Depression is a prevalent mental illness in developed countries. In Western medicine, experimental and clinical investigations have demonstrated that depression is associated with the dysregulation of neurotransmitter signaling, and symptoms of depression can be alleviated by therapeutic intervention. However, patients taking antidepressant drugs often experience serious side effects and high relapse rates. On the other hand, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) views depression as a manifestation of liver qi stagnation. Practitioners of TCM have long been treating depression with herbs that promote qi circulation in the liver. In this article, we offer a hypothesis stating the biochemical basis of the linkage between liver qi stagnation and depression. Liver qi is involved in the processing of macronutrients into molecules to fuel energy metabolism in brain neurons, as well as the synthesis of plasma proteins that maintain blood circulation to the brain, thereby enabling these fuel molecules to be delivered to the brain. In cases of liver qi stagnation, the failure in delivering sufficient fuel molecules to the brain disrupts mitochondrial ATP production in neurons. Because neurotransmitter release and neurotropin transport are driven by ATP, the deficiency in release and transport processes resulting from insufficient ATP production could lead to depression. Therefore, if liver qi stagnation is causally related to the pathogenesis of depression, the promotion of liver qi circulation by Chinese herbs might offer a promising prospect for the effective treatment of depression.
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by Robert Wilkinson A friend thought the astrological correspondences for the 12 Cell Salts would be an article many would find useful, so welcome to today's subject for consideration. The 12 cell salts are considered to be necessary to our...
Acupuncture, Moxibustion, and Combination Therapies for Insomnia
Insomnia, a common
sleep disorder, affects general well-being, hastens the onset of other
diseases, and impairs work performance. Hypnotic medications are efficacious in
the short term but have obvious side effects. Acupuncture, often used to treat
insomnia in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), is considered to be beneficial
in restoring the normal sleep-wake cycle by regulating and restoring the
natural flow of qi (energy power).
The three main TCM theories for treating insomnia by acupuncture are the
tranquilization disturbance, zangfu disturbance (disequilibrium of internal organs), and imbalance of yin and yang theories. Moxibustion, another treatment for insomnia, is
usually combined with acupuncture. Acupuncture and moxibustion with tuina (exercise massage), acupuncture with Chinese herbal
injection, electroacupuncture, and acupuncture with medication or psychotherapy
are other interventions. Some acupuncture-based methods such as needle-rolling
acupuncture, auricular acupoint plaster therapy, phlebotomy, and acupoint
catgut-embedding therapy are used as well. Although most clinical trials have
shown that acupuncture and its combination therapies are significantly
effective in insomnia, the beneficial effects may have been overvalued, because
of small sample size, nonstrict inclusion and exclusion criteria, flawed
methodology, short follow-up, or nonstandardized evaluation. Therefore,
clinical studies of high methodological quality are needed to verify the
efficacy of acupuncture, moxibustion, and other combination therapies in insomnia.
The number of acupuncturists, Traditional Chinese Medicinal (TCM) doctors, and complimentary alternative medicine (CAM) patients is growing in the United States, yet mainstream science, medicine and health insurance companies often disregard acupuncture as a legitimate medical treatment. However, it appears that science may finally be able to visually verify the existence of acupuncture points, meridians (vessels within…