Dealing with Grief: Chinese Medicine Perspective

Monique Bain, acupuncture physician

By Monique G.Bain, MAC,LAC Acupuncture Physician

The day of February 14th will forever leave a devastating mark in our community. For many of us, just sitting back and watching as our community is being torn apart and grieving is just not an option. As an acupuncture physician, I know that trauma relief is a big part of Chinese medicine, developed and utilized by the military in war zones as well as for our veterans to help with the immediate symptoms of PTSD.  Acupuncture can be very effective in helping our community move through such devastating sadness and loss.

The loss of a loved one can be life-shattering and it affects us emotionally and physically. Grief lowers our immune system, making us more susceptible to colds and flus. It also increases the stress hormone (cortisol), which also reduces immunity. Grief is a healthy, normal and necessary process of letting go and it often takes much longer than one expects. Everyone experiences grief differently, but there are common symptoms, such as feelings of shock, disbelief, sadness, anger, guilt, fear, headaches, weight gain and loss, trouble sleeping, fatigue and more.  Acupuncture physicians are not psychologists and we don’t suggest that acupuncture can replace the role of a good therapist. However, we have seen how supportive community acupuncture can be for our patients through the slow, painful and difficult stages of grieving. Acupuncture is an extremely effective treatment for shock and numbness that follows a traumatic event.  Treatments are designed to address how grief shows up for you individually, we will focus on the process of “coming back to life”.  In Chinese medicine Grief is the emotion of the lungs. The lungs are responsible for taking clean oxygen into the body and releasing carbon dioxide. The lungs are responsible for taking in the new and letting go of the old. Once the lungs are out of balance by untreated grief or prolonged sadness, individuals might experience cough, shortness of breath, asthma, bronchitis, allergies and more.

There are many things that you can do to help through a difficult period of grief. One of the most important is to acknowledge how you are feeling. It is very common for people to avoid feeling emotions that are overwhelming and unpleasant, but it is only by acknowledging our feelings that we may begin to deal with them.

I am acutely aware that alternative treatments will not resolve our community wounds all of a sudden, there is no quick fix for the level of grief and trauma many of us are experiencing, but the treatment will offer emotional support and a safe place to come, just to be and share your emotions without expectations.

As you move through the treatments, patients find that they are able to rest better, have more energy and start developing tools to live with grief and loss on a everyday basis. Patient are then able to identify the pain as they feel it in their body, shift it and move through it.

For more info call 5 Element Wellness at 954-657-8342 or see website