DEPRESSION, STRESS MANAGEMENT
Depression and anxiety are two of the most common mood disorders
affecting approximately 20% of the population at some point during their
lives. Anti-depressant and anxiety drugs address only the signs and
symptoms of the disease and can cause a myriad of side effects:
insomnia, anxiety, listlessness, fatigue, loss of appetite, and sexual
order for a person to be diagnosed with depression, four or five of the
following symptoms must persist for two weeks, and not be due to another
physical condition, medication, alcohol, drugs, or normal bereavement:
Persistent feelings of sadness,
Weight loss or gain
Lose of all interest in pleasurable
activities, including sex
Poor concentration or indecision
Abnormal thoughts of death and suicide
of the symptoms associated with a diagnosis of anxiety include:
Muscle tension, aches, twitching
Fast of irregular heartbeat
Shortness of breath
Fatigue; Nausea; Dizziness
Overreaction when started
Every healthy person has experienced some form of depression in his or
her life. It is a healthy response to overwhelming events in our lives.
When we are healthy, physically and mentally, we can usually bounce back
from a depressed state within a couple of weeks, and continue on with
our normal lives. But when feelings become persistent and occur without
precipitating factors, true depression may set in.
Every healthy person has also experienced anxiety in their life. We all
know what it feels like to be anxious. "Butterflies" in the stomach when
one is preparing for a job interview, meeting new people, or speaking in
public are quite common, normal, and can be positive. Anxiety can be a
positive reaction that helps prepare individuals for situations that are
uncertain. But when anxiety is persistent, and exhibited in unwarranted
situations, this positive emotion interferes with and limits our daily
activities. Many people may feel a combination of anxiety and
depression. They may tend to be depressed, tired, and have difficulty
making decisions or focusing during the day, and feel anxious, restless,
and "shaky" at night.
Acupuncture recognizes a powerful interplay between the body and
emotions; the two are, in fact, inseparable. When we become emotionally
upset, our internal environment also becomes disrupted, leading to the
physical symptoms of anxiety and depression. When we are physically
compromised, our emotions can be greatly affected.
people may feel a combination of anxiety and depression. They may tend
to be depressed, tired, and have difficulty making decisions or focusing
during the day, and feel anxious, restless, and "shaky" at night.
Acupuncture recognizes a
powerful interplay between the body and emotions; the two are, in fact,
inseparable. When we become emotionally upset, our internal environment
also becomes disrupted, leading to the physical symptoms of anxiety and
depression. When we are physically compromised, our emotions can be
Lays Insomnia to Rest
Insomnia is more than tossing and
turning. It's more serious than an inability to fall asleep early and
has more debilitating effects than are commonly recognized. Insomnia may
present itself in different ways. For some, the inability to fall asleep
is the most noticeable insomnia symptom while others are unable to reach
a deep level of sleep and are startled awake by every noise. Any
insomnia symptom would frustrate most sleepers, but night after night
for months or years, the most serious issues of insomnia accumulate -
the daytime effects. These can include physical tiredness, difficulty
concentrating and feeling depressed, irritable or lethargic. Oriental
medicine is a great insomnia remedy . It focuses on patients' individual
insomnia symptom and builds a whole-healing plan from each symptom. It
also has been widely successful in treating depression, stress and
While these are standard symptoms of a
poor night's sleep, they are magnified by chronic conditions and can
have severe negative setbacks in a person's life. True insomnia is
defined as poor sleep followed by daytime fatigue. Because sleep needs,
such as number of hours, varies for different people, the real issue of
insomnia is quality of feeling during the day.
Insomnia may have a number of causes,
including stress, depression or anxiety; irregular work schedules;
medications, drug or alcohol abuse; major life changes; chronic pain,
hyperthyroidism or arthritis. Acupuncture and herbs for insomnia have
high success rates with each insomnia symptom and can therefore treat
insomnia at its root.
A study published recently in the
American Journal of Chinese Medicine,
reports that patients who received acupressure and
transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation (TEAS) experienced a
significant improvement in their insomnia symptom , including problems
of fatigue, sleep quality and depression. The results from this study
suggest that acupressure or TEAS might have an important role in
managing patients with fatigue, poor sleep quality and depression.
Acupuncture has a calming effect on the
nervous system. It clears obstructions in the muscle and nerve channels,
facilitates the flow of oxygen-enriched energy and relaxes the system.
Common noted benefits of acupuncture include deeper breathing, improved
digestive abilities, better sleeping patterns, decrease in various pains
and a general sense of well being, which are all excellent treatments
for insomnia. General acupuncture protocol for the treatment of chronic
insomnia includes 10 initial treatments at two to three treatments per
week, followed by a two to four week observational period and possibly
one treatment per week.
Learn to relax physically
Techniques such as yoga, meditation,
biofeedback and progressive relaxation, as well as acupuncture and
massage, can help your body become more restful.
Have a regular bedtime
If you are not asleep after an hour, get
up, go to another room and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy.
Don't try to force yourself to sleep.
Reduce food and drinks that increase sleep
Heavy meals before bedtime, late
afternoon or evening consumption of alcohol, chocolate, tea, coffee and
caffeinated soda should be avoided. Consider adding herbs for insomnia
to your diet as well.
Keep in shape
Regular exercise helps with stress and
reduces fatigue, both of which can exacerbate insomnia. Systems such as
Tai Chi or Qigong are gentler exercises that balance staying fit with
Treat physical problems
If physical pain or discomfort is a
factor in the inability to fall asleep, don't put up with it.
Acupuncture has proven successful in treating pain associated with
arthritis and many other physical conditions.
Nutrition can contribute to the cause and
cure of insomnia. Excess protein and the over reliance on stimulants and
quick-energy foods contribute to fatigue by weighing on the liver,
kidneys and intestines. Quick fix foods increase the depletion of the
body-mind energy reserves. Tailoring a diet that includes foods such as
whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruits to the individual replenishes
energy and diffuses built-up stress.
Insomnia should not dictate when or for
how long you sleep. It can be frustrating and scary when any disease or
disorder takes away control. Oriental medicine will lead you back to a
place of balance and calm, giving you the power to lay insomnia to rest.