In Chinese Medicine, Emotional Balance is directly related to your blood flow…Two differing perspectives on Mental Health
There are two model approaches when treating anxiety, depression and stress.
Brain and Neurotransmitters Regulation for Emotional Balance
The western approach emphasizes that it is critical that the brain is the focus of mental health in the body. The brain, needs to have crucial regulation of neurotransmitters in regulating moods and feeling states. When there is an imbalance of neurotransmitters, medications are used to regulate the neurotransmitters of the brain.
Mood Stabilizers and the Role of Neurotransmitters for Emotional Balance
Mood-stabilizing drugs for depression or anxiety are prescribed for people suffering from anxiety, depression, and disinterest in life. Most of these are SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibiters), and include Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa and Lexapro. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter allows communication between central nervous system neurons, and if deficient, can lead to depression. Western medicines hope to keep existing serotonin in circulation without being reabsorbed. Other pharmaceutical strategies include tricyclic antidepressants, which prevent or inhibit, the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine in the receptor sites in the brain, and so try to plug up these receptor sites allowing the existing neurotransmitters to float around the brain and be used for regulating moods. Some medications that do this include include Adapin, Elavil, Norpramin and Pamelor. MAO antidepressants, which inhibit monamine oxidase, which degrades neurotransmitters, and includes Marplan, Nardil and Parnate; and finally, “second generation” medicines, each working with unique mechanisms, and include Desyrel, Effexor, Remeron, Serzone, Cymbalta, and Wellbutrin.
These medicines do not build or create more neurotransmitters, but try to keep existing neurotransmitters in circulation longer. Often, clinically, the effectiveness of a single medicine plateaus – it works for a while, but then seems to stop working. Doctors will then rotate or substitute with another medicine, designed to keep these neurotransmitters in the brain freed up for use.
What is known in depression is that the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine become depleted. The Western approach is to keep more serotonin and norepinephrine in circulation.
Enhancing Blood Flow to the “Organs of the Mind” is Key for Finding Emotional Balance
Chinese medicine acknowledged that the brain existed but distributed consciousness and emotions throughout the body. Each organ system related to a certain aspect of consciousness and emotional states. The body mind connection is mirrored in the dual nature of organ systems, one physical functioning, the other mental functioning.
To enhance relaxation and reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, a search for the “sick” organ is done. By uncovering the weak organ, it can be strengthened and blood flow can be increased to the organ so the emotional state will improve as well. Once the general condition of the body is uncovered, acupuncture and appropriate herbs can be prescribed specifically to fix that problem.
Increasing blood flow to key organs notably the heart, the liver and the adrenal glands are the organs of the mind that get effected the most.
When there is poor blood flow in the heart- anxiety, palpitations, and panic attacks as well as insomnia can be the result.
When there is poor blood flow through the liver organ, via the hepatic artery, you experience fatigue, irritability, anger, and a sense of underlying frustration.
If there are so many thoughts, worry, or constant overworking of your brain, the stomach can turn into knots, and you can feel the “mental motor” running in overdrive.
Constant stress weakens the adrenal gland which is responsible for energy in the body.
From a Chinese medicine view, poor blood flow to specific organs are the cause for imbalances in the mood and by extension, neurotransmitter imbalances.
Many people suffer from anxiety for example, due to less oxygen getting to your heart. remember, arteriosclerosis is one culprit for this. You may be able to run and be cardiovascularly fit, however, if the coronary arteries are minutely blocked due to the deposition of arteriosclerosis, (which occurs as we age) you will experience less than optimal oxygen feeding your heart. Remember, arteriosclerosis is the slow march to blocked arteries and can take many, many years to develop and remains undetected in modern tests, because you aren’t sick enough to trip a test yet. However, to a Chinese medicine practitioner if this is truly the case, the application of increasing blood flow to the heart, breaking up some of the plaque and then strengthening the heart, with acupuncture and herbs will help you sleep better and relax easier. Enhancing blood flow to the heart will improve your anxiety, enhance your sleep, and settle you mentally and reduce the dreaded panic attack. This is just one example of a personalized treatment.
If you are looking for more ways to achieve emotional balance, and help you deal with anxiety, depression or generalized stress and “burn-out” Chinese medicine includes acupuncture, Chinese herbal preparation and lifestyle and diet recommendations and can be used as a stand alone treatment or in conjunction with medication, therapy, exercise, diet and meditation. For many it can be the missing piece to the puzzle.
If you are looking for more help with your unique condition, I invite you to call me to discuss your unique condition in a non-pressurized consult. Feel free to contact me at 201-4447150 or email me at Joshua @acupunctureYES.com. I am located on the West side of Ridgewood, NJ in the ehart of Bergen County, New Jersey.