Traditional Acupuncture: Supporting your Mental Health

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Traditional Acupuncture: Supporting your Mental Health

20th March 2019 11:06 AM

Author: Marianne Sterland

Today my husband told me that his employer is starting an initiative which will train managers to become more aware of the mental health of their team members, and what to be on the lookout for, so they can signpost them to receive support. What an excellent initiative! It got me thinking about how many people suffering mental health problems might be signposted, or refer themselves, to see a Traditional Acupuncturist?

The reason I mention this is because I think Traditional Acupuncture is often overlooked as a supporting treatment for mental health issues, and I’d like to change that.

There is a tradition in Chinese Medicine which I would like to tell you about. It is for me one of the most inspiring and rewarding aspects of being a Five Element Acupuncturist, in both theory and practice, and it is called the ‘inner tradition’.

What is the ‘Inner Tradition’?

To begin with let’s consider the meaning of the word, holistic. It’s a term often applied to traditional acupuncture and other complementary therapies which are concerned with treating patients as a whole i.e. Body, Mind, Spirit, rather than considering them in separate parts. Western Medicine is usually very good for treating the body, and even the mind, but typically considers the two in isolation. But, I’m pretty confident that there is no hospital department which considers your spirit! I use the word spirit here to describe a person’s connection to themselves and all living things, not in a religious context. A Traditional Acupuncturist considers the health of your spirit as important and vital as that of your mind and your body. It is therefore, a truly holistic therapy. Physical symptoms can be viewed, although not exclusively, as external manifestations of our ‘internal’ health.

How do we assess a client’s internal health? In exactly the same way we assess their external, or, physical health; we listen and observe; our clients are generally very good at telling us what we need to know, we make our examinations of the tongue etc, and we take pulses, of course. We make our assessment, whilst all the time considering our client within the context of their lives, are they fulfilled or frustrated, energised or exhausted, joyous or sad, do they experience peace and contentment, or are they fraught and troubled? Does their life have meaning and purpose? This is some of what we may consider during a treatment. The inner tradition is therefore explicitly concerned with the mind and spirit.

The skill and art of acupuncture lies not only in the analysis, however, but in the treatment itself, not least, in choosing acupuncture points we believe can support our patient at the level of Body, Mind and Spirit. I’m continually amazed by how profound acupuncture can be; clients really do seem to experience the benefits on every level of their being.

Traditional Acupuncture is believed to be beneficial in the management of mental health problems, especially stress, anxiety, and by supporting the reduction of the intensity and occurrence of depression.

To find out more give The Bridge Centre team a call on 01332 521 270

(Note, this type of analysis and treatment is used by Traditional Acupuncturists, I don’t include Physiotherapists, Doctors, Osteopaths, or other professionals who use needling as part of their toolkit, unless they are also qualified in Traditional Acupuncture, as they are not trained to diagnose or treat a patient in the way I am discussing here).

Tags: Acupuncture, mental health

Treatments: Acupuncture

The views expressed in these blogs are those of the blog authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Bridge Centre for Natural Health.

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