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Depression, Your Liver and Chinese Medicine

Depression, a common symptom of stress, is an indication of blocked Liver energy according to Chinese medicine. Some prescription drugs such as tranquilizers, sleeping pills, and antihistamines are known to be contributing factors leading to depression because these medications weaken the liver.

Depression is common among individuals who have their gallbladders removed or who have significant issues with gallstones. When the Gallbladder is loaded with stones, there is little or no space left for bile storage. Bile produced in the Liver ends up congested in the Liver causing a disturbance in the natural flow of energy and blood. The same situation holds true for someone who has had their gallbladder removed. Bile is forced to remain and become congested in the liver. This leads to depression.

I have used Xiao Yao Pian (EaseTonic) by ActiveHerb for many years to successfully stabilize mild to moderate forms of depression. When taken as directed by a qualified TCM practitioner the effects can be seen in as little as 2 weeks.

According to Chinese medicine, the liver works hard at night to filter the blood. A substantial amount of blood may be retained in the liver upon waking in the morning if the liver is sluggish. Morning exercises help get blood moving and “activate” the liver. It does not have to be any particular kind of exercise, so long as it involves deep breathing and stretching the torso. Y-Dan is an example of a low-impact morning exercise that meets these criteria. Qigong is another self help method of removing stagnation from the Liver and lifting depression.

For the best results consult your local acupuncturist for a complete health analysis.

Click here for information about a recent medical study examining the association between liver disease mortality and psychological distress.