Clinical Information For the Treatment Of Depression
What Is Depression?
Depression - Basics
Depression is both a diagnosis and a symptom which includes other diagnoses such as, but not limited to, manic depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and dysthymia.
What Patterns Are Related To Depression?
Depression - Diagnostic Patterns
The Chinese Medicine treatment of depression generally involves arriving at the appropriate TCM diagnosis or pattern. This pattern within the individual is what treatment is based on not the general condition (see treating the cause and not the symptoms).
The following patterns may represent the underlying contributing factors for the development of depression:Blood StagnationHeart Yin DeficiencyKidney Yin DeficiencyLiver FireLiver Qi StagnationSpleen Qi Deficiency
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Which Acupuncture Point Protocols May Be Applied For Depression?
Depression - Acupuncture Protocols
The treatment of conditions with acupuncture can be a complicated endeavor that should only be undertaken by individuals with a deep understanding of the underlying Chinese Medicine theory (and/or whatever system being used for treatment). There are many approaches, but generally speaking few viable approaches are involved on a point to condition basis. Rather using proper diagnostic procedures the patients diagnostic pattern is ascertained and that is what is treated. The protocols listed here exemplify some of these clinical approaches.
The following acupuncture treatment protocols may be used with depression:
Which Tam Healing and Tongren Therapy Protocols Apply To Depression?
Depression - Tam Healing and Tongren Therapy Protocols
Tong Ren Therapy is the energy healing/medical qi gong aspect of the Tam Healing System. The areas of focus for depression that we would use in Tong Ren techniques form the basis for our acupuncture treatments as well. Generally you would mix these primary points with points specific to the patients underlying TCM pattern and then our tuina (medical massage) would be largely focused on these points as well.
The following Tam healing and tong ren therapy protocols may be used with depression:
12 Points Are Empirically Important For Depression
2 TCM Herbs Are Potentially Used With Depression
Formulas and Products @ Our Store Associated With Depression
The Following (12)Formulas TCM Herbal Formulas May Be Useful For Depression
Bu Nao Wan (Brain Supplementing Pills)
- A range of psychiatric, cognitive decline, trauma issues - benefit and clears the brain, transforms phlegm and tonifies kidney qi and the blood.
- Often used for both general cognitive decline/dementia, disorientation, etc. - but also useful when mixed with more anxiety, insomnia and/or emotional outbursts from confusion.
- Generally, particularly when deficiency and phlegm exist for anxiety, insomnia, dream disturbed sleep, manic states.
Chai Hu Jia Long Gu Mu Li Wan (Bupleurum, Dragon Bone, and Oyster Shell Formula)
- Palpitations, anxiety, restlessness, agitation/irritibility, and insomnia from heat due to liver yang or fire.
- Mental disorders such as including biopolar and schizophrenia resulting from distrubed shen.
- Symptoms of addiction recovery: cravings, anxiety, mood swings etc.
Er Xian Wan (Two Immortal Decoction)
- Kidney Yin and Kidney Yang deficiencies with Empty Heat - hormonal issues such as menopause (possibly w/hypertension), amenorrhea, hot flashes along with associated symptoms of fatigue, depression, insomnia, nervousness and more.
- Infertility with appropriate underlying factors, particularly when arising with amenorrhea or irregular menstruation.
- Aplastic anemia.
Gan Mai Da Zao Wan (Licorice, Wheat, and Jujube Formula)
- Anxiety/depression/manic issues with a tendency towards losing self-control (crying fits, excessive yawning, etc.) that result from the combination of heart yin deficiency and liver qi stagnation.
- Insomnia, possibly with vivid dreaming and heart palpitations.
- Post-partum depression and milder symptoms of menopause.
Jia Wei Gui Pi Wan (Augmented Restore The Spleen Decoction)
- A combination of jia wei xiao yao wan and gui pi wan - similar effects but with more spleen qi and blood tonification.
- A range of stress related issues - essentially mixes of stagnation with underlying deficiencies.
- Potential uses with immune / idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) and other bruising/bleeding issues with appropriate diagnostic factors.
Jia Wei Xiao Yao Wan (Free and Easy Wanderer Pills)
- Derived from the base formula, xiao yao wan, an important formula for liver qi stagnation with herbs added to clear heat.
