TCM Treatments For Mental Wellness | Oriental Remedies
Managing Mental Health Struggles With TCM Treatments And Therapies | Oriental Remedies

Managing Mental Health Struggles With TCM Treatments and Therapies

In a recent survey conducted by the World Health Organization, it was reported that the demand for mental health services increased significantly, and issues such as bereavement, isolation, unemployment and fear are triggering mental health conditions in new patients and exacerbating the symptoms in patients with pre-existing conditions. [1]

In our clinics, physicians see a 117% increase in the number of patients with mental wellness concerns such as anxiety, sleeplessness linked to emotional concerns in the first half of 2021 compared to the 6 months before. Most of whom were not aware of their underlying mental state of health and were there to seek help for more visible chronic conditions.

Mental health has always been a heavy topic to broach, both from the standpoint of the person suffering from it as well as the person who is trying to offer help. However, it is important to know that with the right treatment and support, those living with mental struggles can lead fulfilling and meaningful lives.


What is mental health in TCM perspective?

In TCM perspective, the organs that are most closely linked to mental health are the Heart and the Liver.

The Heart controls the mind, and in turn the spirit, and regulates the decision-making process. When the mind is in a state of unrest, we often see patients with the following symptoms:

TCM Remedies For Mental Health | Oriental Remedies


The other organ closely related to mental wellness is the Liver. In TCM, Liver is responsible for regulating Qi and energy flow in our body. Thus, when the Liver is constricted, Liver Qi (Liver energy) becomes stagnated and energy cannot flow freely in the body.

Common symptoms of Liver Qi stagnation:

  • Dull or persistent headaches, constant worrying of issues, even poor sleep quality are often observed in patients with anxiety
  • High blood pressure, red and swollen eyes, and bad temper are often seen in patients with anger management issues
  • Poor appetite, constant sighing, and suppressed mood and energy are often seen in patients with depression


TCM recommended treatments and therapies for mental health


Herbal Medication For Mental Health | Oriental Remedies

Herbal Medication

TCM herbs can help to improve emotional health and reduce stress by regulating Liver Qi. When there is emotional stress involved, we usually say that the Liver Qi is stagnant. Improving circulation of Liver Qi with herbs like Jia Wei Xiao Yao San will help to reduce stress and improve emotional health.

When it comes to home remedies, some common herbs that are good for Heart Fire include longan and lotus seeds. These herbs can clear excessive heat from the body, including Fire originating from the Heart. In the clinic, we will prescribe a combination of cooling herbs to clear the Heart Fire and stomach-protecting herbs to balance the digestive system as cooling herbs can put burden on the stomach and cause gastric issues. Bringing the Heart back to balance helps to regulate emotional distress like anxiety.


Acupuncture For Mental Wellness | Oriental Remedies


Acupuncture is another effective way of reducing Liver Qi stagnation, which is a common deficiency linked to mental wellness in TCM. Common acupoints like Tai chong, Nei guan, Tai yang, and Feng chi are stimulated to soothe the mind and improve the flow of Liver Qi. To increase the efficacy, we use a detox-ing needling technique at these acupoints. This technique involves manipulating the needle in an anti-clockwise motion to release the Qi right before removing the needles.


Cupping And Guasha | Oriental Remedies

Cupping  and Guasha

Cupping and Guasha (Scraping) can help to release tension in the muscles of our neck and back to ensure a healthy flow of Qi in our body. Better Qi and Blood circulation is also beneficial in improving patients’ sleep quality. Adequate rest is vital for our body to rest, detox, and re-energize to keep our mental health in a prime condition.


Moxibustion For Mood Management | Oriental Remedies


For patients with depression, we use moxibustion on Bai hui, Qi hai, and Guan yuan acupoints to balance the Yin and Yang energies in the body. We generally avoid using moxibustion for patients experiencing excessive anger to prevent adding more fire or heat to the body.


