The main characteristic of Traditional Chinese Medicine is its ability to piece together various symptoms that a person presents with and treat from this totality.
Looking at the TCM model we understand that stress affects many aspects of the body. According to TCM the Liver is the main organ that controls and is affected by our emotions. Under stressful situations the Liver gets “tight” and “aggressive”. TCM explains that all the organs work together as a whole and not separately. When one organ is not functioning normally other organs will be impacted. With stress, either acute or chronic, the Liver becomes aggressive and will start to “attack” other organs in the body. The Spleen when functioning normally will allow a person to walk with strength and ease. When the Liver becomes stagnant it can attack the Spleen causing inflammation in the body.
Current consideration is being made by the medical profession which are linking depression, stress, and inflammation.
Western medicine has understood that stress is involved in cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension and atherosclerosis, metabolic diseases such as diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, psychotic and neurodegenerative disorders i.e., depression, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease and cancer.
The most current discovery is that stress can activate the inflammatory response in the brain. Click here
As well, a recent research study, Inflammation: The common Pathway of Stress Related Diseases discusses that the stress, inflammation and in the immune system are linked. Click here
In an interview William Leith paraphrases Dr. Bullmore stating that, “Depression can be a product of both the mind and the body. The mind picks up sensory signals that cause stress, the body becomes inflamed, and the inflammation enters the brain, and this in turn affects the mind.” Click here
Traditional Chinese Medicine has understood for 3000 years what scientists are now starting to show to be true though various studies. The most thorough treatment will be one which addresses the totality of symptoms that a person presents with. This involves an extensive intake to determine what are the underlying factors that are contributing to a person’s disease. From here a correct diagnosis is made, and treatment is based on this information.