Using Holistic TCM Treatments to Help With Depression and Grief: A Successful Case Sharing

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Case background: a 50+year-old lady suffering from deep grieving after losing her husband to cancer

 

Main concerns: 

- depress and going through emotional roller coaster,  cannot stop crying when the wave of emotion comes

- sleep disturbance, chronic fatigue and lack of focus

- profound loneliness.(The patient has been spending most of her time in the role of caregiver in her partner’s last phase of life)

- Other physical concerns: headache, breathing difficulties, palpitation, loosing of appetite, weight loss

 

Treatment details

Main treatment methods: acupuncture (head and body), gua-sha, sound healing; herbal med to strengthen the lung system, promote better sleep and stabilize the emotion

Treatment period: 3 months at weekly basis,  then ease out to bi-weekly basis.  After 6 months,  patient only come when she has serious emotional disturbance or physical issue.  

 

Treatment results:

- Most of the physical imbalances are gone after the 1st 3 months of treatment

- Sleep quality improved, more rested and able to focus at work 

- Mood swing and depression decrease gradually during the 1st 6 months’ treatment. Occasional emotional wave still lead to uncontrollable crying

- Social life and work life mostly back to normal after 6 months’ treatment

 

Patient’s feedback:

I came to see Dr. Clara, around 2 months after my spouse passed away.  I have been his caregiver during his last stage of life, and my feeling of lost was profound. I could not sleep, cried all the time, and could not handle my emotion. I also felt lack of energy and could not handle my work and life routine efficiently.  One of my best friend suggested me to visit Dr. Clara, who has helped her to moderate her emotion and restore her sleep through TCM treatments.

Dr. Clara is friendly, open-minded and knowledgeable.  From the start, I felt comfortable speaking openly about my feelings and fears with her. She provided me with information about the potential stages of the grieving process and how traditional Chinese medicine can assist in my healing. Following each acupuncture session, I noticed a boost in my energy and a sense of calmness. With the aid of herbal medicine, my sleep quality and appetite also improved. I am grateful for Dr. Clara's approach of treating me as a partner in the healing process, and I would like to express my appreciation for her encouragement, thoughtfulness, and personalized treatments.

 

Words from the TCM practitioner:

Losing a loved one can be an incredibly painful experience. Their death can feel like an overwhelming weight on one’s shoulders. In most of my clinical cases of grieving,  my clients experience intense and difficult emotions, such as deep sadness, emptiness, and hopelessness. Their life routine are also disrupted due to their lack of energy and difficulties in dealing with reality. These negative emotions and disruptions will elicit physical reactions. Most of the clients come to see me to deal with the physical reaction like insomnia without realizing that TCM treatments could also help them to moderate their emotion, and smooth out their grieving process.  

The above client is a referral, so she is expecting a holistic treatment right from the 1st session. Through detail explanation of grieving process, the client realize that there is a journey she need to go through in order to heal properly. Her sleep quality is much improved after a couple of sessions, which give her more energy to cope with the life change, and waves of emotion. Sound healing also play an important role in calming her mind and restoring her yin-yang balance. She is able to restore her life routine and free from most physical symptoms after 3 months’ treatment, but the feeling of loneliness linger, and occasionally, the wave of sadness still hit, so I suggest her to come back for supportive treatment whenever she need it.  The treatment result is satisfactory and she told me that she was confident enough to handle her emotion waves after 6 more bi-weekly treatments. 

 

Traditional Chinese medicine and Grieving

With reference to Chinese medicine theory, grieving and sadness could impede the function of the lung system.

The emotional blockage of not letting go affects the receiving and letting go action of the lungs. It is very common for people under grieving to experience shallow breathing and a feeling of tightness or heaviness in the chest. At the meantime, the weakened lung system, could affect the function of other visceral systems. The most common symptoms include loosing appetite, indigestion or crave for sweet (Spleen); have difficulty sleeping/insomnia (Heart), reduced stamina (Liver), anxiety or fatigue (Kidney).

Grief is a natural response to loss. Coping with the loss of someone or something you love is one of life’s biggest challenges. It takes time to heal and support from the professional.  In Balance Health,  we adopt an holistic approach to help you to go through this difficult period, while working on your physical imbalances and restoring your overall energy.

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Losing a loved one can be an incredibly painful experience. Their death can feel like an overwhelming weight on one’s shoulders. In most of my clinical cases of grieving, my clients experience intense and difficult emotions, such as deep sadness, emptiness, and hopelessness. Their life routine are also disrupted due to their lack of energy and difficulties in dealing with reality.

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