When a client comes to our office for an emotional condition, I ask a lot of questions. For all new patients, we always do a thorough intake. But as far as emotions, I find there is a wide range of experiences and feelings that go into any diagnosis – including depression.
For example, some clients experience depression as a series of intrusive and negative thoughts. They get caught in a cycle of negativity and that leads to a lack of happiness over time. This person is quite different from the patient that experiences depression more as a physical sensation. I’ve treated patients who feel physically sluggish with heavy shoulders and body, and feel that no sleep is never enough. And this person is again quite different from the one who just lost their job and is having trouble shuffling through the job ad’s day after day feeling like they’re never actually reaching someone.
As an acupuncturist, it is my job to “get to the WHY” of all disease mechanisms. Because it’s a holistic medicine, I help a patient to navigate their issues. Have you ever been upset about something and called a friend and talked it through with them, immediately feeling a weight lifted? This happens in healthcare too. I can ask the correct questions to narrow down the underlying cause of the depression. It’s not easy to be going through depression and most clients feel foggy and have a difficult time understanding the reasons for feeling depressed. I believe we can benefit from having people around us who can guide us out of that fog by first identifying the cause, then helping us to see the way up and out.
I use a lot of different tools to alleviate depression. For all patients, no matter what the cause, acupuncture is helpful as a way to relax the nervous system. Acupuncture mechanically shifts our body out of the fight or flight mode and into rest and repair. A reset like this is is helpful in shifting out of the “funk”. Often after an acupuncture session, I have had clients say “I can think more clearly and I even feel as though my vision is mildly improved”. It cleans the lenses you’ve been looking through and now, everything is different.
Whether it’s an acupuncturist, a therapist, or a friend, may you find your healing community that sees who you for who you really are, can hold the space for your healing, and support you in raising your energetic vibration.
-Monica Mae Leibson, Dipl. Ac.
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