Body and emotions are both inseparable. When we experience emotional upset, our internal environment becomes disrupted. Likewise, when we experience physical problems, our emotions can become greatly affected.

Depending upon the clinical manifestation of the syndrome, acupuncture treatment is variable.

Differential diagnosis and treatment
This section addresses the treatment of depression based on differential diagnosis according to the theories of the traditional Chinese medicine.

Liver qi stagnation,  one of the most common scenarios of depression, is characterized by the symptoms such as depress, hypochondriac pain, chest tightness, epigastric pain, easily sighs and irritable. The tongue is red with thin yellow coating, and the pulse is wiry. The recommended herbal formulas is Chai Hu Shu Gan San.

If the above condition remain untreated, it will turn to Liver heat with symptoms such as anger, stress, irritablility, constipation, bitter taste, acid regurgitation, red eyes, tinnitus. The tongue is red with yellow coat, and the pulse is wiry and rapid. The recommended herbal formulas is Jia Wei Xiao Yao San.

Blood stagnation can be diagnosed when the clinical manifestation shows emotional depression with headache, numbness of hands or fingers, chest pain, and certain parts of body feels hot or cold. There is a dark purple tongue, or sublingual engorgement and the pulse is wiry or choppy. The recommended formula is Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang.

Qi stagnation with phlegm can be diagnosed with such symptoms and signs as "stuckness" in throat  (feels something blocking the throat - difficulty swallowing or spitting out), emotional ups and downs, tightness in the chest and lack of trust to others. The tongue has a thick white coat and the pulse is wiry or slippery. The recommended formula is Ban Xia Hou Po Tang.

Heart Qi and Blood deficiency can be diagnosed when clinical manifestation shows worry, restlessness, panic, crying all the time,  and depress.  This type of depression is often seen in menopausal women.  The recommended formula is Gan Mai Da Zao Tang.

Heart and Spleen deficiency will show such symptoms and signs as constant worrying, fatigue, loss of appetite, epigastric fullness, palpitations, insomnia and pale complextion. The recommended formula is Gui Pi Tang.

Lifestyle and Dietary Instructions
Depression patients are encouraged to exercise outdoors and under the sun, that will help to lift depression. Some foods may aggreate depression  and should be avoided, such as greasy and fried foods, sugar, alcohol, dairy products and processed foods. Stay away from food which are high in saturated fat as it may cause sluggishness, fatigue and slow thinking. Diet low in complex carbohydrates should be avoided as it may cause serotonin depletion and depression.