Treatment of stress, anxiety, depression, restless, hysteria, OCD.
During our life, it is impossible that we never have unhappy things. The unhappy things may be due to others, or due to ourselves, which make us feel anxiety, stressful, mad, upset, or depression, no willing to work, to meet people or even to live. Usually, we can handle these bad things, to forget them after some times, or after the reason for that unhappy things disappear. However, if we feel anxiety or depression but without clear reason, and if such emotion affects our daily life and work, we call it emotional disorders and need some medical help. For such conditions, western medicine would give medicines, which will work somehow to calm down your stress or depression, but which usually also cause headache, dizziness, imbalance, poor memory, blurring vision…, or hard to focus on works… even prone to suicide.
In Chinese medicine, the emotional disorders can be caused by sluggish of Liver Qi movement, by over Fire or less Fire in the body, by stagnation of Phlegm or Blood in the body. If the Liver Qi is stagnated, the client would feel bloating in chest, belching, bitter taste in mouth, as well as easy to get upset. If the Fire is too much in the body, the client is anxiety very much. If the Life Fire is not sufficient, the client would feel more as depression, cold hands and feet, tending to be OCD, even to suicide. If the Phlegm is block the life energy flow, the client would be psychosis-like condition. If the life energy flow is blocked by stagnated, dead blood, the client may feel mania and pain in lower belly. The aim of the Chinese medicine is to restore the normal amount of Qi, Blood, and makes sure that the movement of the Qi and Blood in the body smoothly.
Chinese medicine (here means Chinese herbal therapy and acupuncture) has very strong advantage in the treatment of such emotional disorders. Here we introduce some of the herbal formula that we use very often in our clinic:
Xiao Yao San (San means powder)
Xiao Yao San contains herb Chaihu, Danggui, Shaoyao, Bohe, Fuling, Fresh ginger, and Chinese dates. It works for such patients who feel anxiety, restless, easy to feel upset, feel dull pain in the upper-side of belly, headache, dizziness, dry mouth and throat, tired and poor appetite. Women may have disorders in menstruation. If the anxiety or depression comes close to the menstruation, or if it is worse before menstruation, this herb formula should be considered first.
If patient feels more hot in the body, more dry mouth or even sour throat, constipation, night sweat, dry eyes, red cheek, pain in the lower belly, or pain in the urine tract, or the tongue is red and tongue covering is thin-yellow in color, Jiawei Xiao Yao San would be used. Jiawei here in Chinese means to add some more herbal ingredients. It means herb Danpi and Zhizi were added to the original Xiao Yao San to increase its fire-cleansing function.
Gan Mai Da Zao Tang (Tang here means herbal decoction)
If a patient feels more stress and depression, tends to cry without clear reason, feels annoyed, has poor sleep, frequent yawn, we use Gan Mai Da Zao Tang。 This herb formula is commonly used for the treatment of hysteria, noctambulism, menopause syndrome, nervous prostration, child crying at night. This formula is also very simple: it consists of licorice, wheat, and Chinese date only, while it works very well to calm down emotion.
Huang Lian Shang Qin Wan (Wan means pills)
If a patient feels more as anxiety and restless, has red face, easy to have pain in gum, ulcer in tongue or mouth, sour throat, pain or ring in the ear, constipation, we will consider to use Huang Lian Shang Qin Wan (Wan means pills) to reduce Fire in the upper part of the body (head). Those patients are usually craving to drink alcohol, so it is used more in people who crave for wine or liquor.
San Huang Xie Xin Tang
San Huang Xie Xin Tang is also used to patients with Fire inside the body, similar to the Huang Lian Shang Qin Wang, but the patients suitable to the San Huang Xie Xin Tang tend to have red and swelling in the eyes, ulcer in the mouth and tongue, ulcer or rash on the skin, pressure feeling in the chest and difficulty in the bowel movement. Most importantly, they tend to have bleeding in the gum, vomiting blood, cough with blood, blood in the stools or urine.
Zhi Zi Chi Tang
If a patient feels annoyed in heart, feels hungry but not want to eat, has sweat only in the head,
we consider the use of this Zhi Zi Chi Tang. This formula is also very simple. It contains only Zhi Zi and Dou Chi. Dou Chi is kind of food product from soya bean. When used together with Zhi Zi, the formula works well to reduce the Fire in the Chest.
Si Ni San Sheng Yin (Yin here means drinks)
If a patient feels cold hands and feet, easy to get tired, always likes to lie down for a nap, has slow motion, slow mind, has hard to focus on things, has poor sleep and reduced sexual willingness and ability, even has frequent mind to suicide, we need to think about the use of herbal formula Si Ni San Sheng Yin. Such client usually has white tongue covering.
