02 Aug 2012

How Anxiety is Diagnosed and Treated in Traditional Chinese Medicine: Deb Valentin, M.S., L.A.C.

How Anxiety is Diagnosed and Treated In Traditional Chinese Medicine

Anxiety is where one experiences worry, and fear, of the “what ifs”. People who suffer from anxiety can experience heart palpitations, racing thoughts, queasy stomach, headaches, heaviness in the chest, insomnia, headaches as well as many other symptoms. Anxiety can be extreme and can impact a person in their everyday life.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, anxiety manifests when different organs are imbalanced in the body. Therefore, it is important to understand the body’s dynamics and the imbalances that are occurring that need to be addressed.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the heart holds the spirit or “shen”. One’s shen is how we communicate to the world around us. The heart holds our consciousness. Joy is the emotion of the heart, so when someone is joyful their shen is at peace and their eyes shine. When the heart is imbalanced heart palpitations, poor concentration and forgetfulness can take place. Anxiety always involves an imbalance in the heart.

The kidneys hold our essence, which is passed down from our parents. The emotion of the kidney is fear. When the kidneys are imbalanced fear manifests.

The spleen in Chinese Medicine provides blood to nourish the heart. The emotion of the spleen is worry. Too much worrying or ruminating thoughts mean the spleen is imbalanced. When it fails to provide blood to the heart, the heart is then affected.

The treatment for anxiety in Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on a holistic approach. The first step is to understand the different organs that are imbalanced and diagnosing any deficiencies and stagnations that may be present. Then treatment is aimed at re-balancing the organs, nourishing any deficiencies and moving stagnation. Once the body regains “balance”, anxiety is reduced or is no longer present. Traditional Chinese Medicine is a great alternative to pharmaceutical drugs and overall aims to treat the root cause of anxiety so that a person has the ability to regain health.


Thank you Deb for your valuable knowledge and important work!

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