Blog/ Santa Barbara Acupuncture & Massage Blog

Treating Depression and Anxiety With Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs

At Health Solutions I am very passionate about helping people overcome depression and anxiety and find treating the inextricable connection between mind and body to be fascinating and very rewarding. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine offer excellent natural solutions.
The Oriental medical way of treating these conditions is drastically different from the conventional approach. We treat the whole person, depression and anxiety being specific manifestations of imbalance of the greater system.

In contrast the conventional pharmaceutical drugs narrowly but powerfully focus on altering the biochemistry of our neurotransmitters deep in the central nervous system. The pharmaceutical approach is fraught with dangers, especially with the SSRI class of antidepressants which are becoming widely known for their serious negative side effects. If you have any doubt of these dangers here is a database of over 4.800 media articles describing the negative impact of SSRI drugs.

With Oriental medicine we can go way beyond unnaturally elevating seratonin levels to cover up signs of depression. What we do is carefully diagnose the root cause of depression based on signs and symptoms in the body and mind. Our emotions reflect the state and health of the body. It has long been known that certain emotions and neurological patterns are related to specific organs.  With treatment, most often it is not just the depression and / or anxiety that is alleaviated, but a host other related ailments.True wellness can be felt!

Depression may be caused by various disturbances and or deficiencies in the central nervous system and body. As an example: the most common modern imbalance leading to depression has to do with disturbance of the Liver system. The liver is very sensitive to chronic stress and or physical toxicity. Long term emotional stresses of job, family, and finances can depress the function of the liver, leading to depression. Also the toxicity of regular self medication with alcohol and coffee and other pollutants can dispose us to depression. If liver Qi stagnation is the diagnosis than regulating the liver with acupuncture, herbs, and exercise can produce dramatic improvement and true healing. No need to tamper with your neurotransmitters by tweaking them with herbs like Saint Johns Wort or  supplements like 5HTP.

Anxiety is most often related to the Heart, to the Digestion, and to the Kidneys. As an example: one the more common imbalances leading to anxiety is called Blood Deficiency. This is why women are more predisposed to anxiety, losing blood with each cycle. When the blood is poor it fails to nourish the heart center predisposing the person to anxiety, palpitations, emotional sensitivity, insomnia, short term memory loss, muscle tension, headaches and a host of other conditions. An accompanying imbalance is often digestive Qi deficiency, known as spleen Qi deficiency. People with this also tend to ruminate and over think things.
Another common imbalance is yin deficiency to the heart and kidneys, this refers to the drying up of hormones and cooling moisture with aging or illness. People with this imbalance will often feel worse at night and may have flushes of heat with anxiety. As with depression, anxiety can be very reliably treated with acupuncture to normalize the nervous system and herbs to nourish and calm.

Remember the mind reflects the state of our health!

Thanks for reading. Feel free to contact me with questions.

Miklos Hubay L.Ac.

805 895-6015


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