Depression Medicine

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What “depression medicine” does Traditional Chinese Medicine use?

Patients suffering from emotionalproblems such as low moods, persistent tearfulness, low energy and motivation,  alternately low and angry moods, etc, can be treated using many methods according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

Traditional Chinese Medicine sometimes uses herbs

Traditional Chinese Medicine sometimes uses herbs

TCM sessions could include acupuncture, herbal prescriptions made from many individual Chinese herbs, Qi Gong exercise, dietary advice and possibly Tui Na (TCM) massage. Practitioners may often combine these therapies to enhance results.

What is different about the Traditional Chinese Medicine approach?
The first thing to note is that Traditional Chinese Medicine theory characterises  emotional well-being or somewhat differently to conventional modern medicine. The term “depression” is used as a diagnosis in Western Medicine, but in TCM there is no such single, simple diagnostic term. Generally speaking TCM characterises illnesses according to common collections of symptoms, bodily and/ or emotional signs known as ‘TCM syndromes’ rather than the modern conventional medicine approach of naming each disease individually. (1)

Diet and lifestyle can be important to help patients in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Diet and lifestyle can be important to help patients in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Within the TCM tradition, emotional well-being is influenced by many many factors. The diet, lifestyle, other illnesses and life events can all contribute. In health, the patient’s Qi is said to flow smoothly, in a consistent, ordered fashion, through day and night.

Its also important to know Traditional Chinese Medicine ‘thinks’ in terms of interconnections, rather than the more recently introduced separated ‘anatomical systemic’ approach of modern medicine. Within TCM, there is a strong concept of unity, inseparability between the mind and the body. This does make sense even to modern medicine practitioners in some cases – for example, modern medicine may associate long term pain conditions such as “severe arthritis” with depression, which in TCM would be described in terms of Qi impeded from smoothly flowing, which would also influence any emotional distress.

Notes
1.Patients may hear the TCM approach called ‘Syndrome Differentiation’ by practitioners or in educational materials.

Meal photo credit: http://www.sxc.hu/profile/ilco

DISCLAIMER: NO information here is intended to be taken as medical advice – or used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Any person with any health concerns is advised instead to consult their doctor. In the case of persons seeking therapy using Traditional Chinese Medicine, this information cannot be taken as medical advice and persons are advised instead to consult a suitably qualified professional practitioner.

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