TCM and Seasonal Affective Disorder

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, is a form of depression that affects people all throughout the world. Most commonly experienced during fall and winter months, the symptoms of SAD include depression, hypersomnia, lethargy, difficulty concentrating, negative thoughts and decreased social interaction. Higher levels of anxiety are experienced at the end of the summer season as those who suffer from this ailment start to anticipate the coming months of less sunshine and increased symptomatology.  continue reading »


Who’s Pushing Your Buttons?

By Qineng Tan, L.Ac., Ph.D.


Everybody wants to be happy. But, who is in control of your feelings? You? Somebody else? Life itself?

Once, I had just flown back to L.A. After waiting in a long line, I managed to get a taxi.

When I got in, the driver asked, “Where to, sir?” He sounded nervous.

“Santa Monica.”

“OK! That’s better,” he said, pleased.

“Why?” I asked.

“This morning, I’ve been driving around and around the airport. Finally I had one customer. I asked him where he was going, and he says, ‘Manchester.’ That was it! It made me so sad.”

I was laughing. “Oh, I see. So you have two buttons in your heart? One is for happy, and one is for sad? The passenger who goes to Manchester pushes the sad button, which makes you unhappy, then the one who goes to Santa Monica pushes the happy button and makes you happy for the rest of the day?”

The driver smiled. “Yeah! Isn’t that interesting?”

Just like the cab driver, most people allow their emotions to be controlled by people and events outside themselves. They go through life being very careful not to let anybody touch their sad buttons. When the button is pushed–the boss gets angry, the kids won’t listen, or the traffic is terrible–there seems to be no choice but to react negatively.orchid-reflection

This reminds me of a story. A monk who loved Chinese Orchids had planted one in a pot and raised it for many years. When he had to go on a trip, he asked one of his students to take care of the plant. The day before the monk returned, the student, who had been caring faithfully for the flower, accidentally dropped the pot, and the orchid died. The student felt awful and approached the monk fearfully to apologize.

But the monk said, “I raised the orchid because it gave me joy. Why would I be sad or angry now that it is gone? Why turn all my happiness to sorrow?”


How to Prepare For Seasonal Affective Disorder

When the seasons change you have to be ready for a change in mood, especially as we move from fall into winter. Although it may not seem as drastic of a shift as you think, it matters more to our mental and physical states than you may know. Seasonal affective disorder is estimated to affect around 10 million Americans a year, and this isn’t even the full number of reported cases. continue reading »


7 Reasons to Seek Out Acupuncture


Do you ever feel your life’s a ride that won’t ever stop? How many nights do you wait for Mr. Sandman to magically appear? How often do you truly take time for yourself? Do you have aches and pains almost daily? Are over-the-counter or prescription medications controlling your life? When was the last time you actually felt at peace? If any of these questions resonate with you, then it might be time to look at Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture for an answer. People in Asian countries have known the magnificence of acupuncture for thousands of years. Traditional Chinese Medicine is growing in popularity in the United States and here are some reasons why you might want to consider utilizing it also. continue reading »