Traditional Chinese Medicine for Mental Health

Cherry Blossoms

Life throws a lot at us. One minute we’re juggling everything, and the next, we just don’t have the energy to keep going at full speed. Most of our patients are under a great deal of stress, in fact, stress is the number one thing we treat at Cherry Blossom Healing Arts. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we treat the whole person—mind and body—because we know that mental health can cause physical symptoms as well as emotional ones. 

Chinese Medicine and Mental Health

During the pandemic, a lot of our patients came in with Anxiety, Depression, and everything in between. Traditional Chinese Medicine is a wonderful adjunct resource to therapy, medication, and other holistic approaches our patients use. Recent studies are showing acupuncture to be an effective treatment for psychological distress—so much so that CareFirst/BlueCross is now covering acupuncture as an adjunct therapy for mental health care.

Whole Body Healing

Traditional Chinese Medicine views mental health from a perspective that incorporates not just the mind but also the physical body, emotions, interpersonal relationships, the seasons, the different energetics associated with the Yin organs, among other factors. 

In treating mental health, we treat the whole body and not just symptoms. In doing so, we’re able to sustain long term effects that improve the overall well-being. 

Treatment Plans Customized for You

Chinese Medicine understands that the terms “anxiety” and “depression” don’t manifest in just one way, but rather, have nuances specific to each individual person. When a patient comes in for anxiety attributed to constant worry, and another with grief, the treatment principles for each patient are very different. By treating each emotion felt differently by each patient as well as the whole body, we are able to sustain long-term effects to  improve your overall health.

In putting together point prescriptions and herbal formulas, we look at the patient’s history, the pulse, tongue, and overall picture of the person to see what approach would be best. 

Cherry Blossom Healing Arts Board Certified Practitioners
We are NCCAOM Board Certified Acupuncture Practitioners

Acupuncture Points for Mental Health

Certain points, however, are very commonly used to treat mental health issues, such as the set of three points nicknamed “Buddha’s Triangle” or an ear point known as Shen Men. Buddha’s Triangle and ear Shen Men are known to help calm and relax our patients allowing the parasympathetic nervous system to activate, decrease heart rate and blood pressure, which can help reduce stress.

Acupuncture and Depression

Along with facilitating relaxation, studies show that acupuncture stimulates secretion of serotonin and norepinephrine neurotransmitters which are associated with depression relief. Recent studies also suggest that acupuncture may have an impact on sensory nerves and release naturally-occurring opioids within the body, increasing a sense of well being.

Herbal Medicine for Mental Health

Along with acupuncture, we also prescribe herbal medicines such as Gui Pi Tang, which includes herbs such as Polygala Root, which is helpful in conditions such as forgetfulness, anxiety, mental restlessness, and insomnia. There are many other herbs such as longan Fruit, jujube seed, and poria which are all very helpful in treating mental health conditions.  

In treating mental health, we treat the whole body and not just symptoms. In doing so, we’re able to sustain long term effects that improve the overall well-being.

How TCM Supports Your Mental Health

Traditional Chinese Medicine has a lot to offer in terms of holistic mental health care! We support a multi-pronged approach and work with patients who are on medications such as SSRIs and have other care practices such as therapy and meditation. Our acupuncturists listen to you and treat your unique needs because, at the heart of it all, you deserve to feel better. 

Many of our patients tell us that the most relaxed they feel all week is during and after their acupuncture treatment. At Cherry Blossom Healing Arts, we operate under the assumption that we all have some amount of trauma. We work to make sure our patients always feel comfortable in our care.

To get started, head to our booking page and schedule your first appointment. If you’d like us to check your insurance benefits, we’d be happy to take care of that for you. We are in-network with CareFirst/BlueCross and Aetna.

About the Author

Vallerie Mwazo, L.Ac, Dipl.OM, MAOM
Former Associate Acupuncturist at Cherry Blossom Healing Arts

I enjoy working one on one with patients in order to provide the best care possible. I like building relationships with my patients because it enables me to further understand what they need most during each session.

Cherry Blossom Healing Arts
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