Depression and the Oriental Health

Depression and the Oriental Health

The Oriental approach to depression is very different from that of Western medicine. The former bases on the physical to the exclusion of the psychological, whereas the latter focuses on both the physical and the psychological aspects of the disease.

The concept of depression in Eastern cultures is not as well received as it is in Western cultures. This is not to say that depression is less common in the Orient. In Eastern cultures, illness is based on the physical rather than psychological aspects.

If you do not have physical illness, you are not sick. Culturally, the idea of psychological illness is not well accepted. This leads to the frequent association of depression with somatic complaints, because it is much easier for patients to have a physical complaint than to have a psychological one. In addition, depression is often a stigma in Eastern cultures.

From a Chinese medicine perspective, depression is largely related to the stagnation of liver”qi.” (“Qi” is internal life energy coursing through the physical body, nourishing your body cells with life-giving oxygen. When there is blockage, instead of smooth flowing, of “qi”, disease and disorder occur.)

Essentially, stagnation of liver “qi” means the “qi” within your body is not flowing smoothly, resulting in symptoms of depression. Some of the common lifestyle habits which may have contributed to the stagnation of “qi” are: lack of exercise; poor dietary habits

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