Mental & Emotional Health
Mental health disorders are medical conditions that affect a person’s feeling, thinking, mood, ability to interact with others and normal daily functioning. Perhaps it is a sign of the times, and the fast-paced and stressful modern world we live in, but mental health issues appear to be increasingly common, affecting up to a third of adults at some point in their lives. Seeking help is the first step on the road to recovery.
What makes East Asian Medicine so attractive for addressing mental and emotional disorders is the understanding the body and mind are interchangeable, interact and one influences the other. We also recognise the importance of the environment, diet and lifestyle and provide support and advice in these areas.
What you receive
- •Dedicated one-to-one care with a calm, confidential space to relax and review your complete medical and personal history, so together we can identify how best to help you
- A full Chinese-Medicine based diagnosis -of your total health and also how it relates to you
- Unique treatment plan, tailored at every treatment to how you are
- Diet and lifestyle advice based on your diagnosis
- Free access to the clinics lending library of books
- “Yang Sheng Fa” treatment -translated as “the art of nourishing life”
- Self-support: advice on energy exercises, self-massage, acupressure
- Optional cross-referral to trusted other therapists, if appropriate
Why One Acupuncture
Alison has many years’ experience of treating mental health issues and has specialist training in advanced acupuncture techniques specifically developed to address this. As part of treating each patient as one whole person, she always addresses both body and mind and loves to share with her patients how these are inextricably linked. By gaining a better understanding of your total self, you can be empowered to engage with your emotions in a positive way, ultimately freeing you to live life well.
How we Treat
Alison takes a complete health history, makes observations and creates your individual East Asian Medicine-based diagnosis which is the foundation of your treatment at One Acupuncture®. She integrates any information you have from a Western perspective, including understanding your Western “label” if any, results of Western blood and other tests. However, she treats you, not just a “label”.
Reducing or coming off medication:
Conventional medicine “fixes” for many people with mental health disorders or emotional issues, include the wide-spread prescription of anti-depressants and anti-anxiolytics and these can have a place. However, often people stay on medications long-term, which can bring about other issues. So, whilst Acupuncture is complementary to conventional medicine and so can be used alongside any medication you may be on, many people come to One Acupuncture® because they would prefer to reduce or not be on them, for example anti-depressants or anxiolytics.
Alison has lectured extensively on the energetics of conventional medicines and how to safely help people reduce or stop their medications, including anti-depressants/anxiolytics. She will advise you appropriately about how this can be built into your treatment plan and, depending on the medication, if you should also involve your GP or consultant.
Treatment makes best use of all the East Asian Medicine tools are her disposal [link to what we do section] to help balance your body and mind. This includes not only Traditional Acupuncture, but also Tui Na (Chinese Massage) and external herbs (moxa) as well as other techniques.
How can Acupuncture help?
From a Western medicine perspective, Acupuncture is in general terms believed to;
•stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body’s homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional well-being. Stimulation of certain acupuncture points has been shown to affect areas of the brain that are known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation
•increase relaxation and reduce tension. Acupuncture can alter the brain’s mood chemistry, reducing serotonin levels, and increasing endorphin levels, which can help to combat negative affective states
•stimulate nerves located in muscles and other tissues, which leads to release of endorphins and other neurohumoral factors, and changes the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord
•regulate levels of neurotransmitters (or their modulators) and hormones such as serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine, GABA, neuropeptide Y and ACTH; hence altering the brain’s mood chemistry to help to combat negative affective states
(Source: British Acupuncture Council, 2017)
From an East Asian Medicine point of view, treatment of the physical body has an impact on mental and emotional health as in Chinese Medicine, there is no delineation between them. For example, Alison can be treating someone using points associated with the Lungs, perhaps as there are now physical symptoms with the chest, breathing, skin or the immune system (which all relate to the Lungs in Chinese Medicine) and this may release emotions of grief and loss, of self-esteem and letting-go, as in Chinese Medicine these are also associated with the Lungs. Often physical symptoms take us to an underlying emotional imbalance which is then addressed. Sometimes the opposite is true, for example people come with anxiety, which is often associated with the spirit of the Heart in Chinese Medicine. Of course, the diagnosis depends on each individual person. Such emotional releases and balancing can be quite surprising when it first happens to a patient but can be deeply healing.
In Five Element [hyperlink to this in the Acupuncture section] Acupuncture, which Alison frequently uses in the clinic, a key emotion is associated with each major organ. These include Anger/Lack of Anger (Liver), Joy/Sadness (Heart), Worry/Overthinking (Digestion), Fear/lack of Fear (Kidneys), Grief/Loss (Lungs). Overall these are called “Shen” which is often loosely translated as “spirit” (with a small “s” and taken to embody consciousness, emotions and thought).
What we Treat
The simplest answer to this is we treat you – body and, importantly, mind and emotions. However, to give you some perspective, patients come to One Acupuncture® for help with the following issues related to mental and emotional health (this is not an exhaustive list of what can be treated with Acupuncture)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD)
Continued Professional Development (CPD) in Pregnancy Care
A summary of the professional postgraduate courses Alison has attended relating specifically to Pregnancy Care. You can find a complete list of courses taken, here.
NADA (Detox Ear Acupuncture) (Rachel Peckham)
Five Elements – Getting Better at Getting the CF (Angie & Dr John Hicks)
Battlefield Acupuncture (John Howard)