Anxiety & Depression
Anxiety is extremely common with almost 1 in 5 people regularly suffering from it. In the right context, it’s considered a normal reaction to stress. But often it becomes a chronic condition. It can get in the way of your daily life, affecting your job and relationships. Most doctors will prescribe drugs which may provide a welcome relief to the unrelenting feelings stress produces. Yet, side effects and difficulty coming off the drugs often feels like trading one problem for another. At Tao of Wellness we use traditional therapies like acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, nutritional therapy, and tai chi & chi gong (mind body exercise) as safe and effective ways to ease feelings of anxiety, panic, worry, and stress. Let us get to the root cause of your unique anxiety and provide a custom treatment plan that allows you to again find joy in your mind, your body and your life.
How We Successfully Treat Anxiety
Anxiety can be a unique experience for each patient. What is your anxiety like? Are you fearful, worried, easily startled, and panicked? One or all of these may begin to describe your experience.
Anxiety is a diagnosis typically given by a psychiatrist, psychotherapist or other mental health professional, but nowadays many people will self-label as anxious. It may sound strange to take an emotional rollercoaster like anxiety, with all its differing emotional variants, and put this one label, “anxiety,” on it. Yet, having this diagnosis is a starting point. Unfortunately, with conventional medicine, it’s often the endpoint as well. This means there are only so many drugs to prescribe. Popular sedatives include Valium, Xanax, and Ativan but they can make patients sleepy or forgetful. Antidepressants are often used as well, such as Paxil, Prozac, and Wellbutrin. Though, these can cause a long list of side effects including sexual dysfunction and suicidal behavior.
Regardless of how long you’ve suffered or what medications and supplements you’re already taking, making an appointment at Tao of Wellness is in your best interest to treat your anxiety. We’re an integrative clinic that works alongside the other doctors on your medical team. You’ll start by setting up an initial consultation, and one of our doctors will review your current condition in addition to your medical history. We want to know what kind of anxiety you’re experiencing right now but Chinese Medicine also considers how anxiety is tied in with the rest of your mental and physical health. After your consultation you’ll be offered an individualized treatment plan that will include acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, two of our primary therapies to treat anxiety. Nutritional therapy or mind body exercise may be recommended as well. Your doctor will then answer any questions you have before beginning your therapy.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 10% of Americans suffer from depression, a mood disorder where profound sadness and even hopelessness may overwhelm the sufferer. Depression can interfere with daily activities such as eating, sleeping, and being productive and enjoying life. Work and relationships may suffer. Symptoms may include exhaustion, insomnia and even physical pain. Many depressed people also experience lack of motivation, loss of interest in activities that previously brought joy, and some may even feel that life isn’t worth living. The good news is that the majority of people with depression can get better with treatment. Antidepressant medications may be necessary in some cases, but they do not help all patients and many have serious side effects. Here at Tao of Wellness, we offer effective and natural treatment options to complement conventional therapies to help relieve depression including acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, nutritional therapy, mind-body exercise, and InfiniChi energy therapy.
How We Successfully Treat Depression
Depression can have many causes, and the proper diagnosis of the root cause and correct treatment is essential for effective and lasting relief from depression. After becoming a patient at Tao of Wellness, you will have a detailed initial consultation where one of our practitioners will assess the root cause of your depression, taking into account your history, current symptoms, and physical constitution. According to Chinese medicine it’s important to get to know the whole person, from what is being experienced in the moment, to major health and life events of the past. This enables our doctors to understand the whole person and how the body works and responds over time. Your Tao of Wellness doctor will then work toward helping you feel better now as well as preventing recurrence in the future, ensuring you stay well and emotionally balanced.
A personalized treatment program will be developed for you that will include both treatments and self-healing tools you can use at home. It’s often the things we do every day in our own life that keep debilitating feelings at bay over the long run. Treatment programs may incorporate any or all of the following that have been found to be effective for relieving depression: acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, nutritional therapy, and lifestyle guidance. In some cases, we may also offer treatment with InfiniChi energy therapy, and incorporate meditation techniques or mind-body exercises like tai chi and chi gong. After your questions are answered your treatment will begin.
