Tracy was my regular acupuncturist for years when I lived in DC and together we worked through several health issues I was experiencing. Using herbs and needling, she was able to help my body heal from serious illnesses acquired while traveling in the developing world. She takes her time and makes herself available for her clients at all hours. Because of Tracy and her work and her encouragement, I decided to go to school to become an acupuncturist. Highly recommended!”
Dr. Tracy looks at several factors when addressing the patterns involved in treating emotional balance. She views this as a whole person question with the answers residing in every level of being: body, mind, spirit, emotion. The emotions are the gateway between body, mind, and spirit.
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According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the body, mind, spirit, and emotions are all connected and kept in balance by regulation of the Qi, or the universal life-force energy. Acupuncture helps maintain a healthy, balanced flow of Qi throughout the body. Anxiety, depression, fatigue, insomnia, stress, and problems like ADD/ADHD can arise when the flow of Qi is blocked in some way. Acupuncture treatment stimulates the healthy flow of Qi toward re-balancing the body and mind through several facets of your own healing ability:
I was in so much distress and nothing was working. Dr. Hackett helped me with acupuncture and herbs. We also uncovered a few things in my diet that were making my mood swings worse. Her treatments and a few changes to my diet made a world of difference. I have my life back and no drugs!`` - K. Livanas
In TCM theory, the emotions are considered inseparable from the layers of systems in bodily functions. Mental energy is regarded as a more refined form of physical energy within our band of being. Our thoughts and subtle emotions are energetic signals that create shifts in our brain and nervous system, which effect the endocrine system and therefore the entire body.
In TCM theory, each emotion has its own vibration and each vibration affects specific organs:
Emotions become causes of disease when they are excessive and/or prolonged, which is similar to recent findings associating stress with disease.
If you are constantly feeling a particular emotion about a certain situation for many months or years, this emotion will alter the balance of the internal organs and the harmony of our ‘yin and yang’ and ‘Qi and blood’. Emotional stress is an internal cause of disease which injures the internal organs directly. On the other hand, disharmony among our internal organs due to other causes can also affect our emotional state.
An example of TCM theory in action regarding emotional balance: Anger affects our Liver energy. The Liver is responsible for the free flow of ‘Qi’ throughout the body. An excess of anger or suppressed anger can cause the Qi to stagnate (think of ‘bottlenecking’), which over time can result in general irritability, PMS, gall stones, polycystic ovaries, liver disease, irregular periods, tight neck and shoulders, and migraines.
In contrast, the balance of the liver energy can also be affected by eating a heated diet (deep fried fatty foods), smoking cigarettes, or drinking coffee and alcohol. These factors will heat up the liver, engendered easily triggered anger and frustration without reason because the flow of Qi is blocked by excess heat and toxins. Strong emotions like anger change our neurochemical balance, trigger fight/flight responses, and have an overall inflammatory effect on the body. These examples are meant to loosely illustrate how emotional stress is interpreted in TCM and how it can lead to illness, as much as poor diet and lifestyle habits can lead to emotional imbalance through the physical level of Liver energy blockage.
Regular monthly acupuncture treatments are a great form of preventative medicine if you already have a good program and need a little tune up along the way. For more complex concerns, Dr. Tracy develops a plan that is right for you.
If you are satisfied with your medication balance, Dr. Tracy will design a treatment plan that works together with your existing program. There is never any pressure to follow a particular program here, the treatment is about you and your needs as they change over time.