According to Chinese medicine, human and nature are inseparable. In order to stay healthy and avoid illnesses, it is important to respect the cycles and changes of nature. In the Yellow Emperor’s Medicine Classic ( Huangdi Neijing, 黃帝內經 ), it says:
People and nature are inseparable. In nature the cyclical movement of the heavenly bodies produces atmospheric influences that exert control over the rhythms of the seasons and are responsible for change to the myriad living and nonliving things….the warmth of spring gives birth, the fire of summer stimulate rapid growth and development, the freshness of autumn matures and gives all harvests, and the coldness of winter causes inactivity and storage.
Unfortunately, our modern lifestyle rarely lets us adjust to the changes of seasons. In winter, many people are likely to suffer from mild to moderate depression. This depressive state seems to disappear as soon as spring brings warmer and longer days. Western medicine has defined this condition as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), better known as seasonal depression. As the name suggests, the main symptom is depressed mood, but in reality, it often comes with a set of other symptoms, irritability, insomnia, headache, fatigue and even lethargy, decreased libido, difficulty concentrating, increased or decreased appetite, etc.
The most common treatment is light therapy. The principle being that by increasing the exposure to light, one would increase the level of melatonin. In moderate to severe cases, antidepressants will also be prescribed. Conventional treatments in no doubt can control depression symptoms; however, they do not address the root causes of the problem, and in the case of drugs, they might cause side effects which are also hard to manage for many.
According to Chinese medicine, SAD is caused by the imbalance of body systems and also their relation to the environment. In order to treat the root causes, the unique physical and emotional symptoms of each individual must be taken into consideration; as well the environment, diet and lifestyle. Acupuncture and other forms of Chinese medicine are very effective in treating seasonal depression and manage side effects brought by antidepressants.
If winter is particularly difficult for you and you are having difficulties to manage your seasonal depression symptoms, do not hesitate to contact us. Our Chinese medicine practitioners will be happy to answer all your questions and depending on your specific needs, we will establish a treatment plan to restore the balance of your body’s physiological functions so that you can get back on track and function optimally.