Chinese medicine often categorize patients into “hot” and “cold” excess or deficiency. Those who have excess of “cold” need treatment that increase the “hot,” and vice versa. I’ve seen many cases of depression. Most of the cases belong to a “cold” type. They are typically withdrawan, sad and take no pleasure in life. So I usually use “hot” acupuncture and herb methods to warm them up.
I had a middle-aged male patient. When I first saw him, I knew already he is in deep trouble. His face was ashen and his brows were knotted into a permanent frown. He did not speak up at all unless spoken to. Even when he spoke, it was with great hesitancy. He used to have a data-entry job. He was a divorcee with no children and was diagnosed with depression for many years. Suicidal thoughts came to him even on western psychiatric medications. The depression consumed him so throughly that he was on disability. After every treatment he experienced upswing in his mood, but some lingering depressive symptoms always remained. When I realized that he always stayed and did nothing at home and not even interested in watching movies, I felt he needed to fill his empty time with more fulfilling activity. So I encouraged him to either go out with friends or volunteer his time to help people who needed. Finally he took a volunteer position at an senior center, where he spent time reading and setting up activities for the residents there. The elderlies loved his being there very much. In his subsequent visits to me he found much more to talk about. There was a new sparkle in his eyes and his cheeks were flushed with healthy ruddiness. From this experience, he found new self-worth and gradually emerged from his depression. It’s the warmth within his heart that lighted up others’s life and also lighted up his own life. This is the power of self-healing.
Let us all together appreciate those who have illuminated our lives! Let us all together become the people who light up others!