TCM Tips for Anxiety and Moodiness
What is ANXIETY & MOODINESS?
Anxiety, moodiness, stress, and frustration are common emotions related to the health and balance of the Liver Qi. Many individuals seek anti-depressants and other prescription drugs to treat their mental health in Western culture. However, traditional Chinese medicine addresses underlying mental health causes. In traditional Chinese medicine, the Liver function is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi throughout the body, and it is also crucial for balancing emotions. Qi is the vital life force; Yin is passive, and Yang is active (Vanbuskirk, 2022). Qi can become stagnate when it is disrupted. Stagnation in the Liver Qi is the cause of the emotions of anxiety, moodiness, stress, and frustration (Five Seasons Healing, 2019). However, mental health can be improved by moving Qi.
What CAN TCM DO FOR ANXIETY & MOODINESS?
Traditional Chinese medicine for mental disorders focuses on the energetic imbalance of the mind, body, and spiritual connections. Many modalities within traditional Chinese medicine can be used to treat mental health.
Acupuncture is an effective way to relieve Qi stagnation. Acupuncture seeks to restore the imbalance between Yin and Yang, which is done by moving the Qi through supporting the Liver and the Spleen within the organ system. Stimulating acu-points on the body can help move the Qi. Maintaining regular appointments can tonify the organ system (Five Seasons Healing, 2019). Continuing acupuncture treatment can help improve overall health and well-being while reducing stress and anger. Auricular acupuncture or ear acupuncture effectively treats anxiety (Vanbuskirk, 2022).
Acupressure can also help with anxiety relief. Acu-point LR3, Tai Chong, locates between the first and second toe. Applying pressure on the LR3 can alleviate irritability and headaches (Tan & Cai, n.d). Acu-point PC6, Nei Guan, is a calming point and helps with nausea and anxiety. It locates between the two tendons in the wrist, two fingers up from the wrist crease. (Tan & Cai, n.d). Lastly, acu-point HT7, Shen Men, is the spiritual gate point that can release Heart fire, anger, and anxiety (Tan & Cai, n.d).
tRADITIONAL cHINESE hERBS
Traditional Chinese herbs such as Xiang Fu, Chuan Lian Zi, He Huan Hua, and Qing Pi are all beneficial for soothing the Liver Qi (Five Seasons Healing, 2019).
The stagnated Liver Qi can also be relieved through exercise. Exercises such as stretching and waterfall poses are vital for stagnation (Five Seasons Healing, 2019). During periods of rest, the Liver stores blood. To release blood, one must endure exercise and flexibility. Therefore, it is crucial to exercise every morning, stretch, or participate in Tai-Chi. Eye exercises are important too. In traditional Chinese medicine, the Liver opens into the eyes. Therefore, the smooth flow of the Liver Qi ensures proper eye function (Five Seasons Healing, 2019). Tai Chi is an ancient form known as moving meditations (Tan & Cai, n.d). Its movement involves the endocrine and nervous system to rebalance energy and strengthen the Qi.
Diet is also a crucial factor in relieving Qi stagnation. It is important to eat green foods as the color green is associated with the Liver function (Five Seasons Healing, 2019). Therefore eating things such as leafy greens and sprouts can relieve the Liver Qi stagnation and help its flow and movement. Some examples of green foods include celery, cabbage, peaches, and beets. Indulging in sour foods can also help the Liver Qi as it can help stimulate it. A few examples are adding lemon juice in water or vinegar and olive oil for a salad dressing. Milk thistle tea can also help protect the Liver cells from potential toxins (Five Seasons Healing, 2019). It has cleansing properties to eliminate toxins, such as alcohol, medication, and heavy metals. It is also crucial to put limitations on junk food consumption. Junk food can cause the Liver Qi to be stuck (Five Seasons Healing, 2019).
Five Seasons Healing. (2019, May 5). Treating moodiness and anxiety the natural way. Five Seasons Healing - Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, New York, NY. Retrieved May 4, 2022, from https://fiveseasonshealing.com/treating-moodiness-and-anxiety-the-natural-way/
Tan, Q., & Cai, X. (2021, August 20). How to Treat Anxiety With TCM and Acupuncture. Art of Wellness Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Retrieved May 4, 2022, from https://myartofwellness.com/how-to-treat-anxiety-with-tcm-and-acupuncture/
Vanbuskirk, S. (2022, February 22). How emotions and organs are connected in traditional Chinese medicine. Verywell Mind. Retrieved May 4, 2022, from https://www.verywellmind.com/emotions-in-traditional-chinese-medicine-88196#:~:text=According%20to%20traditional%20Chinese%20medicine,Joy%20with%20the%20heart