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Acupuncture and Depression

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Modern Technology and Depression:
Traditional Chinese Medicine Alternatives

Sabura

Abstract
The 20th century brings with it a plethora of the useful and convenient inventions including a continuous introduction of the latest digital gadgets and services including cell phones, computers, televisions, and cable and internet services. With all of these conveniences, studies show that there is a steady increase of depression, mania, and suicides over recent years. As technological advances increase, the need to preserve and strengthen our ability to make bonds with each other through interpersonal intimacy. Since advancements are inevitable, there still remain some simply and ancient healing methods to counteract some of the devastating effects of modern technology. Traditional Chinese Medicine and simple lifestyle changes have been a highly effective and inexpensive natural alternative, breaking down many of the barriers to living a healthy and happy life. Modern Technology and Depression:
Traditional Chinese Medicine Alternatives

In 2013, modern technologies of internet, cell phones, laptops, and tablets have given us access to a larger capacity and quality of information, and productivity. The internet has also been noted for giving us the convenience of connecting to more people from different cultures of places around the country and the world than we would be able to have access to every day. In contrast, all of these modern technologies have also made us more introverted and reclusive than any other time in modern history. As one result, cases of clinical depression have dramatically increased within the last decade.1
Addictions to internet and devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets have also increased with some children as early as three years old. Heightened stress levels, anxiety and depression have long-term implications results from early exposure and excessive technology among young adults. Digitally-related mental disorders are now validated in the most recent volume of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (DSM-V) as Internet Use Disorder and Internet Gaming Disorder.2
The internet has also made knowledge more accessible about alternative methods to treat depression. Alternative Medicine has received growing acceptance by those who want to avoid medication, hospitalization, psychotherapy, electric or magnetic treatments. An array of self-help and alternative treatment options are more sought after, including Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture.2

History of Depression
The etymology for the term depression derived from the Latin verb deprimere, which means "to press down" From the 14th century, "to depress" took a repressive tone implicating submission by force, or to bring down in spirit. The term depression was first used as a psychiatric symptom by French psychiatrist Louis Delasiauve in 1856. By the 1860s, medical dictionaries defined it with symptoms of physiological and metaphorical lowering of emotional function. The term melancholia was also used intermittently with depression earlier in psychiatry, although melancholia denotes a more severe case of depression. Melancholia was also associated in had been associated more with the intellectuals or learned men like as one of the side effect of extensive contemplation and creativity (Dictionary.com, 2013)
In the 18th century, there were two strong arguments that challenged both physical imbalances and moral conflicts as some causes for depression or mania. Oriental Medicine and Western allopathic philosophies were similar in that they also theorized slowed circulation and depleted energy as some possible causes for depression. However, German physician Johann Christian Heinroth argued depressive states were due to a disturbance of the soul from moral conflict within the patient.[11] Early beliefs in Oriental Medicine also questioned moral and spiritual issues as to equate depression to one’s principles and/or deeds (Berrios, 1988).
The World Health Organization (WHO) projects an increasing global health burden caused by depression. Depression is currently the highest medical cause of disability worldwide (currently more than 350 million) and predicted to be the second highest medical cause of death and disability worldwide by 2020 (WHO, 2013). Depression in its worst state, can lead to suicide resulting in approximately 1 million deaths worldwide every year. Barriers to proper diagnoses and care have contributed to this staggering increase, as well as, lack of well-trained health providers, cultural stigmas, and economic restraints (WHO, 2013).
The United States has fewer barriers to proper care than most countries in the world, yet according to the National Institution of Mental Health, depression has increased dramatically here as well:
“Research studies estimate that 6 percent of 9- to 17-year-olds in the U.S. and almost 10 percent of American adults, or about 19 million people age 18 and older, experience some form of depression every year. Although available therapies alleviate symptoms in over 80 percent of those treated, less than half of people with depression get the help they need.” (Mental Health, N. (2008)
Modern Technology Addiction According to the Pew Research Center (2013), 91% of American adults own a cell phone, 24% own an e-reader, and 35% own a tablet. Stanford (2000) conducted a study of 4,113 adults in 2,689 households which showed that as internet usage increases, it has immersed itself into mainstream US culture such that Americans report they spend less time with friends and family and more time working for employers at home without cutting hours in the office. More people are spending more time away from each other and more in the cyber world in the name of work productivity. The American Management Association (2001) conducted a study within the workplace showing the businesses are losing money and productivity many wasted hours of cyber slacking. The survey reported that 36 percent of employers review files on work computers, 47 percent review email and 63 percent monitor Internet connections while companies lost an estimated hour a day of productivity. If 1,000 employees engage in personal web surfing for only one hour a day it would cost that organization up to $35 million a year (AMA, 2001). Excessive internet use is being misused and costing valuable money and quality time, but out health as well. University of Gothenburg's Sahlgrenska Academy conducted four studies from 4,000 students to study the effects of heavy computer and cell phone use on the sleep quality, stress levels, and general mental health of young adults. Findings were: • Heavy cell phone use showed an increase in sleep disorders in men and an increase in depressive symptoms in both men and women.
• Those constantly accessible via cell phones were the most likely to report mental health issues.
• Men who use computers intensively were more likely to develop sleeping problems.
• Regular, late night computer use was associated with sleep disorders, stress and depressive symptoms in both men and women.
• Frequently using a computer without breaks further increases the risk of stress, sleeping problems and depressive symptoms in women.
• A combination of both heavy computer use and heavy mobile use makes the associations even stronger. (Volpi, 2012)

