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Can acupuncture treat mental disorders?

We must all occasionally deal with major upheavals or emotional distress at some points in our lives. These events can trigger a host of unexpected feelings and behaviors from depression and panic attacks to major disruptions in sleep and eating. Not only can acupuncture and Oriental medicine alleviate symptoms associated with mental health issues, it can treat the root cause of the problem by helping to rebalance the body’s internal environment.

According to Chinese Medical theory, mental illness occurs when there is imbalance within the body. Imbalance can come from an excess or deficiency of yin and yang that disrupts the flow of qi or energy through the body.

Oriental Medicine does not recognize any mental disorder as one particular syndrome. Instead, it aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual using a variety of techniques such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, bodywork, lifestyle/dietary recommendations and energetic exercises to restore imbalances found in the body. Therefore, if 100 patients are treated with Oriental medicine for anxiety, each of these 100 people will receive a unique, customized treatment with different acupuncture points, different herbs and different lifestyle and diet recommendations.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine have the ability to detect energetic changes that occur in the body and relieve symptoms by restoring equilibrium. The physical and emotional symptoms that you are experiencing will help create a clear picture on which your practitioners can create a treatment plan specifically for you. The basic foundation for Oriental medicine is that there is a life energy flowing through the body which is termed Qi (pronounced chee).

This energy flows through the body on channels known as meridians that connect all of our major organs. According to Chinese medical theory, illness arises when the cyclical flow of Qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced. Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points located near or on the surface of the skin which have the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions in order to achieve the desired effect.