Depression

Health Issues/Symptoms Connections

"Depression" Issue / Symptom Connections

Below you will find various relationships to, and potential clinical treatment approaches for depression.

It is critical to appreciate that in Chinese Medicine, treatment for "depression" is rarely focused on the symptoms exclusively. Alternatively, a practitioner is looking at the factors that led to the development of "depression" - i.e. the "cause(s)".

For non-practitioners, we recommend reading treating the "cause" and not the "symptoms" for more on the overall approach and the importance of the TCM diagnostic system in formulating treatment approaches.

Within TCM, "depression" is potentially related to one or more of the following diagnostic patterns: blood stagnation, heart yin deficiency, kidney yin deficiency, liver fire, liver qi stagnation, and/or spleen qi deficiency.

The above patterns are common examples. In clinical situations, however, there are any number of other possibilities. Many times there will be a layered combination of patterns in an interwoven blend with their symptoms - some being the cause of an issue and the result of another issue. While initially complex, this is illustrative of the the web of relationships that Chinese Medicine is designed to approach.

Related Acupuncture Protocols

When developing an acupuncture protocol a practitioner is very often focusing on the causal diagnoses in Chinese Medicine terms, not on the condition itself. To illustrate and guide developing an acupuncture treatment for someone experiencing depression, this issue is referenced in the following acupuncture protocol sections:

Some acupuncture points are considered "empirically" related to a specific condition or diagnostic pattern. While this would rarely, if ever, dictate the entire composition of a treatment, the following points should be considered, possibly even more so within the context of acupressure:

  • View EX Huatuojiaji at T5 (Sides of Spine at T5)

        .5 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous processes of T5

        T5 influences the heart and pericardium systems - in the tam healing system the left side is more for heart issues and the right is more for pericardium issues.  A range of psychoemotional issues, depression, anxiety, etc. as well as cardi…
  • View HT 3 (Lesser Sea)

        With the elbow flexed, between the ulnar end of the cubital crease and the medial epicondyle of the humerus.

        Pain, numbness, tremors, etc. of the lower arms a/or hands - Parkinson's, stroke. Good local point to move the Qi and Blood. Spirit disorders from phlegm a/or heat etiologies - epilepsy, depression, anxiety, nervousness, poor memory, fuz…
  • View HT 4 (Spirit Pathway)

        1.5 cun above the wrist crease on the radial side of the flexor carpi ulnaris tendon, on the HT 3 - HT 7 line.

        Sudden loss of voice. Restless Zang Disorder (fluctuating emotions, mania, depression, anxiety, insomnia), various emotional disturbances. Chest pain that perhaps worsens with emotional distress. Local point for pain in the elbow and/or…
  • View HT 5 (Connecting Li)

        1 cun above the wrist crease on the radial side of the flexor carpi ulnaris tendon, on the HT 3 - HT 7 line.

        Speech a/or vocal disorders - aphasia (post-stroke), stiff tongue, stuttering, sudden loss of voice, sore throat. Spirit disorders and related physical manifestations, anxiety w/palpitations, arrhythmia, nervousness, depression - although…
  • View LU 3 (Celestial Storehouse)

        3 cun below the axillary fold on the radial side of the biceps brachii tendon.

        Window of the Sky Point, regulates head/body Qi flow - goiters, swellings in the neck. Lung related spirit disharmonies - stress induced asthma, poor memory, fuzzy/muddled thinking, depression, "floating corpse ghost talk", "melancholy cr…
  • View SP 1 (Hidden White)

        On the medial side of the big toe .1 cun posterior to the corner of the nail

        Any Bleeding Issues, esp. from SP Deficiency - reckless bleeding, hemorrhage, blood in the urine/stools. Emotional issues esp. with aspects of worry - worried dreams, depression. Possibly useful for eating disorders originating from stre…
  • View SP 6 (Three Yin Intersection)

        3 cun directly above the tip of the medial malleoulus on the posterior border of the tibia.

        Tonify Yin and Blood, all Spleen disorders. Digestive disorders, sinking/prolapse. Gynecological issues, male sexual issues, difficult labor (expel fetus). Menstrual issues (irregular, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea). Bleeding disorders, ute…
  • View ST 23 (Supreme Unity)

        2 cun lateral to the AML level with CV 10.

        Abdominal pain, epigastric pain, bloating, poor appetite, diarrhea. Shen/Spirit related imbalances related to phlegm - manic depression, irritability, anxiety. Used with ST 24 for manic depression with stiff/thrusting tongue.
  • View ST 40 (Beautiful Bulge)

        8 cun below ST 35, one finger width lateral to ST 38, two finger widths lateral to the anterior border of the tibia.

        Empirical point to resolve phlegm in the body anywhere from any origin. Phlegm in the head - headaches, dizziness / vertigo, depression, poor concentration, stronger shen disturbances - mania. Phlegm in the body - chest oppression, breat…
  • View UB 8 (Declining Connection)

        1.5 cun posterior to UB 7 or 5.5 cun above the AHL and 1.5 cun lateral to the AML.

        Resolve phlegm and clear wind - nasal congestion, blurry vision, dizziness, tinnitus. Calms the shen - a range of psychological conditions including depression, mania, withdrawal from lack of ability of the shen to rise. Useful for remov…
  • View UB 13 (Lung Shu)

        1.5 cun lateral to GV 12, level with T3.

        Main point for all Lung related issues from a TCM perspective - tonifies LU Qi and Yin: cough, asthma, bronchitis, sore throat, nasal congestion, shortness of breath, weakness of the voice, consumption, steaming bone disorder, etc. Useful…
  • View UB 18 (Liver Shu)

        1.5 cun lateral to GV 8, level with T9.

        Main point for all Liver related conditions in TCM terms - physical and psycho-emotional. Physical liver issues such as - hepatitis, jaundice, cirrhosis.  Generalized blood stagnation, qi stagnation, etc. Brightens the eyes - important p…

The Tom Tam/Tong Ren Therapy system can be applied via energy healing/medical qi gong methods as well as an acupuncture component. The acupuncture aspect is generally utilized in combination with more standard TCM diagnostic approaches.

For the specific points/areas that would generally be utilized in someone experiencing "depression", please read "Tam Healing and Tong Ren Therapy for Depression ".

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