Ban Xia Hou Po Tang
Ban Xia Hou Po Tang works for those of patients who usually feel choking feeling in throat and need to clear the throat from time to time. They may also feel choking in chest, have cough or nausea. This formula is usually used for the treatment of hysterical depression, gastric neurosis, chronic pharyngitis, chronic bronchitis, esophageal spasm and so on.
Chai Hu Long Gu Mu Li Tang
The patients feel choking and fullness feeling in chest, easy to feel scared or shocked. They may have delirium, or difficulty in urination. The most important thing is that they may have history of being scared or shocked, and the current symptoms occurred after that. For example, they have impotency which started after his previous sexual activity was interrupted by someone’s walk in or watched. Some people may have ear ringing that is due to a strong explosion sound. Someone has poor sleep after being scared or being intimidated by some others. This formula is also used for those of people who are to go to a very important exam, interview for job or for a date and feel stress and anxiety. Therefore, it is good for students who need to calm down their emotion before participate a graduation test, and also good for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Gui Zhi Long Gu Mu Li Tang
This formula is used for man with leak of semen, or for women with sexual dream. Such patients are usually also feeling tired, weak in legs and feet, dizziness and blurring vision, and have night sweat. Such patients are usually slim and weak, easy to have trouble in tonsil when they are in childhood, in breast and in thyroid when are young, and in uterus, ovary or prostate when
they are older. They tend also to have tuberculosis. In clinic, this formula is also used for the treatment for such body constitution with hysteria, insomnia, lead of semen, infertility, threatening miscarriage, chronic diarrhea, menopause syndrome, night sweat, child bronchitis, etc.
Bai He Di Huang Tang
Bai He Di Huang Tang is used for those of patients who look as having scattered mind and spirit. The patients may complain pain in the body sometime here, some other times there, complain cold feeling but the body (including the hands and feet) but not cold by touch, feel hot but the body is not hot when touched. They feel sometimes very good appetite, but sometime no any desire to eat. They feel bitter in mouth, have poor sleep with lots of dream, early wake up, or have dry mouth or sour throat. They may have poor sleep with lots dreams, or have noctambulism (sleeping walk).
The formulas above all can be used to solve emotional disorders, however, for a given client, it is still recommended to consult with a Chinese medicine doctor to see which condition you have and which formula you should try first. Certainly, if your condition is not so severe, you can try some herbal pills for one week to see how if it works.
The commonly used herbal pills are Xiao Yao Wan, Jia Wei Xiao Yao Wan and Gan Mai Da Zao Wan.
The use of acupuncture for the emotional disorders
Acupuncture is also used for the treatment of emotional disorders and it works very well. Many times, we can see that, when we use acupuncture for the treatment of pain syndrome for a patient, along with the improvement of the pain, his or her emotional disorders are also much improved. The patient no longer feels as much as stress, anxiety or depression as before. Many times, during the acupuncture session, our patient could fall into sleep on the clinic table. When the acupuncture was used the same time with herbal therapy, the improvement occurs much fast. In our clinic, we normally let our client drink a cup of herbal tea before acupuncture. After one hour acupuncture, usually the client can feel calm, along with reduced pain.
For acupuncture, the commonly used acupuncture points are Si Shen Chong and Bai Hui (on head), Shen Men, He Gu and Lie Que (on the hand), Tai Chong (on the feet) and several points on the Du Mai (the middle line, on the top of the spine, on the back). We also insert a moxi pole (a kind of herbal pole) on the top of the needle and burn it. By this way, the needle becomes hot, which is therefore called warm-needle acupuncture. It works much better than ordinary acupuncture technique.
Usually, even with one session of acupuncture, the patients could feel calm. They would not feel as much as anxiety or depression as before. Normally, it needs 5 to 8 times of acupuncture sessions, but the best way is to have acupuncture every day or once every two days.
Traditional Chinese medicine not only works for the stress, anxiety, easy to get upset, or depression, loneliness, sadness, hopeless, but also works for hysteria, various craving syndrome (such as craving for cigarette, alcohol, drugs, food), OCD, autism, and mania.
Of course, if the emotional disorder has clear reason to cause it, for example, the client is struggle for divorce, or he is disappointed in love, or he is fired and hard to find a new job recently, if the reason remains, the healing effect of the Chinese medicine would be also limited.
In addition, if the anxiety or dysphoria occurs along with other symptoms of a disease, it is enough to only treat the original disease (without specific concern about the dysphoria per se). For example, if the client has fever, chilly, cough with phlegm, chest pain, as well as restlessness, which in western medicine belongs to Pneumonia, and in Chinese medicine, to Da Qing Long Tang Condition, the use of the Da Qing Long Tang would solve the fever, the chilly, the cough and phlegm, chest pain, and the same time, the restlessness. No special herbs is needed to calm down the client. Such clinic conditions are very common in Chinese medicine practice.