Depression, according to Chinese medicine, is due to Qi and/or blood deficiency, usually associated with the Heart (the organ associated with the emotion of joy) and Spleen (the organ associated with being grounded and content in life).
When our Qi levels are not strong enough to support these emotions, then we fall to the other, unhealthy, side of the spectrum. We experience the common symptoms of depression.
To further compound the problem of depression, when our Spleen is weak, our Liver (the organ associate with stress!) is allowed to rule the roost! So not only are we feeling bad, but we experience more stress which can force us into a cycle of feeling hopeless.
So how can we treat depression using Chinese medicine? First off, I'd like to mention that anytime you're dealing with a major deficit of Qi or blood, it takes time to correct. There is no quick fix. Expect at least 1-3 months, depending on how deficient you are, to see results. Expect to be treated longer than that for lasting results.
So back to the question - how can we treat depression using Chinese medicine?
Acupuncture and herbs will help get your Qi back to healthy levels relatively quickly.
Things that you can do at home include:
- Wearing sunny colors (reds, yellows, oranges). These are the colors associated with the Heart and Spleen.
- Get outside. Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to play a role in depression.
- Eat a nutritious diet. This will help the Spleen build the Qi and blood necessary to reverse your symptoms.
- Take a multivitamin. Because the Qi and deficit is so large with depression, we need all the help we can get in building Qi and Blood.
- Don't lose hope! You CAN get out of the depression hole. Be patient and loving with yourself as you regain your energy.