Being a holistic doctor for so many years, I have seen many patients suffering with depression. How do I help them recover from depression? It is all about Qi and Dao: balancing their energy with "Qi," and restoring their beautiful minds with the "Dao".

Depression has become an epidemic in our modern world. Suicide from depression has become more and more frequent. Why? It seems it does not make sense when we have more of everything. But, it does make sense, because we have lost many fundamentals in our modern world.

What are the fundamentals?

 Let's think back to past years and what made us happy—delicious homemade foods, family often getting together, friends gathering, no need to worry about jobs, happy to live with basic necessities, helping each other when needed, able to share thoughts with each other, kind to each other, less stress, etc.  We have time to do these things, or we make time to do these things.  Can we restore these? Yes, if we try. Especially if we restore our "Qi" and follow the path of "Dao."

Our emotion controls everything we do in our life in both positive and negative ways.  In a positive way, we live with fullness and we are able to make changes so that we can solve problems when we feel something is not right.  In a negative way, we feel our cup is always half empty and we cannot shake off our sadness, anger, stress, resentfulness and mood swings.

Emotion imbalance is a mild form of depression which is sometimes overlooked by the doctors.  However, depression is a severe type of emotion imbalance, which is diagnosed by doctors and for which pills are prescribed. 

When you cannot handle the side effects anymore from pills, you become frustrated and may have suicidal thoughts.  Sometimes you don't even know that some anti-depressants have side effects that can cause you to have suicidal thoughts.

How can we deal with this? 

If we allow the modern world or commercial world to control our life, it will be difficult.  If we understand the Dao, we understand "There is always a way."

No one is perfect, but we can still feel good and enjoy our happiness. We all have some kind of negative experience and life is filled with ups and downs. It is never smooth all the time.  Life is filled with Yin and Yang, the two opposites in everything and everywhere: hot and cold, good experience and bad experience, ups and downs, happy feeling and sad feeling, working hard and relaxing.  But if we feel down or feel imbalanced, remember this: there is always a way.

Sometimes we may question ourselves—Am I feeling lonely? Maybe I don't have a good friend near me? Maybe I cannot tolerate medication? Maybe I don't do the right exercise? Maybe I work too hard? Maybe I don't know how to communicate? Maybe my diet is a problem? Maybe I worry too much? Maybe I think too much? Maybe I desire too much? Maybe I have high expectations? Maybe I lost my spiritual life?  Maybe I have too much on my mind and cannot trust anyone? Maybe I drink too much? Maybe I cannot let go of the past? Maybe I cannot accept the chaotic world? Maybe I am in a negative environment?  The list can go on and on.

Whatever reason we think it is, we are "stuck" unless we do something to get "un-stuck."

How to get Un-stuck?

Again, it is about Qi and Dao: bring back smooth Qi flow in our body, restore our beautiful mind with Dao.

  1. Daily Qi Gong practice:

Qi gong is a mind body exercise that has been used for healing for centuries. Qi gong involves learning and understanding that helps you to re-direct your energy and rewire your brain. The movements stimulate the brain and balance the brain (including emotion center.)  The deep breathing brings more oxygen to the body and the brain and we all know that oxygen is very important in healing. Practice of qi gong opens body energy pathways and nervous system pathways and we all know that the nervous system governs all part of the body. Therefore, after practice of qi gong we feel good, relaxed, peaceful and rejuvenated.

If you have depression, it is totally your choice if you want to use qi or use medication for depression. Yes, you can use both, but eventually you will quit medication to avoid side effects.

  1. Daily Dao practice:

What is Dao?  Dao is a philosophy that helps people to achieve the goal of a stress free life, and helps people to see clearly the direction that they want to go. Dao is natural and spontaneous, it cannot be twisted, bended, or manipulated. Dao is wisdom, philosophy and a guidance for life's journey.  Dao teaches us to find solutions and not to use emotion. Even though Dao wisdom is over 2000 years old, it is still very useful in our modern life and world. It helps us to clear our mind, get rid of junk in our mind, and stop using the "monkey mind."  (The "monkey mind" is a person's mind that goes in circles, has no conclusion, and causes more trouble.)

With practice of Qi and Dao, we then learn to use positive energy to overcome negative energy. This is very helpful to get out of the darkness and move toward light.

Other useful tips are:

a. Group and Social: Find the right group (not a drinking group), go out for the groups' activities, keep contact with the group or a member of the group.

b. Outdoor:  If you can go out once a day, no matter what you do either garden, sightseeing, hiking, walking, biking, you will get energy from the earth.

c. Music and singing:   No matter how good or bad you think you are, try to sing whenever you can, because you are practicing Qi in a different way while doing this.

d. Embrace solitude: Solitude is a precious time for you to breathe, to organize, to make lists or to plan, to exercise and stretch the body, to make calls, to enjoy nature, to just enjoy the solitude with no body bothering you.

e. Let go: Practice letting go is a mindful practice.  Whatever is past has passed; the past doesn't come back. Why should we torture our self by re-playing the old tape again and again?  We need to be smart so that we can move forward.

By now, you may know what to do.  I hope so and I hope you find your "Way." If you really want to start your Qi gong journey, join my next Qi gong training program. You don't need to be an instructor to join this program and it doesn't matter where you live. You will learn more about Qi gong for healing on my web site.

The above is an article written by Dr. Aihan Kuhn, OBT, which will appear in her Natural Healing Newsletter.