Depression, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, is a psychiatric disorder characterized by an inability to concentrate, insomnia, loss of appetite, anhedonia, feelings of extreme sadness, guilt, helplessness and hopelessness, and thoughts of death. It is a disease affecting a significant number of people in the postmodern era. Depression can be caused by factors such as broken relationships, death of a loved one, disappointment or frustration and environmental factors such as seasonal changes.
Depression like most psychological problems is an extreme negative or sad emotion. Extreme emotions, whether positive and negative generate blockages within the meridian systems of the body. These meridians transport chi throughout the body. Chi or life force is the energy traveling to our body that causes the body to grow, be healthy and generate. When chi, gets blocked, physical and psychological ailments such as melancholia; insomnia; too much sleeping; back, neck, joint and muscle pain; headaches; exhaustion; fatigue; dizziness and weight loss due to loss of appetite, occur.
In western society, the intake of anti-depressive drugs and psychotherapy are usually the two most prescribed forms of treatment for depression. Acupuncture Bellingham has been a popular alternative treatment for people who would rather not take either of the two aforementioned modalities.
Acupuncture is a treatment that uses needles inserted at certain points in the body to stimulate the body to release endorphins, remove energy blockages, balance and harmonize the yin and yang principles interacting with each other in the body and to raise the body’s energy levels to regulate body processes and functions. Needles can be used as conductors to heat, pressure or electrical stimulation to normalize chi flow. When chi, flows unimpeded, the body is healthy.
Acupuncture or traditional Chinese medicine, in general believes in the philosophy of Dao. Dao stresses harmonious living with nature and a balanced way of life. Dao believes there are “three treasures” that individuals function on: Qi, Shen and Jing. Qi or chi (life force of all creatures and plants) is the giver of life, Shen is the soul’s spirit and it governs consciousness and thought. Jing governs the body’s growth and reproduction.
Yin-yang postulates that there are always two sides to everything (black and white, cold and hot, positive negative, etc.). These two opposing forces need each other to exist. The balance and harmony of yin and yang’s interaction with each other is what keeps the body’s health in equilibrium and well. An imbalanced and unhealthy interaction when there is either too much yin or too much yang can lead to illnesses.
Acupuncture points stimulate the nervous system to release chemicals called endorphins. The body also elevates its energy level and stimulates the body’s natural healing abilities. Endorphins are needed to promote physical and emotional well-being, which is essential to neutralize the extreme negativity caused by depression.