MOOD SWINGS AND ACUPUNCTURE
Mood swings may have several causes, including chemical imbalances and hormonal changes. Various types of physical illness can cause mood highs and lows. Feelings such as happiness, stress, or anxiety occur when the brain releases neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, norepenephrine). People who experience mood swings might have an imbalance of the neurotransmitters. Various medications and therapy techniques are designed to establish a balance of the release, reuptake, and absorption of these key neurotransmitters.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs often reduce mood swings. Acupuncture removes energy blockages, stabilizes hormonal fluctuations, and may heal nerve damage, which in turn reduces mood fluctuation. Acupuncture increases production of endorphins (the body’s natural opiates) and serotonin (the body’s natural mood enhancer). Increase of endorphins can stabilize mood swings. A stable brain serotonin level is associated with a positive mood state.
According to TCM, the primary energetic imbalance that causes mood swings is liver qi stagnation. Additional diagnoses of mood swings may attribute to blood deficiency or uprising deficiency heat. The three diagnoses present similar symptoms of irritability, nervousness and emotional instability. Classic Chinese herbal base formulas commonly used for mood swings are prescribed according to how the symptoms present. Liver qi stagnation symptoms of irritability, nervousness and emotional instability may be treated with a formula of bupleurum and peony (jia wei xiao yao).
Blood defiency generalized emotional instability may have an herbal Rx of ginseng and longan combination (gui pi tang). Uprising deficiency symptoms of irritability and nervousness may be treated with artemisia and turtle shell (qing hao bie jia tang). Sedating or cooling herbs to calm the heart and sedate the spirit may be added to formulas based on diagnosis to improve treatment. For more information about acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and mood disorders call Dr. Richard Browne at (305) 595-9500 or consult your yellow pages for a licensed acupuncture physician in your area.
"Written by Rev. Dr. Richard Browne