patient is experiencing extreme mood swings between Joy and Fear, it shows an imbalance between the Heart and Kidney (Fire and Water imbalance). When such intrinsic (inner pathology caused by the emotions) factors are not properly treated due to a lack of such a knowledge base in other therapies, a stressful situation arises in the patients.

Stressful situations that last over a long period of time can create an ongoing low-level stress that puts continual pressure on the nervous system, increasing activity, and can cause the overproduction of hormones. The extra stress hormones over an extended period of time may wear out the body's reserves, lead to fatigue, depression, a weakened immune system, and a host of serious physical and psychological ailments.

Stress is often the cause of illness and the deterioration of health. Finding a release valve for your stress can help you stay healthy.

According to TCM Acupuncture, stress, frustration, and unresolved anger can play an important part in throwing the immune system off and allowing pathogens to affect the body. Through acupuncture, these energy blockages can be addressed.

Acupuncture points can help energy flow smoothly, and alleviate not only the symptoms of stress and anxiety, but the stress and anxiety itself by treating the Meridian points and Trigger Acupuncture Areas.

As a normal part of life, stress enables us to get things done. If left unmanaged, stress can lead to emotional, psychological, and even physical problems. Stress causes a disruption in the flow of vital energy, or Qi, through the body. These energetic imbalances can throw off the immune system or cause symptoms of pain, sleep disturbances, abnormal digestion, headaches, menstrual irregularities, aggravation of already troublesome health conditions and, over time, more serious illnesses can develop.

What we now refer to as mood, personality, and/or Schizophrenic patterns/disorders were referred in the past as Ghost syndromes. Now, in the new millennia, it seems to be of great importance for TCM and particularly Acupuncture with its unique ability to regulate many aspects of our health and life, to step forward into what seems to be another age with the need for mental health treatment options.

The Ghost Points are:

Dr. Liu Feng (20th century) expresses the need to balance and connect the triangle of 'cognition/personality', 'will', and 'emotions' to achieve results within treatment of all mental disease. He also stresses to watch personality changes to understand severity of the patient's disease. This helps to determine if the disorder is simply a personality or neurotic disorder, or if it is more severe causing great distress and problems fitting in with society which would lean more towards (affective) Mood disorders or Schizophrenia.

"From what, from what a man suffers, from that from that his torments flee".

The words of St Thiruvalluvar, reveal that the treatment should be pointed towards elimination of the stressful situation itself and not the symptoms. Welcome to the world of TCM and experience Life time changes!

By Dr Raju