Phoenix Rising: Rising Out of the Depths of Depression


Many clients walk through the doors of Phoenix Rising Acupuncture with the same story to share. Stress is overwhelming their lives. The manifestations vary from anxiety to pain to physical illness to depression. For many, stress has lead to anxiety with symptoms of shakiness, racing heart, upset stomach, and insomnia, but for others, stress overload has developed into depression, sometimes so debilitating that it’s difficult to get out of bed to face the day. Their stories are all too familiar to me.

This is my personal story of how, with acupuncture and plant-based therapy, I rose from the depths of depression, just as the legendary phoenix rises from the ashes.  This too is the story of how Phoenix Rising Acupuncture became a Houston Acupuncture clinic that specializes in Emotional Health.   

From an early age, I suffered from depression and anxiety, a perfectionist in all that I set my mind and will to do. By the age of 16, a doctor prescribed to me my first antidepressant, and for 15 years, I remained on some sort of prescription to help “lift my mood”, but none ever alleviated my symptoms and some caused some pretty serious side effects along the way.

Once I started graduate school for Oriental Medicine, I decided that pharmaceuticals were not – and never had been – my answer for mental, emotional, or physical health and well-being. Through the partnering of my acupuncturist and MD, I gradually titrated off the prescriptions while receiving frequent acupuncture treatments. It was a slow process, taking several months to rid my body of the drugs that had been coursing through my system for so many years, but I noticed that with each acupuncture treatment, my anxieties lessened, my depression lifted, and my thoughts cleared. My physical health improved as my energy boosted and my monthly cycle became more regular, while the rage of monthly hormonal outbursts ceased.  Thankfully!

Other positive changes occurred too. I became more social and more willing to speak up. My eyes became brighter. I smiled more and laughed more easily. These are the results I had desired, but no pill was able to provide. I had been relying on a daily dose of chemicals to solve my problems. After all, isn’t that what we have been instructed? Take this pill and it will cure your ailment. There’s a pill for everything, yet we are a society of citizens riddled with disease.

So, how is it that acupuncture successfully helped lift the depression when over a dozen prescription medications failed? I believe the answer lies in the mechanism of acupuncture as it literally taps into the body, clearing blockages that have built up over the years, thereby setting the body’s natural healing process in motion. It is through Chinese Medicine’s holistic view of the individual that the root cause of disease is identified and addressed, and a unique treatment plan is implemented in order to restore balance when the body’s systems get out of balance.

From a biological perspective, acupuncture stimulates the nervous system at the cellular level and the brain, releasing chemical signals (neurotransmitters) and natural pain killers (endorphins), respectively. These signals help reduce pain, while creating feelings of euphoria, calming stress and anxiety, and promoting feelings of well-being.

So, the stressors of life remain. Hardships come and go, but acupuncture can be a natural way to help stay calm and balanced in the midst of life’s distractions and ordeals.

Chinese Herb Spotlight: One of the most commonly prescribed herbal formulas in Chinese Medicine is “Free & Easy Wanderer”, an appropriate name for a formula that helps relieve stress, anxiety, depression, PMS, and pain. It works by clearing blockages that have built up over time, while also strengthening the digestive system. One size does not fit all. To be given a western medical diagnosis of depression or anxiety does not ensure that “Free & Easy” will be prescribed. There are over a dozen other herbal formulas that could be a better fit.  Only a board certified herbalist can prescribe the appropriate herbal remedy.  You may contact our clinic to schedule an herbal consultation.  

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