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What is Mental Health
Mental Health is a state of well-being in which an individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community. 1
A mental illness or disorder is a diagnosable illness that significantly interferes with a person’s feelings, thinking, behaviour and the way they interact with other people.
Some common disorders include:
Acupuncture for Mental Illness
With our busy lives we all come across stressor that can cause feelings of depression, anxiety, disruptions to your sleeping, eating, working and social lives. From a TCM perspective the emotions brought about by these stressors disrupt the flow of qi and blood through the 12 meridians, however with the use of Acupuncture we can help to re-balance the body and alleviate these feelings.
There are several theories that try to explain how acupuncture works from a WSM view. As per Sala Horowitz (Ph.D) papers on Mental Health article 2, it is believed that acupuncture is able to affect the limbic system, which is involved in our emotions, motivations and feelings of pleasure, by increasing serotonin levels. Sara also mentions that acupuncture may also be able to increase the secretion of other central nervous system hormones such as adrenocorticotrophic hormone, beta-endorphins and noradrenalin thus helping to relieve pain and reduce stress with regular treatments.
In TCM our Mental and Physical health is linked with the correct movement of qi and blood through the 12 meridians in our body. Disruptions caused by emotional upset, poor sleep, lack of exercise, overwork/exhaustion and poor diet will influence the internal organ system. The organ systems contain mental aspects (shen, hun, po, yi & zhi) that are responsible for our mental and emotional health and when disrupted by the incorrect flow of qi and blood will cause the appearance of clinical patterns.
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