Nurturing Mental and Emotional Wellness with Acupuncture

At some point in life everyone deals with major upheavals or emotional distress. These events can trigger a host of unexpected feelings and behaviors from depression and panic attacks to major disruptions in sleep and eating. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can alleviate symptoms associated with mental health issues in treating the root cause of the problem by helping to rebalance the body’s internal environment.

Mental health disorders are medical conditions that disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others, and daily functioning which result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life. The good news about mental disorders is that recovery is often possible. Affecting persons of any age, race, religion, or income mental health disorders have been found to be common and experts estimate almost a third of the population report sufficient qualifying criteria at some point in their life. Serious mental illnesses include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and borderline personality disorder.

From an Oriental medicine perspective mental health disorders can cause 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, and menstrual irregularities, and, over time, more serious illnesses can develop. Acupuncture treatments can correct these imbalances and directly affect the way your body manages your mental health.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Mental Disorders

Oriental Medicine does not recognize any mental disorder as one particular syndrome. Instead, it aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual using a variety of techniques including acupuncture, lifestyle/dietary recommendations and exercises to restore imbalances found in the body. Therefore, if 100 patients are treated with acupuncture and Oriental medicine for anxiety, each of these 100 people will receive a unique, customized treatment with different acupuncture points, and different lifestyle and diet recommendations.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine have the ability to detect energetic changes that occur in the body and relieve symptoms by restoring equilibrium. The physical and emotional symptoms that you are experiencing will help create a clear picture on which a treatment plan can be created specifically for you.

Here are just a few acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help with:

Depressive Disorders – Common symptoms of depressive disorders include: a decreased interest in most activities, insomnia, fatigue, and feeling empty and worthless. Even when depression is sub-clinical, the body’s immune system is compromised and the symptoms reduce functioning and impair work performance and social relationships. Acupuncture treatments can correct these imbalances, support the immune system, and directly affect the way your body manages stress and your mental health.

Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) – a condition of the brain that makes it difficult to concentrate or control impulsive behavior ADD/ADHD does not just occur during childhood. Acupuncture can help enhance concentration, reduce fidgeting, augment mood management techniques, reduce hyperactivity and enhance concentration.

Anxiety and Stress Disorders – Anxiety comes in a wide range of manifestations, from mild worrying to more physical responses such as nausea, insomnia, shortness of breath and panic attacks. Some anxiety is a healthy response to the stress of daily life and new situations; however, anxiety that occurs randomly or excessively is a sign to take notice. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help balance both the mental and physical symptoms of anxiety and help to create harmony and spaciousness.

Mental health issues are best managed when health professionals work together to meet the unique needs of each individual. Acupuncture is an excellent addition to any treatment plan as it is used to help the body restore balance, treating the root of the disorder, while also diminishing symptoms.

If you or someone you know struggles with a mental health disorder or if you would like to know how to optimize your mental health, please call to find out more about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be integrated into your mental and emotional wellness plan today!

Acupuncture for Irritability and Moodiness

Everyone suffers from irritability and moodiness from time to time, but if you find that a short temper and frustration are becoming a constant issue for you, then acupuncture may be able to help.

Often irritability and moodiness are the consequence of chronic stress in your life. Over time these emotions can progress into more serious emotional conditions such as anxiety and depression as well as other health conditions such as digestive problems, trouble sleeping and the tendency to get sick more frequently.

Liver Qi Stagnation and Emotions

Emotional disorders can be associated with a number of different patterns of disharmony within Oriental medicine however, anger, irritability, and frustration are all signs that our qi (life force) is not flowing smoothly. The liver is responsible for the smooth flowing of qi (life force) throughout the body and for smoothing our emotions. When the liver’s function of moving qi is disrupted, qi can become stuck. This is referred to as liver qi stagnation.

Acupuncture for Healthy Skin

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be very effective at treating skin conditions. Treatments can provide quick relief for acute symptoms and can provide significant and lasting relief from recurrent or chronic skin conditions.

