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Anxiety and the Small Intestine: A Chinese Medical Perspective

Could the expression of gender confusion, or the raging maniac behind the wheel of the car that cut you off on your way home from your son’s soccer game be caused by disharmony of an organ system in the body? Traditional Chinese medicine is fascinating in regards to its tenets on mental health.

Each organ system has an emotion associated with it. Some of those emotions are fear, jealousy, overthinking/worry, abandonment, depression, anger… these are just a few of the unfortunate and several emotions that we encounter practically daily. A combination of external and internal environment will lend energy to emotional imbalance. Let’s take a brief look into the dynamics of what Chinese medicine teaches about the small intestine and the mental emotional function.

The small intestine’s emotional expression when in disharmony is abandonment. When in harmony the small intestine gives us power of discernment. This is the ability to see clearly and distinguish between things that are pertinent and relevant before decisions are made. In Western medicine, the small intestine is the area of the body where one absorbs nutrients. This is where the body separates the good to absorb from the bad to discard. If there is an imbalance in the small intestine, then there may be lack of ability to think clearly and make choices that will truly benefit the whole.

Two patients came in who required a heightened focus on strengthening the small intestine organ system with acupuncture. One was a teen boy with hair plucking, or trichotillomania. His body was overwhelmed with the changes he was going through and felt only to obsessively pluck his hair to kill pain. Simply applying the small intestine protocol with acupuncture helped relieve his symptoms in a very short period of time. Within two months of treatment, the patient was completely relieved of his symptoms and the hair plucking ceased.

A man with a history of anxiety and depression exacerbated by a sister who committed suicide feared the same demise for himself. He had a chronic outbreak of shingles as well as his mental emotional symptoms. The length and depth of this case was more complex, however within three months of regular acupuncture treatments not only has his anxiety and depression decreased to a level unknown to the patient, his shingles pain and symptoms reduced and resolved.

If you are interested in acupuncture for mental health symptoms, contact us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Haldeman.

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