Mental health disorders such as major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can affect anyone.  Some people have a large capacity to cope with the stresses and problems of life while some may not be so adaptable to life’s ebbs and flows.  Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) believes that mental illness happens when certain body functions are imbalanced and in disharmony.  The imbalance originates from too much or too little yin or yang forces, which disrupts energy flow through the body.  TCM believes that mental disorders are unique per individual and as such, there may be different approaches to one disorder.  TCM diagnoses a mental disorder by observing the symptoms of the disorder.  The basic tenet of TCM and acupuncture is that life energy called chi flows through the body, which gives the body life, health and growth.

Acupuncture Edina is able to determine the energetic swings in the body.  The physical and emotional manifestations of the symptoms gives the acupuncturist a clear picture of what the patient is suffering from and can devise a treatment plan for that patient based on the symptoms.  Chi flows around the body on energy networks known as meridians.  These meridians connect to specific points in the body known as acupuncture points on one end and connect to major body organs on the other end.  TCM states that when the circuitous flow of chi along the meridians stagnates, illness will arise. Acupuncture is the application of needles at specific acupuncture points to cause a certain change in the biochemical and physiological processes in the body in order to achieve a desired outcome.

The Principle of the Five Elements, known in Chinese as Wu Xing, relates to the flow of chi and yin-yang balance and harmony. The Five Elements represent wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. They are used to denote the relationship between the physiology and imbalances of the body and nature.  TCM believes that an emotional state can relate to an element.  Listed below are the five elements and emotions

Wood relates to the Liver – Energy deficiency of the liver leads to anger, jealousy, frustration, resentment, bitterness and stress.

Fire is associated with the Heart – Extreme fire leads to mania and over-excitation.

Earth associates with Spleen – Energy imbalance in this organ can result in anxiety, pensiveness and worry.

Metal relates to the Lung – Deficient energy in the Lung will manifest in grief and sadness.

Water relates to Kidney – Kidney energy lack leads to depression and lack of will.

Acupuncture points treated will depend on the emotional disorder.  Initial minimal discomfort may be experienced during the treatment but as treatment progresses a relaxed and comfortable sensation then envelops the patient during the whole course of the treatment.  Depending on the disorder treatment may last from 5 to 30 minutes and the number of sessions will depend on the severity of the problem.