TCM Philosophy in Chinese Medicine
Depression has no direct equivalent in Chinese Medicine as it primarily stems from Western Medicine. It was categorized as early as the 200 A.D. in the Jing Dynasty with one or more of ancient mental disease categories: Bai He Bing “Lilium Syndrome”, Yu Sheng “Depression”, Zang Zao “Agitation or Anxiety”, Mei He Qi “Plum Stone Syndrome’, or Xin Ji Zheng Chong “ Palpitations and Anxiety.”
Bai He Bing “Lilium Syndrome.” Yu Sheng best corresponds to the Western definition of depression. Yu meanings both depression and stagnation, with Sheng means life, birth or vitality which equals to stagnated vitality or depressed life force. The root of Sheng is Shen which translates to Spirit in Chinese. (Macocia, 2009) Spirit, which resides in the heart usually relates to our relationship to God or our religious affiliations and practices. It has a deeper connection to our connections with others, our self and our purpose (Kaptchuk, 2000). In Web That Has No Weaver, Dr. Kaptchuk (2000) explains,
“Spirit is felt whenever human consciousness forges compelling bonds and special relationships. Spirit is invoked by imagination, will, intention, awe, enchantment, and wonder. Spirit is the process of self-examination, not its outcome. Operationally, it is the Spirit that is responsible for considering, deliberating, and deciding on what is likely, possible, or conceivable.” (pg. 85)
Hun is the Ethereal Soul which is another level of consciousness which receives inspiration, expresses creativity, and makes goals or plans in life; governs right and wrong and social restraint and manifests psychic energy. In relationship to western thought, it acts like the prefrontal cortex in executive functions of the brain (Maciocia, 2012). The Hun works with and houses the Shen, but resides in the Liver.
Essence is called Jing, and is the origin and biological basis of the mind and the means through which a new life comes (Kaptchuk, 2000). The Mind is said to be the most subtle form of qi or energy of the 3 Treasures which are Mind, residing in the Heart; Qi, residing in the Lungs, and Essence, residing in the Kidneys. All three treasures have an effect on one another. Maciocia (2009) in states:
“However, the state of the mind also affects qi and essence. In most cases it will affect qi first, since all emotional stress upsets the normal functioning of qi. Emotional stress will tend to weaken the essence either when it is combined with overwork and/or excessive sexual activity, or when the fire generated by long-term emotional tensions injures yin and essence.”
Clinical Symptoms of Depression
Clinical depression is said to contain at least 4 of the follow symptoms: depressed mood for most of the day, tearful sadness, insomnia or hypersomnia, not able to enjoy all or most activities, significant weight loss, lack of energy and concentration; irrational fears, insecurities, or excessive of inappropriate feelings of guilt, recurrent thoughts of death and/or suicide or any planning or attempts of suicide (Psych Central, 2013).

