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Mood disorders: Using tongue color, quality to anticipate a change in mood

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New Case report:  Treatment of mood-disorder through tongue color and pulse diagnosis.

Mood disorders include Depression, Bi-polar I and Bi-polar II disorders.  Think of these as disorders of mood – which is to say that the individual suffering with these feels their mood overtakes them rather than the other way around.  These are frequently treated with anti-anxiety, anti-depressant, and mood stabilizing psychiatric medicines.

Sometimes, for various reasons, the individual finds that he is behind the curve and a switch in mood is overtaking him.  When this happens one option is to change or adjust medication.  The best thing to do is to avoid the need to increase and decrease dose in a cyclical way to deal with the mood swings.

Using acupuncture, homeopaths, herbs, yoga, and biofeedback can be essential in getting out of this cyclical med-adjustment patterning.

Here are some steps to shift into a more integrative strategy.

First, identify specific triggers for mood changes – these may be emotional, physical or nutritional.

Second,  it is helpful to identify cues that a shift is occurring.  Here is where tongue and pulse can be utilized.  Cues may be emotional or feeling related:  a sense of fatigue, feeling uncomfortable or irritable.

These first two steps assist the individual to get a head of the curve and stave off a shift into Mania or Depression.

Tongue and Pulse keys to CUES:  Typically the tongue change that may indicate a person is shifting into the swing uP may be a red or dark purple – peeled, and dry tongue – black, dark brown, dry tongues are indicative of internal heat and this is the interior of an upward manic swing.  Pulse changes here might be fuller, ropy, and bigger.  The feeling might be irritable, unable to sit, or lay down, a feeling of restlessness.  Remember that hypomania is below (hypo) mania (but above a relaxed normal mood) so irritability, rapid speech, restlessness, and liver yang rising signs and symptoms (red eyes, increased anger, frustration) are present in this state.

Helpful treatments to return to balance for an UP swing:  Biofeedback, acupuncture points that clear heat and calm shen are useful as well as ghost points that feel tight and stagnant on palpation and points that help to anchor the yang and Du 20/kidney 1.  Using exercise and Yoga are very helpful to move the Qi and help to anchor the person.

The tongue change involved in a shift into the swing dOWn may be pale, pale purple, puffy, thick white coat – may be dry or damp with scalloping – the thick white coating and pale color signify a downward swing – this indicates a lack of transporting and transforming and Qi deficiency which are the interior components of a downward depressive swing. Pulse changes may be weaker, slower, and spinny heart pulses.  The feeling might be lack of energy, fatigue, discouragement and a desire for sleep without rest.  Depressive thinking is a sure sign of a depressive swing downward.

With depressive thinking: thinkings and feelings are skewed to the negative, with little to know recollection when things felt better or positive.  Even memories of being successful or things working well are not accessible.  When addressing important aspects of depressive thinking, look for ways to argue with the negative thinking.  Read this short blog for specific ways to work through depressive thinking, Applying Mindfulness to depression, www.instinctivehealthmedicine.com.

Biofeedback, acupuncture to tonify and strengthen – especially the use of moxa – as well as calm shen with a focus on building the middles and stomach/spleen points, and the yuan points are most useful.  Again ghost points can be of service, especially if they are puffy and deficient when evaluated.  Using exercise especially swimming, walking, and Yoga are helpful in rebalancing the person.

The acupuncture treatments can immediately positively affect the person, often in one treatment properly focused, so that the exercise, biofeedback or meditation, journaling, and nutritional therapy can move the person to balance quickly, averting the swing in either direction.
Working directly with the individual’s psychiatrist or therapist will allow a thorough rebalancing for the individual.
We have a number of different protocols that we have developed to deal with these changes and mood fluctuations.  Please contact me through my website,www.bethgineris.com, if you want more specific detail, or you may comment on this blog below.
Remember these structures are spirit, mind, and body integrated so utilizing an integrative medicine strategy will create the best and most effective results.  
Best of luck and see you back here for our next case study posting.  dr beth gineris, dr ron romanik.

Meet your contributors

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Meet your contributors

Dr. Romanik has been in private practice as a board certified psychiatrist for over 25 years.  And was recently named Best Psychiatrist by his colleagues in the Albuquerque Living Monthly Magazine, March 2012 “TOP DOCs” issue.

He taught at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine for 5 years following his residency and has enjoyed throughout his practice mentoring and guiding psychiatric medical students as well as PhD Psychologists and Masters Level therapists in the Art of medicine in the field of psychiatry.

His East-West studies have spanned the whole of his life, beginning in his teens where he pursued Yoga and throughout his medical training where he trained with MD/Acupuncturists.

Dr Romanik has presented papers at the World Psychiatric Association and other conferences.  He uses an innovative and integrative approach to looking for the areas of confluence in Internal Medicine and Psychiatry.

Dr. Gineris has over 20 years of experience as a psychotherapist, communication skills trainer, and parenting trainer, she has over 15 years experience as a strategic management trainer, seminar provider and consultant, and seven years experience as a Doctor of Oriental Medicine.  Her focus is the innovative integration of east-west philosophies to promote health.

Her East-West studies have spanned the length of her career; including a strong emphasis on mindfulness, meditation, and Yoga.

She is an author and has developed and provided education and training seminars since 1992, with a east-west integrative focus to promote health, since 1996.

Dr. Gineris and Dr. Romanik have teamed up to develop  Integrative Medicine Strategies to assist individuals with psychiatric diagnoses.  They work with individuals who have all kinds of issues so you may find great ideas about how to treat sleep disorders, weight loss issues, asthma, intestinal inflammation, blood pressure imbalances and various kinds of pain disorders.

They have collaborated with patients since 2000, and have developed this model over the last seven years.

The blogs that follow will provide insights and techniques that are easily incorporated into integrative medicine practices as well as ideas that individuals can develop with their own practitioners.

The key as you will ascertain is communication.  Team work, excellent listening and observation skills, innovation, and a willingness to follow the thread of information to its unique end, and of course the capacity to paradigm shift in real time  are all important attributes to create a successful complementary – integrative model.   Always address various concerns within a balanced whole perspective to allow for a return to balance fot the patient or individual who is suffering.