Skip to Main Content

Traditional Chinese Medicine For the Treatment of Mental Health

by Stacy Lauren-Kon, Lac MSOM

Traditional Chinese Medicine For the Treatment of Mental Health, Mend Family Acupuncture and Healthcare in Los Angeles, CA

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treats the mind, body, and spirit as interdependent and interconnected – you just cannot separate them! Through Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Diet/Nutrition, and Behavioral Modification, TCM helps your body balance hormones, stimulate the release of endorphins and other natural painkillers, and helps modulate the parasympathetic nervous system to help you live a more emotionally stable and enjoyable life. 

In our modern times, so many people are grappling with mental health issues. The statistics are staggering – 1 out of 2 adults are suffering with anxiety and depression, and 1 out of 3 children are battling with it, as well. We need options and Traditional Chinese Medicine is an important tool in this battle.

Here are some modalities of TCM that can be utilized in the treatment of mental health care and emotional well-being:

1) Acupuncture: Thousands of studies have proven Acupuncture is very effective in treating a wide range of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, general stress, PTSD and other serious psychiatric disorders. Acupuncture is a key component of TCM that involves the insertion of tiny, painless needles into very specific points on the body. 

There are over 365 points on the body that travel along 12 meridians which correspond to all of our organs. By utilizing these points and meridians, a Licensed Acupuncturist stimulates the body to release endorphins and regulate the levels of serotonin and dopamine. Acupuncture activates and soothes the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the "rest and digest" response in the body. Although Acupuncture is not a substitute for Western Medicine, it is a wonderful first stop on your medical journey. With the use of Acupuncture you may not need Western prescriptions, or, you may be able to maintain a low dose of Western meds.

As you can imagine, it takes years to study the technical and precise application of Acupuncture and how it can properly treat mental health issues. So to avoid injury and ensure you receive the best care possible, please only receive Acupuncture from a Licensed Acupuncturist and/or Dr. Of Eastern Medicine. Licensed Acupuncturists endure at least 3 years of schooling and State and National Board Exams for Licensure. Please do not go to a Western Dr. Or Physical Therapist who has taken a weekend or online course. The level of care is not comparable. 

2) Herbal Medicine: TCM uses a variety of herbal medicines to treat mental health conditions. A lot of TCM’s tried and true ingredients have been patented by Western Pharmaceutical companies. But TCM practitioners use the natural versions of these herbs that are gentler and more nuanced than the patented chemical versions. These herbs were researched and selected over thousands of years  based on their properties and are paired and combined in formulas to address very specific biological patterns. TCM never uses single herbs. Herbs are always used in conjunction with one another in a researched combination that directs the medicine to specific areas of the body, and carefully prevents any toxicity to organs. Nowadays, these herbs are grown and produced in the United States along with careful oversight and approval. Our herbal formulas are safe, appropriate for children, non toxic, non habit-forming, economical, and are beautiful alternatives/adjuncts to many Western Medications. 

3) Cupping and Manual Therapy: Cupping therapy is an ancient Eastern healing practice that has been used for centuries to help treat pain, inflammation, and many other ailments. It involves the use of cups, typically made of glass, plastic or silicone, that are suctioned to the skin to increase blood flow, help to draw out pathogens (toxins and bacteria), relieve muscle tension, reduce inflammation, and improves circulation. The cups create a negative pressure on the skin which helps to increase blood flow to the area, providing increased oxygen and nutrients to the cells. This helps to stimulate healing and reduce pain. Cupping can be used on its own or in combination with other forms of Acupuncture and Manual/Physical Therapy.

4) Diet and Nutrition: TCM emphasizes the importance of a healthy diet and nutrition for overall well-being, including mental health. In TCM, food is viewed as medicine, and certain foods are believed to have specific properties that can affect the mind and body. For example, foods like walnuts and almonds are believed to nourish the brain and improve cognitive function, while foods like ginger and turmeric are believed to have anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

5) Mind-Body Practices: TCM includes a variety of mind-body practices, such as Tai Chi and Qi Gong, that can promote mental and emotional well-being. These practices involve gentle movements and breathing exercises that can help to reduce stress, improve mood, and promote feelings of relaxation and well-being.

In summary, Traditional Chinese Medicine takes a holistic approach to mental health care and emotional well-being, and it offers a variety of tools and techniques to support individuals in achieving balance and harmony in all aspects of their being.

Call Mend Family Acupuncture and Healthcare at 323-459-2000 today to find out how we can help you achieve a better “normal”.