IMG_1295Depression according to the texts of Traditional Chinese Medicine, states that there are 15 major reasons for it. Ten are due to a Deficiency of Energy (Qi) in various organs, and the other five are due to Stagnation in various organs.

If you suffer from Depression, then please identify the appropriate Symptoms and Self Help Remedies listed below.


It is important that you consult your doctor and make him/her aware that you are considering alternative medicine for Depression, especially if it is steadily or suddenly increasing in severity.

 The 15 Syndromes of Depression

 1 A Deficiency of Heart Energy


A feeling of being unloved and unlovable, sad and joyless, loneliness. A lack of interest in life.

Self Help Remedies:

Focus more on sharing, helping and loving Humanity.

Go out of your way to help those you come into contact with, even if it is an inconvenience to you, and do it with a generous heart.

‘True Happiness lies in making others happy’. Meher Baba.

Find affirmations.

Understand what it means to love yourself.

 2 Stagnant Heart Energy


Difficulty and frustration in expressing your love and warm feelings.

Feels miserable and sad.

Self Help Remedies:

As in 1 above, and learn to be Grateful for everything in your life.

 3 Deficiency of Spleen (Digestive) Energy


Brooding, over thinking, over concerned, constantly worrying, mental arguments.

Needs to act more and think less.

Self Help Remedies:

Meditation is the antidote – focus your mind on the ‘dan tian’ (hara), which is 3 inches below the navel. Energy is then drawn downwards from the head towards the Dan Tien to prevent over thinking.

This will take time to perfect, but this kind of investment in yourself will eventually ‘pay dividends.’

 4 Stagnant Spleen (Digestion) Energy


Possessive, dominating, lonely, isolated, complaining, clinging, intruding into other people’s lives. All these issues weaken the digestive tract, which eventually leads to a deficiency of blood, with its more serious problems.

Self Help Remedies:

Develop boundaries, through learning what it means to

respect yourself, and then respect for others will follow.

Be sincere, and genuinely learn to forget your own problems, and concentrate on how you can help other people. Reach out with your heart open and join a choir or an amateur dramatics group for example, as this will allow you to feel part of something, to share, creating a feeling of friendship, and eliminating the feeling of isolation.

 5 A Deficiency of Lung Energy


Would rather breathe in smoke than fresh air.

Knowing that this is damaging to health, it says a great deal about a person’s self esteem, i.e. the way they feel about themselves.

Living in the past.

Withdrawal from the present, avoiding deeper contacts with others.

Self Help Remedies:

Be strong, reclaim your power to stop smoking ASAP, and realise that you are forcing others to breathe smoke that has been in your lungs, and can cause harm to others – it is a selfish act, considering no one but yourself, and the benefits are zero.

Understand what it is to love yourself, and reclaim your self respect.

Practice being present, without smoking, and develop compassion for others, and give them comfort when required.

Making these efforts, will increase your energy, and depression will be a thing of the past.

 6 Stagnant Lung Energy


Much grief, often unexpressed.

Difficulty in letting go of past relationships.

Difficulty in dealing with loss.

Self Help Remedies:

This is not an easy one, as we all have had close ones pass away. However, the empowering way through this, is to develop a deeper understanding of death and impermanence, and what it is, and what actually happens when we pass on.

I would recommend a study of the Buddhist texts on these subjects.

Please go for a walk in the woods, or somewhere where you can be alone, and contact your grief and let it out big time. Or talk to a close friend who has empathy, and who loves you, and let that person hold you while you let it out, and then have a cup of tea and a biscuit together – you will feel like a ‘million bucks’ as they say across the water.

 7 A Deficiency of Kidney Energy


Weak will-power, apathy, can’t be bothered – has given up on life. Fear of the cold. Limbs cold. Low libido.

Self Help Remedies:

No cold food or drinks.

Keep the whole body warm, especially the Lower Back.

Re evaluate how to direct your will to benefit others, and understand your past life-style, job, or behaviour, that has caused the situation you are now in.

Learn Tai Qi, Qi Kung, Yoga, Pilates, or any other activity known to strengthen your Energy.

Ginseng, Reishi Mushroom, are helpful.

 8 Overpowering Will and Kidney Energy Deficiency


Overambitious and an unrealistic approach to life, as the will over-powers the person’s Energy, and therefore this could lead to Burn Out.

Self Help Remedies:

Realise how you are affecting others in your seemingly insatiable need to create and control.

Become aware of how you are using your Energy.

How selfish and inconsiderate are you being in your pursuits?

Are you ‘knocking people over’ to attain your goals?

Do you really know what you want, and if you do, will it benefit others as well as yourself?

Develop a calm mind through contemplation and self reflection.

 9 A Deficiency of the Liver and Gall Bladder Energy.


Feels insecure, uncertain, and has self doubt.

Hypersensitive, irritable and touchy.

Has a weak sense of True Self (the ego is the false self).

Self Help Remedies:

Avoid greasy foods.

Develop Gratitude for being alive, and practice being kind to others.

Know, that inside you have ‘basic goodness’, and that you must discover this inside you to be able to move on, so seek help, and forsake any pride that you may have that is stopping you.

Notice how your depression affects others, and develop a determination to give them your inner joy, as you have enormous amounts of it buried inside you – please find it, as this will be the best investment you could ever make.

 10 Stagnant Liver Energy


Irritable, maybe angry, frustrated, impatient, doesn’t

like to be obstructed, and will react angrily if this happens.

Menstrual problems.

Self Help Remedies:

No spicy or greasy foods.