Case Study
Chief Compliant
A 44-year old woman comes into the clinic complaining of lack of motivation, hypochondrial, lower back and neck pain, and palpitations. She also says she has not been sleeping well, as she has been wakes up several times throughout the night. For the last three to four months, she has also had the desire to want to lie down or sleep throughout the day.
Tongue and Pulse
Her tongue is pale and slightly puffy with teeth marks. Her pulse has fluctuated the last three sessions from thin and weak to thin and wiry on both.
Patient History
She has recently started an at-home job requiring her to be at a computer for up 4 to 7 hours a day. Her constitution is partially flaccid and admits to lack of exercise over the last two years. He prefers warm beverages or cold and spicy and sweet foods. Her stool is sticky, but well formed and urinates infrequently, as she does not drink a lot of fluids in general. She does not have a history of any significant diseases or disorders, or any outstanding history of mental disease requiring medication or hospitalization. She has a history of heart disease, some diabetes and depression on both maternal and paternal sides as well.

References
Mental Health, N. (2008). Diabetes and Depression. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 12, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/diabetes-and-depression/0001380
Psych Central. (2013). Major Depressive Episode Symptoms. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 12, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/disorders/major-depressive-episode-symptoms/
Errington-Evans, N. (2011). Acupuncture for anxiety. CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics, 18(4), 277-284. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-5949.2011.00254.x
Eshkevari, L., Permaul, E., & Mulroney, S.E. (2013). Acupuncture blocks cold stress-induced increases in the hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal axis in the rat. Journal of Endocrinology, 217(1), 95-104. doi: 10.1530/JOE-12-040 Maciocia, G. (2009). The Psyche in Chinese Medicine: Treat of Disharmonies with Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs. London and New York: Churchill Livingstone.
G. Maciocia. (2012, November 30). Shen and Hun: The Psyche in Chinese Medicine. Retrieved from http://maciociaonline.blogspot.com/2012/11/shen-and-hun-psyche-in-chinese-medicine.html.
Kaptchuck, T. (2000). The Web That Has No Weaver. 2nd Edition. Chicago: Contemporary Books.
Carter, B. (2001). Chinese Herbal Prozac: Depression and Traditional Chinese Medicine. The Pulse of Oriental Medicine. Retrieved from http://www.acupuncture.com/herbs/herbprozac.htm

Volpi, D. (2012, August 8). Heavy Technology Use Linking to Fatigue, Stress and Depression in Young Adults. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-volpi-md-pc-facs/technology-depression_b_1723625.html

(11)Jackson, S. (1983). Melancholia and mechanical explanation in eighteenth-century medicine. Journal of the History of Medical and Allied Sciences 38 (3): 298–319. doi:10.1093/jhmas/38.3.298. PMID 6350428.
12. Depression. (n.d.). Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved November 30, 2013, from Dictionary.com
Berrios, G. (1988, September). Melancholia and depression during the 19th century: A conceptual history. British Journal of Psychiatry 153 (3): 298–304. doi:10.1192/bjp.153.3.298. PMID 3074848
World Health Organization. (2013) Fact Sheet: Depression. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs369/en/index.html
Brenner, J. (September, 2013). Pew Internet: Mobile. Pew Research Center. Retrieved December 09, 2013 from http://pewinternet.org/Commentary/2012/February/Pew-Internet-Mobile.aspx
American Management Association (2001). Electronic Policies and Practices
Summary of Key Findings. Retrieved December 09, 2013from http://www.epolicyinstitute.com/survey2001Summary.pdf…...

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