For thousands of years, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has linked emotional health to physical health; these ancient theories dictate that you cannot separate one from the other. Acupuncture, herbs, Medical Qi-Gong, and Essential oils are used to balance the emotions and restore good mental and physical health.
Related Article: Five Element Theory
Much of traditional Chinese medicine is modeled on The Tao; this is an ancient text that translates as “The Way” which reveals good lifestyle practices to achieve a long and healthy life. The goal is to attained harmony through practices that promote both physical and emotional wellness. One would eating and drink in moderation; activity and work would occur during the day and rest at night; one would not overtax the mind with worry or negative emotions. Those who practice the Way are at peace in their heart and feel no fear as they are one with the Way.
The first section of the ancient Huangdi Neijing text called the Suwen explains that Heaven has four seasons and five elements, or phases, for generating, growing, gathering in and burying. These relate to the five zang organs which transform Qi in to five emotions when they are not in harmony with the outer world: elation(xi 喜), anger (nu 怒), sadness (bei 悲), oppression (you 憂) and fear (kong 恐). This ancient text explains in great detail how each organ system impacts the others through emotional and physical imbalances. In reality, no one bodily or psychological issue stands alone; if not tended to, it will impact the other organs of the body like falling dominoes.
While it was not possible to consider changes that have come with modern lifestyle the ancient theories relating to emotional balance are still clinically viable. In reality, they are more relevant now than ever as our lives do not follow the changes of the seasons or patterns of nature. One example might be the way that we work at jobs and commute to work while sitting which damages the Spleen and causes greater worry. Combine that with poor dietary habits and little fresh food from the garden, little exercise and time spent in nature, and all of the artificial light disrupting our sleep, emotional imbalances are job one in my acupuncture clinic.How is this done? Through Chinese medical diagnosis! My main mode of diagnostics is pulse and tongue diagnosis, but these techniques are also employed:
• Facial diagnosis
• Posture and demeanor
• Gestures and reactions
Listening and smelling
• Voice tone, speed and pronunciation
• Logical or illogical
• Reality or fantasy based beliefs
• Emotional expression
• Smells as related to Five Elements
• Chief complaint associated with Emotions
• Current emotional condition: feeling, emotion, schedule and relationships
• Family history of mental disorders and abuse
• Medicine and side effects considered
• Body reaction
• Tension and muscle strength
• Shake, tremor and contraction
• Skin and deep tissue medical conditions
• Activity (in clinical settings)
• Imagination through relaxation
• Conversation discussing on issues
• Mental diagnosis from MDs
These inquiries and observations combined with physical imbalances and illnesses help to form the final Chinese medical diagnosis. In this way we can treat the underlying imbalances and clear past emotional traumas using herbs and acupuncture.