As a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner I am constantly consulted by people in search of natural treatments or natural medicine for stress, anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue and related issues. Reports on health show that people are feeling the effects of these conditions more often and more severe than ever. Western or conventional medicine considers emotional deviations, such as: stress, depression, anxiety and other related conditions as indication of brain’s chemical imbalances. Medical drugs are easily and very often prescribed to modify these chemical imbalances and to simulate a sense of normal state.
Let me briefly explain Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), is an ancient healing art system of medicine that has evolved over a period of over 5000 years, and is used by millions of people; this healing art system is in fact one of the oldest medical system still in use today.
It includes the use of acupuncture, acupressure, Tuina massage, natural herbs and exercise movement systems such as Thai-chi and Qigong. In TCM, all cells and organs are linked thru one great energetic system, connected thru mainly 12 main meridian or channels.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views all emotional conditions not only as brain issue, but also relates it to the deficiency other organs. For example, stress related to loss, sadness, or grief, causes the upper chess to have blockages of energy (Qi,or Ki) affecting the Lungs and Heart. In the case of stress created by repressed expression, or anger, the organ most affected is the Liver; which primary function is to store, regulate and promote the circulation of blood, body fluids and also to ensure the free-flow of energy (Qi,or Ki) in the body. When obstruction of this flow TCM regards this condition as Liver Qi Stagnation. With the obstruction of energy flow, issues relating to the liver can also affect the gallbladder meridian which runs across the shoulders, up the neck and over the sides of the head and forehead. That is why people suffering from stress-related issues often manifest headaches, neck and shoulder pain and stiffness.
Stress and anxiety progresses or worsen to conditions of stiffness in the muscles, sleep disorders, depression, anger, moodiness, frustration, irritability, problems with memory, lack of concentration, headaches, digestive problems, chronic fatigue, lower back pain, digestive issues, and more.
With time, stress and anxiety can develop to even more serious health problems, such as diabetes, asthma cancer, prostate, or thyroid deficiency.
Relieving Stress and Anxiety with Traditional Chinese Medicine
The TCM view of stress and anxiety is that excessive emotional stress affects the flow of qi and eventually blood flow within the body, causing stagnation. Chinese medicine such as acupressure, acupuncture, Tuina massage, as well as Tai Chi and Qi Gong exercises, are proven to alleviate stress-related symptoms. This can be achieved by the releasing the body’s own natural analgesics, endorphins bringing oxygen to the body tissues and improving the circulation of blood and lymphatic fluids. These treatments can also help release emotional mental and biological toxins from the body, it decreases the stress hormone cortisol, lowers blood pressure, and creates a sense of overall well-being.
Other recommendations are, deep breathing, meditation, exercise, yoga, eat well, find a trained health care professional to help you identify and get best treatment for you.
Angie Tobon, R.Ac, CNP, RRPr.
Licensed Medical & Cosmetic Acupuncturist & TCM Practitioner
Certified Naturotherapy Practitioner