How to deal with depression and anxiety?


Question: Dr. Dan, what natural remedies do you recommend to deal with anxiety and depression?

First remember that depression and anxiety are complex conditions that are not yet completely understood. If you experience recurring anxiety or show signs of depression, make it a point to see a good physician who can help evaluate all of the different aspects of your lifestyle and health, and help you stay balanced.

Now, why is staying balanced important? According to Chinese Medicine, depression and anxiety are the result of a lack of balance between the yin and yang energies in your body. To rebalance these energies and help you deal with depression and anxiety, natural remedies like acupuncture, meditation, and herbal remedies such as St. John’s Wort can help considerably.

Redefining what causes depression and anxiety

Consider that traditional Chinese medicine is rooted in the idea of yin and yang. Yin and yang, describe two different qualities of life. They model life’s opposing but complementary polarities. According to Chinese thought, every physiological process that takes place inside of your body is either yin or yang in nature.

Health exists when these processes are balanced and occur in harmony with each other. When one process occurs more than it is designed to, the yin and yang energies fall out of balance, compromising other processes in your body. Depending on your state of health, this imbalance can cause anxiety and depression, pain, and even physical disease.

Daily habits like delayed sleep schedules, excessive social media use, and unrestrained answering of work emails all lead to a lack of rest, relaxation, and reflection. Without this, your body is forced to compensate and overuse certain physical processes. The result is an imbalance in your yin and yang energies. Without even realizing it, you overtax yourself constantly, increasing levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. 

Creating a balanced way of life

How does a balanced way of life look? One model you can use to create a more harmonious way of life comes from observing nature.

According to Chinese thinking, your body is intimately interconnected to nature. In fact, you are a part of nature. As nature moves through its seasons, or cycles, your physical body innately alters with each cycle. Spring represents a period of growth. Summer is a time of maturation and optimum productivity. Fall is the process of slowing down and preparing for a period of rest. Winter is a period of rest and healing as things break down, compost, and prepare for the growth that will once again occur in the spring.

When it comes to depression and anxiety, realize how much your daily and seasonal habits affect your anxiety and depression. Although you are intimately synced with nature, chances are you rarely observer this connection and alter your behavior accordingly. You most likely do not change your pace of life as the seasons change. But failing to do so is contributing to your levels of anxiety and stress.

Many people in today’s society are stressed, anxious, and show signs of depression. If you begin to rebalance your physical body on an energetic level using acupuncture and meditation, and make an effort to give yourself opportunity to grow, mature, rest, and recover as the seasons do, you will be much better prepared for the challenges of daily life without anxiety and depression.


Thank you for reading!

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Dr. Dan Williams is an internationally trained doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) and a certified acupuncture practitioner. Dr. Dan is based out of Indianapolis. You can find more information by visiting

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