- Liver qi stagnation - menstrual issues, painful cycles, irregular cycles, breast distention, PMS, acne.
- A range of mild to moderate psychological issues arising from liver qi stagnation such as anxiety, depression, panic disorder, insomnia, anger issues, etc.
- Physical symptoms from liver qi stagnation such as headaches, tightness in the chest, cold hands and feet, various eye issues.
Si Ni San Wan (Frigid Extremities Powder Pills)
- Important formula for liver qi stagnation - manifesting as moodiness, depression, cold in the extremities (particularly hands and/or feet), possibly along with other stress signs - mild headaches, teeth grinding, facial twitching, etc.
- A range of liver "attacking" the spleen digestive issues, hypochondriac, abdominal and/or epigastric pain. Sensation of tension in the chest that worsens with stress.
- All of the above symptoms that come along with menstruation.
- Not for cold extremities from yang or Blood deficiency.
- Use with caution or avoid in very weak patients who cannot sustain the movement that this formula creates.
Tao Hong Si Wu Wan (Four Substances Pills With Safflower And Peach Pit)
- A modified version of si wu tang with the inclusion of tao ren and hong hua which make it slightly more moving for the blood - for blood deficiency with blood stagnation with particular emphasis on the lower jiao - dysmenorrhea, irregular menstruation, heavy bleeding, other stasis symptoms such as fibroids, blocked fallopian tubes, endometriosis, etc. as well as related psychological issues such as depression.
- Can be used post-delivery for retained lochia.
- Avoid during the early phases of a cold or flu.
Wen Dan Wan (Warm the Gallbladder Formula)
- Anxiety, depression, insomnia, and other shen disturbances caused by phlegm misting the mind.
- Seizures, convulsions or other types of involuntary muscle contractions that are caused by phlegm and heat.
- Nausea, vomitting, abdominal discomfort resulting from disharmony of the stomach and gallbladder/liver.
- Vertigo, dizziness or light-headedness.
- Use with caution with patients that present with yin or blood deficiency.
Xiao Chai Hu Tang Wan (Minor Bupleurum Decoction)
- Shao Yang Syndrome (or "lesser yang stage") - alternating fever and chills, hypochondriac pain, irritability, bitter taste in mouth, poor appetite, nausea. Often used for illnesses (chronic or short-term) such as the flu, etc. that have "cleared" but not completely. People will describe not feeling quite right or having a range of low level symptoms for months or longer after a particular illness. Instead of fever and chills alternating they may manifest with cold extremities and warm interior or other variations.
- A range of liver related conditions including malaria, jaundice, hepatitis, liver cancer, meniere's disease, general protection from medicines that may harm the liver, etc. among issues with other digestive organs - pancreatitis, stomatitis, gastritis.
- Liver/speen disharmonies resulting in broader issues such as depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, menstrual irregularities (PMS, cramping, etc.).
- Other general immune issues such as the common cold, flu, tonsillitis, general seasonal allergies with the right underlying factors.
- Use with caution with yin and/or blood deficiencies.
- Avoid cold, raw, and spicy foods while taking xiao chai hu tang.
Xiao Yao Wan (Free and Easy Wanderer)
- Depression, anxiety, loss of motivation - resulting from liver qi stagnation.
- Fatigue, bloating, changes in appetite from the combination of spleen qi deficiency with liver qi stagnation.
- PMS, breast distention, irregular menstruation and in some cases infertility.
- Use with caution during pregnancy.
Yue Ju Wan (Escape Restraint Pill)
- An important formula for plum pit qi and related issues arising from qi stagnation (from many factors) - an oppressive sensation in the chest and/or diaphgram, gerd, reflux, indigestion, nausea, belching with a fetid odor.
- Gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, intercostal neuralgia, cholecystitis, cholelithiasis.
- Infectious hepatitis.
- Migraines when the underlying factor is that of stagnation.
- Besides a range of digestive issues, the formula may be used for a wide range of psychiatric conditions including depression, schizophrenia, panic disorder, etc. when the underlying factor is chiefly stagnation.
- Generally should be avoided in cases where the issues are arising from predominately deficiency syndromes (weakness, loose stools, no appetite).
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