Other therapies for mental health


Electro-Lymphatic Therapy | Oriental Remedies

Electro-Lymphatic Therapy 

Our lymphatic system is a giant network of vessels that drains from the peripherals towards the cardiovascular system. Its two main functions are to provide immune support and drain away excess lymph fluids and waste products. It is a passive system that relies on the contraction of muscles to move the lymph fluids within the vessels along.

Electro Lymphatic Therapy is a technology that promotes lymphatic drainage in the body. When there is an excess of inflammatory cells present near the brain or any part of the body, the lymphatic system becomes congested and could lead to increased risk of infections and psychiatric concerns. [2] ELT helps to promote lymphatic drainage and clear inflammatory cells away from congested parts of the body.

In the clinic, we use an FDA-registered Electro-Lymphatic Therapy (ELT) machine to enhance the flow of the lymphatic system. With the variable penetration depths, we are able to clear both superficial and deep layers of the lymphatic system. A healthy, decongested lymphatic system is vital to the body’s immune system and helps to alleviate mood disorders and improve mental health.



Negative Ion Therapy | Oriental Remedies

Negative Ion Therapy

Negative ions are naturally occurring and they help to maintain voltage equilibrium of our cell membranes (essential for cellular metabolism). However, due to excessive exposure to free radicals, EMF, and carcinogens in our environment, this voltage equilibrium is disrupted in our body, and cellular metabolism is reduced. Brain activity produces metabolic wastes which are usually removed by the glymphatic system. An accumulation of such waste results in an increased risk for neurological disease and a decrease in brain health. [3]

In the clinic, we use the MiEnergy machine from Japan to supply up to 20 million negative ions for the body. As these negative ions enter the body, the negative ions enhance cellular metabolism and stimulate patients’ parasympathetic nervous system. The 15 – 20 minutes therapy is so calming that some patients may even experience deep sleep during the session.

These antioxidative properties of negative ions are important as they enhance cell metabolism by facilitating uptake of nutrients and removal of metabolic wastes by cells (Economy Daily News, January 30, 2002). The removal of potentially toxic metabolic waste from a cellular level helps to promote better moods.


Your healing is the most important!

With more initiatives by governments and social support groups set up by local initiatives for the last few months, people are more aware and are slowly opening up about their mental struggles and finding the topic less daunting to talk about; sharing their first-person experiences with tips and therapies for mental wellness that work.

It is okay not to be okay, and it is okay to seek professional help to cope and manage the conditions to feel better. At Oriental Remedies Group, our physicians are trained in both Biomedical Science and TCM at Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) and China for a minimum of 5-8 years before being certified to practice in Singapore.


If you or a loved one is suffering from mental wellness issues, we would like to help. Please contact us at +65 8742 2163 for a personalized consultation.


Note: All words in Italics refer to the TCM organ-system and not the anatomical organ referenced in western medicine.


This article is written by Physician Foo Shan Ju.

Foo Shan Ju (Oriental Remedies Group, Singapore), a registered TCM physician certified by the Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board (TCMPB).

Physician Foo Shan Ju


Physician Foo graduated from the double degree programme of Biomedical Sciences and Traditional Chinese Medicine at NTU and was awarded the Nanyang and BUCM Scholarship for her outstanding academic achievements.

Since graduation, Physician Foo has been actively helping patients with injury/pain management, gastrointestinal issues and overall wellness. From her experiences, she has developed a strong interest in fertility, sleep disorders and pain management. Physician Foo firmly believes that every individual’s body constitution and conditions are unique and dedicates herself to crafting a treatment plan that is the most suitable for her patient.

Note: All words in Italics refer to the TCM organ-system and not the anatomical organ referenced in western medicine.



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Any devices used for technology-enhanced therapies are intended for use only for general well-being purposes or to encourage or maintain a healthy lifestyle, and is not intended to be used for any medical purpose (such as the detection. diagnosis, monitoring, management or treatment of any medical condition or disease). Any health-related information provided by this device or software should not be treated as medical advice. Please consult a physician for any medical advice required.






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