Monday, May 12, 2014

Acupuncture for Back Pain and Depression

Acupuncture has been used for the treatment of back pain and depression for many centuries. When we remember that in Oriental medicine the mind has an influence on the body, and the body has an influence on the mind, we can easily understand how these two different ailments back pain and depression can be connected.
In the Traditional Chinese medical framework, each organ is associated with a specific emotion, which in the case of the Liver is Anger. According to Traditional Chinese medicinal theory, the built up of repressed anger causes the liver Qi energy to stagnate. This in turn affects the spiritual aspect of that organ which is called "The ethereal soul ". It provides us the ability to make decisions. When the Liver Qi (energy) is unbalanced, that ability is lost. This can result in poor motivation, and a general lack of direction in life.
The affected person often become inflexible in their ideas, unable and unwilling to accept other people's opinions; they gradually alienate those close to them. Build up feelings of frustration and anger can lead to powerlessness and depression when these demands can't be met. These negative emotions will have on effect on the body causing it to become tight and inflexible, like the mind of the depressed patient, and result in back pain and other physical ailments, like digestive problems.
Other emotions such as grief and guilt can affect other organ's energy such as the lungs or the heart and the kidneys and also lead to depressive states. Hence acupuncture for back pain and depression is adjunct treatment for chronic health problems or disorders.
A constitutional weakness in the kidneys energy can result in a lack of willpower. We have probably all met some of these enthusiastic people who always seem to be full of projects, and great ideas, but they never seem to be able to bring anything to completion. This underlying weakness can be another building ground for depression. Also, kidneys weakness makes that person susceptible to lower back pain.
It is characterized by the type of pain which builds up slowly throughout the day, and becomes worse with any type of exertion. In that case, we often see two distinct patterns with either an accompanying weakness in the knees and feelings of cold in the extremities, or in opposite, symptoms of internal heat like insomnia, or irritability, and dry throat and mouth.
If the Liver itself is the causing factor, the pain will be sharp, alternating from side to side, maybe travelling up to the shoulders and neck, accompanied with aching joints.
In these cases, taking pharmaceutical medication will only have a short term symptomatic benefit, while a course of acupuncture treatments combined with mediation and gentle exercise can often be a life changing experience for patients suffering from either the back pain or the depression, or even both.
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