Our Customized Therapies for Overcoming Anxiety & Depression
Customized Treatment Program
There is no one program for every patient who suffers from anxiety and/or depression. At Tao of Wellness your doctor will work with you in developing a plan that is personalized. Your therapies will be administered at our clinic but you will also learn self-healing tools to perform at home. What you do every day at home will have a lasting impact on how you recover from anxiety and work toward keeping it away.
There are therapeutic points all over the body that aid in reducing anxiety and depression. Being that each person’s experience of anxiety is unique, so is each acupuncture treatment. You may receive acupuncture on your head, ears, arms, legs, back, or chest. Almost anywhere acupuncture is applied you’ll find that it’s a very relaxing experience. The same calming and mood-elevating neurotransmitters, like endorphins and serotonin, that are released from your brain during exercise, are secreted during a session of acupuncture. With repeated acupuncture, in addition to activities like exercise or meditation, your body will find it likes being in this new state, and a life without anxiety will become the new norm. Learn more about acupuncture.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese herbal medicine has a long history and there exists an entire category of herbs dedicated to calming the mind in cases of anxiety, panic, and irritability. Herbs like oyster shell, pearl, and other dense minerals serve well as natural sedatives without any of the side effects typical of pharmaceutical tranquilizers. Valerian and chamomile are also common herbs used for anxiety. Like any other Chinese medical therapy, there is no singular anxiety formula. Based on your unique anxiety presentation, a customized herbal combination will be made to calm your mind, relax your body, and treat the other things you’ve decided to work on with your Chinese medical doctor. Learn more about Chinese herbal medicine.
People often overlook nutrition when thinking about mental health. The thoughts that enter your mind, the environment in which you live, and the food and supplements that enter your body will ultimately determine how you respond to stress and anxiety.
Certain stimulants that many people use regularly like caffeine, sugar, spicy foods and even nicotine can make anxiety worse. On the flipside, certain complex carbohydrates like brown rice or quinoa can be very relaxing to the nervous system. Though, calming through foods can be overdone as well and may be why many people turn to refined carbs like cereal, chips, and pastries in time of stress. Working with a doctor certified in Chinese nutrition will allow you the flexibility to move beyond just counting calories. Selecting and preparing foods to specifically improve your anxiety is a process that’s designed to find the right fit for you. If you’re used to eating out every day and don’t have much experience preparing your own food then we’ll gradually teach you new ways to care for yourself. We eat five to six times every day and these can be opportunities to reverse anxiety and have you enjoying your life again.
Our practitioners certified in nutrition may use melatonin, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and magnesium as safe alternative supplements to anxiety drugs. These have proven very effective at relaxing the nervous system and promoting restful sleep, while avoiding most side effects in common prescriptions that cause drowsiness or dependency. Learn more about Nutritional Therapy.
Mind Body Exercise
Exercise is key for health and longevity. But too much of the wrong kind of exercise can actually make anxiety worse for certain people. Too much cardio like excessive running or spin classes, or excessive weight lifting, can tire the body to the point of creating more stress than it solves. In turn, this could stimulate the mind right back into states of anxiety. If you’re suffering from anxiety, moderate exercise is certainly helpful for most people. In addition to cardio or weight training, it can be enormously helpful to incorporate calming activities like the body mind exercises of tai chi or qi gong. These help regulate the circulatory and endocrine systems that are out of balance when anxiety is a daily experience. At Tao of Wellness you’ll find a choice of certified instructors in several forms of tai chi and qi gong. Your doctor will work with you in determining the right practice as a supplement to your other exercise and nutrition regimens. Learn more about tai chi and chi gong.
InfiniChi Energy Therapy
InfiniChi is Chinese medical energy therapy in the Tao Of Wellness tradition. This is a series of non-touch techniques that aim to guide your mind and energy to a place of calm. The problematic norm of stress in the body and mind are assessed by your certified InfiniChi practitioner, and while you rest, the imbalances within your body-mind are set back in order. You’ll have the opportunity before and after your treatment to communicate the changes you feel. Your doctor will likely prescribe simple homework of breathing or visualization exercises to keep this therapy working for you when you’re not in our clinic. Learn more about InfiniChi.
Patient Success Stories
Natural Healthcare for Anxiety
Tao of Wellness was established in 1976 as a resource to address anxiety. We strive to support you in mind and body, and invite you to make an appointment for your health and wellbeing. It would be our pleasure to serve you.