The skin reflects and reacts to imbalances within the body’s internal landscape and the effects of the environment. Internal disharmonies caused by strong emotions, diet, and your constitution as well as environmental influences, such as wind, dryness, dampness, and heat can all contribute to the development of a skin disorder. To keep your skin healthy and beautiful on the outside, you must work on the inside of your body as well. Increasing the flow of energy, blood and lymph circulation improves the skin’s natural healthy color.

Promotion of collagen production increases muscle tone and elasticity helping to firm the skin. Stimulating the formation of body fluids nourishes the skin and encourages it to be moister, softer, smoother and more lustrous.

General skin conditions that can be treated with acupuncture and Oriental medicine include acne, dermatitis, eczema, pruritus, psoriasis, rosacea, shingles and urticaria (hives). Oriental medicine does not recognize skin problems as one particular syndrome. Instead, it aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual using a variety of techniques with acupuncture such as herbal medicine, bodywork, lifestyle/dietary recommendations and energetic exercises to restore imbalances found in the body. Therefore, if 10 patients are treated with Oriental medicine for eczema, each patient will receive a unique, customized treatment with different lifestyle and dietary recommendations.

If you suffer from a skin condition or would like to know how to optimize your skin health, please call to find out more about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you

Foods to Help You Look Your Best

Acupuncture views nutrition in a complex light, through the application of Oriental medicine wisdom to dietary habits. In short, certain foods are considered too yang, or hot to eat in excess during the warmer months, while others are prized for their yin ability to cool the body. Overall, the goal is balance between the internal yin and yang of the body.

A healthy, nutritional diet, getting good quality sleep and moderate exercise can keep your skin and physical form at it’s best. Be sure to integrate these items into your diet to help keep you looking your best!

Carrots and Sweet Potatoes – Healthy skin is directly dependent on the amount of vitamin A in our diet. Vitamin A acts as an antioxidant to neutralize harmful elements in our skin, helps to prevent wrinkles, resist infection and maintain the skin’s elasticity. One of the best places to get Vitamin A is vegetables that are deep orange in color.

Blackberries, Blueberries, Strawberries, and Plums – In a study recently published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, these four fruits weighed in with the highest “total antioxidant capacity” of any food. Antioxidants and other phytochemicals in these fruits can protect cells from damage and disintegration, thus guarding against premature aging.

Salmon, Walnuts, Olive Oil, and Flax Seed – Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are responsible for skin repair, moisture content, and overall flexibility, but because the body cannot produce its own EFAs, they must be obtained through the diet. Fish, walnuts, and flax seed oil are among the best sources for omega 3 fatty acid. Eating good-quality olive oil helps keep skin lubricated and keeps it looking and feeling healthier overall. Which olive oil is the best for your skin? Those labeled “cold pressed”, “expeller processed”, or “extra virgin” are the least processed forms. As a result, they contain the highest levels of antioxidative substances.

Whole Wheat Bread, Brown Rice, Turkey, Tuna and Brazil Nuts – Selenium is an antioxidant mineral responsible for tissue elasticity and healthy skin. It may play an important role in preventing skin cancer, as some recent studies are showing that skin damaged by the sun may suffer fewer consequences if selenium levels are high.

Green Tea – Green tea’s ability to slow down the development of some signs of aging is attributed to its high levels of polyphenols, which have been well-documented for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Green tea may help prevent or reduce the risk of skin cancer according to a study published recently in the Archives of Dermatology, which shows that whether taken orally or applied to the skin, green tea can reduce the risk of damage from ultraviolet light and thus reduce the risk of skin cancer.

Water – Hydration plays a key role in keeping skin cells healthy. It is essential to maintaining your skin’s elasticity and suppleness. Keeping cells hydrated helps cells move nutrients in and toxins out, which helps keep skin clean and clear.