Grief from the Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective 

Traditional Chinese Medicine adopts a holistic view of the body where the physical, psychological and spiritual aspects of our beings are considered to be inseparable.  When we realize that our emotions and our organs are interconnected, this allows the healing process to begin.  

Our emotions are the most sensitive part of our beings.  This needs to be embraced and fully understood in order to maintain our balance while facing the life’s challenges.

Grief is an acute and deep pain that accompanies loss.  It is a natural emotion, that needs to be felt, in order to find peace and to let go.  

Although it is believed that there are distinct stages of grief, people may experience a number of different emotions.  This process can be indeed very personal and experiences can vary based on the individual.

As mentioned earlier, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, every emotion is linked to a physical organ or system. Therefore, in order to support our emotional wellbeing, it is imperative to support the life force that runs and maintains the physical vitality of the related organ/ system.

Every physical and or emotional symptom can help us diagnose the affected organ or system that needs to be properly cared for, in order to bring healing to the injured parts of our beings.

Generally speaking, grief and intense feeling of sadness is related to the functions of the lungs. Optimizing the functions of the respiratory system is essential to start the healing process.  

Deep breathing exercises, yoga, proper nutrition, herbal remedies, acupuncture and acupressure massage are all effective ways to properly deal with grief. 

Recognizing different emotions during challenging times such as anger, frustration, despair and fear is the first step towards dealing with these issues in a healthy, powerful and effective way.  

It is important to note that healing is a process. We need to be patient and identify our feelings, in order to give ourselves the opportunity to deal with our problems properly.  

The endocannabinoid system: the yin and yang equilibrium 

We are living in an era, where we are subjected to continuous daily mental, emotional and physical strains that seem to be inevitable byproducts of today’s lifestyle.

The illnesses we try to fight and find solutions for are mainly due to an overstimulated or an inefficient and exhausted system, today known as the endocannabinoid system.

This homeostatic regulator of neuronal and physiological system was traditionally referred to the Yin and Yang Vital energy (Qi).

According to the Traditional Chinese Medicine, the concept of the yin and yang was defined as “the harmony of all the elements and forces that make up existence “.  The dynamic balance between the yin and yang is the key to the internal state of equilibrium, hence the optimum state of health.

All longerm internal patterns of disharmony, as results of deficiciencies, excesses or both, will lead into mental, emotional or physical illnesss.

Deficiencies can be understood as lack of vital energy.  Adequate vital nutrients, fresh air and proper physical activities can counteract the deficiency patterns.  Excesses can be explained as over abundance of anything relative to one’s needs.  Some of these factors are environmental chemicals, dietary excess, and excessive emotions.

Acupuncture and Medicinal Cannabinoids

Acupuncture treatment involves the insertion of filiform needles into the specific points on the skin, in order to stimulate the body’s own regulatory system.

Traditionally this procedure was explained as unblocking the “Qi” in the meridians and inducing its own smooth flow to relieve pain, Reduce stress and increase vital energy.

Recent scientific research reveals the similarity between acupuncture’s mode of action and medicinal cannabinoids in their abilities to regulate, optimize and heal the endocannabinoid system.

Endocannabinoid system is a neuromodulatory system that plays a key role in energy balance, pain modulation responses, learning, memory, reward, neurogenesis and neuromodulation mechanisms.  According to Dr. Vincenzo Di Manzo, the leading researcher at the National Research Council of Italy, “the endocannabinoid system so far is the only endogenous system of chemical signals that is involved in everything”.

Acupuncture is proved to reduce the plasma Corticosterone level, inducing analgesic effect, through the endocannabinoid receptor CB1 dependent cascade.  CB1 is found in brain in the areas related to pain sensation, sleep, mood, appetite and memory.

Furthermore, acupuncture is proved to affect another endocannabinoid receptor called CB2, providing anti inflammatory responses.  CB2 receptors are found in body’s immune system.

Therefore, an efficient and regulated endocannabinoid system seems to be essential in maintaining optimum physiological functions of the body.

Consequently, these findings can predict remarkable potentials for future therapeutical advancement that acupuncture-cannabis combined medicine can offer.