Blood deficiency can cause post natal depression
Internationally renowned author, Giovanni Maciocia, now passed away, in his book Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Chinese Medicine, reveals a number of causes of post natal depression. The more common cause that is seen in clinic is what is known in traditional Chinese medicine terms as blood deficiency. This is because during the birthing process there can be substantial blood loss and then this lack of blood affects in particular the heart and liver.
The heart and liver can be affected by blood deficiency
Chinese medicine states that the heart houses the shen which is usually translates as the mind. So after child birth the lack of blood can’t nourish and support the mind leading to depression.
In another example, the blood deficiency may be hindering proper liver function and these cases a common symptom is crying for no reason. In Chinese medicine it is viewed that the tears are the fluid of the liver.
How many women are affected by post natal depression and what medication is prescribed?
Post natal depression affects up to 15% of women after birth and can include symptoms such as sadness, insomnia, tiredness and anger outbursts.
The modern approach is to medicate the patient using selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and many women are reluctant to chemically influence their bodies in case of back lashes with breast feeding.
Has research been done on post natal depression and acupuncture?
The Journal of Affective Disorders reported that researchers Manber and Scnver found that acupuncture reduced depression as per the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression.
Dr Rachel Manber in another study conducted at Stanford University also found that 8 weeks of acupuncture gave results to 63 % of patients in the trial.
What is Tung Style Acupuncture and can it treat post natal depression?
There are many methods, techniques and styles of acupuncture, both modern and ancient. Tung Style Acupuncture has been passed down in the Tung family for generations and Master Tung then in his last years passed on his knowledge and experience to a number of students.
Kane Monrad, who works from Connect Therapies in Hamilton, is regarded as New Zealand’s most qualified and experienced practitioner in the Tung Acupuncture Style and teaches the methods to practitioner members of Acupuncture New Zealand. I have been learning from Kane Monrad for some years and am involved in helping organize continuing education in this method of treatment. Kane says “I have been using predominately Tung Style Acupuncture in my clinic for some years and am keen to work with my colleague Heiko Lade to run seminars and workshops for other practitioners members in Acupuncture New Zealand“.
Some of the Tung acupuncture points used in the treatment of post natal depression could include the point shen guan as well combining with the use of common acupuncture points like bahui. In addition, a series of points known as san huang 3 yellows are added to supplement blood deficiency.