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.
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:
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
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/Tong Ren Therapy Protocols May Be Used With Depression
The following herbal formulas are potentially useful in the process of treating depression. For a complete list from our store with more details see our depression formula section.
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Generally treatment would be based on the TCM patterns listed above instead of selecting points by function alone, (see general points selection rules.)
The following (2) chinese herbs may be useful for depression. In most cases, however, treatment with Chinese Herbal Medicine is done with herbal formulas based on the TCM patterns listed above instead of selecting herbs by function alone. When available, relevant formulas will appear below and/or in the store listings above.
Used for anxiety/depression/manic issues with a tendency towards losing self-control (crying fits, excessive yawning, etc.). This set of symptoms is known as restless organ disorder in TCM. General symptoms are disorientation, crying spells, depression, fitful sleep, excessive yawning, anxiety, possible night sweats and other yin deficient signs. May be used for menopause or similar post-partum issues.
The Pulse will be thin and rapid and the Tongue will be red with a sparse tongue coating.
Used for liver qi stagnation and counterflow qi to the limbs (i.e. cold limbs with hot/stagnant trunk). Principle signs would be those of liver qi stagnation (depression, mood swings, PMS, grinding of the teeth), hypochondriac pain and/or abdominal pain.
The tongue will generally be purple/red - darker and the pulse will be wiry or possibly mixed to indicate heat trapped within and stagnation to the extremities.
Anxiety, depression, insomnia, palpitations, vertigo, dizziness, nausea and/or vomiting, insatiable hunger, chest oppression, seizures, bitter taste in mouth, slight thirst.
Pulse will be rapid and slippery or wiry depending on the level of phlegm and the Tongue will be greasy with a yellow coat.