This is an emotional problem, so please check out your emotional life.

How are your relationships with your partner, family etc?

Avoid taking your needs into your relationships, go elsewhere and sort them out, as they are often insatiable, and create havoc.

Notice if those around you are ‘treading on eggshells’, because of your moodiness.

Their is a very good Chinese herbal formula for this condition called ‘Relaxed Wanderer”, which helps this condition.

Tai Qi, Qi Kung, Yoga or Pilates are very good for breaking through stagnation.

 11 Very Hot Liver with stagnant Liver Energy


As in 10 above, but far more advanced, as much more internal heat has been created, and an alternation of depression with aggression and anger occurs, and/or an alternation of expressed anger and suppressed anger.

Self Help Remedies:

Absolutely no spicy or greasy foods.?A much stronger herbal formula is required to moisten and reduce the internal fire, to prevent a possible heart attack.

A person with this condition, when calmer, has to review their life, and check out whether they have a pattern where the things they have wanted in the past have been thwarted, thus creating frustration and rage.

Develop patience, and stop feeling victimised by realising that you can only be affected by other people’s actions, if you allow it.

Discover your True Inner Power.

 12 Heart Energy Hot and then Deficient


Another name for this condition is Manic Depression

All the energy is used up in the manic phase, when often a person will manifest very irresponsible, wild behaviour, which renders the person exhausted, without any more Energy, which in turn manifests as depression.

Self Help Remedies:

From my experience this condition is caused by a deep anxiety within, whereby the person has experienced at some point that Love was denied him/her, and therefore the heat caused in the Heart by intense anxiety to find this Love is continually forming, and then dissipating.

It is important to note, that emotions create internal heat, and so the more we emote the more internal heat we create. Heat is very active and keeps things moving. So a person with a great deal of emotional heat inside can behave very strangely as the heat tries to leave the body, often through violent movements. Another sign of intense heat trying to escape the body, is when we hear someone talking very rapidly to themselves, often in gibberish.

Paranoia and mistrust are often present when treating such a condition, so to see it through to some improvement, is very difficult.

This condition is usually controlled by pharmaceutical drugs. Society needs to develop a better strategy for dealing with this condition, other than giving the person drugs which render them only capable of sleeping most of the time, due to the strong sedative action of the drugs.

However, a patient who I saw for several years has made some improvements, by being able to realise what had happened to her in her childhood, and understanding that her anxiety was created around her parents who were unable to give her the love she needed as a young child, and throughout their time together as she grew older.

There are Chinese Herbal Formulae that can clear the heat in the Heart.

 13 Deep Deficiency of Heart and Kidney Energy (Yang), and Deep Deficiency of Heart and Kidney Body Fluids (Yin)


Very tired and feeling very cold.

Alternating restless anxiety and insomnia, and feelings of heat.

Self Help Remedies:

This is a complicated situation because both the Energy and the Body Fluids have become deficient rendering the patient feeling desperate.

The Energy within a person must always be able to move Body Fluids around the body, or else stagnation will occur. Great skill is required here to give the correct treatment at any given time, as the Yin and Yang have to be built up again.

How it is done is to determine which is most deficient, and to give a herbal formula that starts to lessen the deficiency.

When certain signs and symptoms occur, then the other deficiency is built up, and so on, bearing in mind that the Energy must always be strong enough to keep things moving within the body.

It is a delicate process and requires much skill.

In the meantime, the patient must rest, to allow the treatment to work, as it will take a long time to heal.

This condition is rare.

 14 A Deficiency of Heart Energy, Blood, and Body Fluids (Yin)

(strictly speaking Body Fluids are on a more superficial level of moisture than Yin, which is the deepest moistening in the body, however, to explain Yin and Yang would take several lectures.

I have mentioned Body Fluids here to give the feeling of moisture, being the opposite of Energy which is dry and Yang.


Will very easily become emotionally upset and tired. Feels weak, nervous, anxious and depressed.

Self Help Remedies:

All Heart problems are primarily and deeply connected to Love. ‘To come from the Heart’ means to be sincere and loving.

A person with this condition is almost being forced to go deep inside to find the Love within them, that the person imagined wasn’t there.

A health problem always comes to teach us something, to move us along from false beliefs, issues and assumptions that we are harbouring.

So whilst the healing takes place, the person would be well advised to read poetry, listen to gentle music, and put themselves in touch with joyful things.

Chinese Herbal treatment will be necessary here, as this is another deep condition that needs coaxing into wellness, and is rare.

 15 A Deficiency of Energy and Blood


Exhaustion with anxiety and depression.

Feels weak and often dizzy as not enough Blood in the Brain. Often after childbirth these symptoms appear, due to Blood loss.

Digestive problems.

Self Help Remedies:

A deficiency usually goes hand in hand with depression.

This health problem is often caused by Malnutrition, Exhaustion, Ageing, Loss of Blood, Excessive Emotions etc.

Keep warm, eat regularly and chew well.

Eat Green foods to help the Liver (emotions) e.g. Kale, Broccoli, Spinach.

Brown and Yellow foods for the Spleen (digestion) e.g Squash, Pumpkin.

Build body strength by eating, drinking, sleeping and playing well.

Understand how you created the problem, so as not to repeat it, as with all the health problems above.


K. J. Ashton, MATCM, Lic Ac, Dip CHM.


He who binds himself to a joy,

Does the winged life destroy,

But he who kisses the joy as it flies,

Lives in Eternity’s Sunrise.

William Blake.



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