I believe that many of my friends have also experienced big and small twists and turns in their lives during the three years of the epidemic. Now that the end of the epidemic is approaching, we will also face various challenges in the post-covid era. In the past three years, I have treated many patients who were troubled by emotions and insomnia, which gave me a new understanding of the role of Chinese medicine in the treatment of related diseases.
From Patient Mrs. S:
“I first came to Dr. Zhang to treat my anxiety and insomnia. After a period of treatment combined with acupuncture and psychological counseling, Dr. Zhang helped me reorganize my body and mind, so that they can coexist harmoniously and nourish each other .With a new understanding of the relationship between mind and body, I not only feel more energetic, but also gain very practical methods to help me continue my healing journey. I am forever grateful to Dr. Zhang for helping me.”
When Mrs. S entered the consultation room for the first time, her face was full of tiredness, and her posture was difficult to stretch because of the tense muscles in her whole body. As a full-time wife, she followed her husband and children through several stressful and worrying regional migrations during the epidemic. In less than 3 months after arriving in Hong Kong, her sleep went out badly. Difficulty falling asleep, accompanied by occasional episodes of tension and heart palpitations, made her lose weight day by day. In severe cases, she would wake up in a dream, and her whole body would become stiff. The hardest part was that she still had to take care of her family while trying to adapt to the new environment. Therefore, I chose to let go of my usual consultation process, but tried my best to provide her with a space where she could express herself, and actively responded to her with empathy. 45 minutes passed like this, and I asked her again how she felt at the moment, and she breathed a sigh of relief and said, “It seems to be a little relieved.” After fully understanding her situation and communicating her needs, we chose acupuncture plus counseling as a treatment plan.
From the point of view of Chinese medicine, Mrs. S’s tongue and pulse all showed signs of Qi stagnation and blood stasis. At the same time, I also found some signs of internal resistance of phlegm and dampness and deficiency of Qi and Yin. In the process of counseling, I learned that she had a lot of anger and grievances accumulated in her heart, which provided great help for my diagnosis and treatment. Therefore, when choosing acupuncture points, in addition to regulating qi and calming the nerves, I also focused on selecting a few points on the heart meridian, pericardium meridian, and liver meridian, such as Daling, Shenmen, and Taichong, to help her release her suppressed emotions. fire. When retaining the needles, I will also use the audio of the singing bowl to adjust the frequency of her body and mind, and assist the circulation of essence in the meridians. After a total of 8 weeks of treatment once a week, her sleep condition has been significantly improved, the difficulty of falling asleep and waking up in the middle of the situation has been greatly reduced, and she rarely has palpitations and palpitations. In the process of counseling, she also slowly learned to reconcile with her emotions, and added more tolerance and understanding to herself. Afterwards, she changed the treatment frequency to once a month, and I saw that her whole body became more and more stretched, and her smiles increased. Even later, I felt that every time she came, it was more like an old friend coming to catch up.
Perhaps for many people, using Chinese medicine to treat emotional and mental diseases seems to be a novelty, but in fact, Chinese medicine has attached great importance to the relationship between body and mind since ancient times. In the concept of the five elements, all our emotions are stored in the internal organs. Joy, anger, worry, thought, and fear correspond to the heart, liver, lungs, spleen, and kidneys, respectively. The relationship between the viscera not only affects the function of the viscera itself, but also affects our emotions. Conversely, emotional disorders will also affect the functions of viscera. Take the case of Mrs. S as an example, she has a lot of suppressed anger in her heart. We say that it is good for the body to be angry when you are angry, because at this time the body and mind are in a harmonious state. But if the anger is suppressed in the heart, it will silently burn and consume the blood in the viscera. Over time, internal consumption of yin and blood and stagnation of qi movement lead to insomnia, palpitations, nervousness and other symptoms. Therefore, the treatment of traditional Chinese medicine is to use traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture and other methods to make the best use of the situation and help the body and mind to re-establish balance. At this point, you may have a question: If the emotions arise first and lead to physical and mental imbalances, isn’t it a step too late for Chinese medicine to intervene? Therefore, in the doctor’s orders of traditional Chinese medicine, there is actually one item that we have always ignored: regulate emotions and maintain physical and mental peace. However, this is indeed easier said than done. What should I do?
I think, regarding emotions, we have always had a misunderstanding, that is: “I want to control my emotions, I can’t be a person who loses control of emotions.” In fact, emotions are a wonderful mechanism that we are born with, hidden in the internal organs. Whether it is joy, anger, sorrow, or joy, they themselves have no distinction between good and bad. I don’t know why, but we all think that happiness is good, while anger and sadness are bad, and we often don’t even allow ourselves to be angry or sad. Are we being too hard on ourselves?? I really like a metaphor about emotions. It says that our hearts are like the sky, and emotions are like all kinds of weather. Sometimes it is sunny and sometimes it is stormy. But the most important thing is that no matter what the weather is, it will pass, and the sky in my heart will always be clear. Therefore, in the face of various emotions, the first step may be to ask yourself: Would I like to accompany that piece of my heart to rain and thunder? Instead of: I can’t let the rain fall, and I can’t let the thunder go. Only by letting the emotions flow in the body can the storm really pass.
About the author:
Michelle Zhang is a registered Chinese medicine practitioner. She is an expert in addressing women’s health issues using different TCM modalities such as acupuncture, facial acupuncture, cupping and others.