Anxiety and Depression Treatment Program

Turning Point Bodymind Wellness Inc. is a practice based in North Vancouver, BC that focuses on depression, anxiety, insomnia, and other stress-related disorders using acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, and counselling. The standard treatment program consists of three phases. While the following outline describes our standard treatment program for depression and anxiety, each individual client’s program may vary based on their specific conditions and needs. I will discuss your individual program with you before we begin treatment. After each phase’s treatment, I will reassess your progress and current condition. Based on the result of the assessment, we will decide together the goals, plans and treatment frequency for the next phase.

If you have any further questions or concerns regarding the standard program or your specific program, please feel free to contact me to discuss further.

First Phase

The first phase of the program is focused on cultivating mindfulness, increasing self-awareness, and facilitating the balance of the life energy (Qi) in order to build a strong foundation of acceptance, resilience and increased ability to cope with stress and to regulate emotions. You may also learn skills of relaxation, and learn to set up helpful habits of self-care, and start to experience more sense of physical and emotional wellbeing. These steps move you toward working on deeper issues. The first phase of the program consists of weekly session of acupuncture treatment and mindfulness skill training for about three months. Depending on your response to the treatment, you may need less or more than three-month treatment before beginning the second phase. During your visit, the following modalities may be used:

Mindfulness Exercise

Breathing exercise is one of the important mindfulness exercises. Deep, long and mindful breathing facilitates free flow of Qi (vital energy), which helps our body function better and helps our mind to be more clear, alert and relaxed. Although relaxation may be a by-product of the mindfulness exercise, it is not the goal. The goal for the mindfulness practice is simply to be more curious about our moment by moment experience, to promote awareness of how our mind works, and to be able to stay open in the present moment. This practice increases your capacity of being open and creating more space for difficult internal experience such as feelings, thoughts and memories etc. It is like dropping a solid anchor that helps to center you during those storms of stressful events in your life. It facilitates choice making that will lead you to your valued goals rather than the habitual reactions that reinforce the sufferings.

For the first phase of treatment, each session begins with a mindfulness exercise that builds a foundation for the healing work upon which we are preparing to embark.

Acupuncture treatment

Recent researches showed that acupuncture treatment stimulates secretion of certain hormones, especially endorphins, which relieve pain and can create feelings of euphoria. Acupuncture treatment is also believed to regulate the important neurotransmitters that are important for emotional well being such as Serotonin, Dopamine, and Norepinephrine to treat depression and anxiety effectively. Often people who suffer from depression and anxieties have a sense that they are “blocked”, “stuck” and “unbalanced”, just not feeling like “their old self”. You feel that way because your Qi is blocked, and therefore physical and emotional signs arise. Acupuncture helps to restore the functional flow of “Qi” (the life force) in the body to achieve the physical and emotional wellbeing.

In the first phase, the acupuncture treatments focus on facilitating the free flow of the Qi. When this “flow” is established, the whole being becomes more balanced, more flexible and more resourceful, and both physical and emotional symptoms may reduce. People become less stuck in the unworkable preconditioned patterns and more able to face the unworkability of their old coping mechanism and therefore, more ready to make changes to bring about the life that they want.

Herbal medicine

For people who suffer from depression and/or anxieties, their manifesting symptoms may be different and their underlying patterns of imbalance may be different. Therefore, different herbal medicines are used to help restore the balance. Herbal medicine will be prescribed based on each patient’s specific condition. They are helpful to supplement and support both physical and mental health.

Fee Schedule

$115 for each 60 minute session

10-treatment package: $1000 for 10 sessions (you save $150)

The cost of the herbal medicine is in addition to the above treatment fees.

Second Phase

After the first phase, many people may experience reduction of symptoms and increased self awareness and emotional resilience. Besides working on maintaining the free flow of “Qi” and strengthening mindfulness practice, we will focus on working with habitual patterns — patterns of belief, emotion and behaviours. Instead of helping one live a life with vitality, these unworkable patterns block, weaken, and disrupt Qi, which manifests as physical and emotional symptoms. We will start to address some deeper level imbalances usually include old beliefs and past trauma, so that one’s energy is no longer usurped by past events, and can be freed up to support one to live a satisfying life. Besides acupuncture treatments and herbal medicine, counselling is an important modality for this phase of work. The main therapeutic approach I use is ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) — an evidence-based therapy model that has been shown to be effective for depression, anxiety, PTSD, addictions, chronic pain and many other predicaments that human beings face. The counselling sessions are not meant to “get rid of” anxiety or depression. Instead, you will learn a new way to relate to your mind, which will transform your life in a significant way.

The second phase consists of weekly or bi-weekly combined acupuncture and counselling session for three months. For people with chronic and complex issues, this phase may last longer. During your visit, the following modalities may be used:

Acupuncture treatment:

Besides continuing maintaining the free flow of Qi, and eliminating the blockages, the focus of the second phase will move to dealing with deeper imbalance of the energetic systems so that we can not only sustain the well being we have so far achieved but also work on the root of the imbalance — the preconditioned patterns that are underlying depression and anxieties. Five Element acupuncture may be integrated in this phase.

Herbal medicine:

Herbal medicine will be prescribed based on each patient’s specific condition to supplement and support the effects of acupuncture. During this phase, you may start taking a different formula of herbal medicine, or take reduced dosage of the previous medicine depending on your conditions. Herbs are prescribed based on what is happening in your systems and will be continually modified to tune to the condition of your specific bodymind.

Chinese Medicine and ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy)

The integration of ACT and acupuncture works well to promote free flow of life energy and psychological flexibility, which are the hallmark of physical and mental health. Mindfulness and acceptance are the important principles for both.

Both Chinese Medicine and ACT emphasize experiential learning. This is what you will experience in our session of combined ACT and Chinese Medicine treatment. You will be encouraged to explore your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, memories etc. through metaphors, exercises, and the experience of your senses, to find out what strategies work and what don’t work. Instead of having your energy caught up in fighting against your internal experiences that you don’t like, the energy will be freed up to move toward your valued life. The content of your mind no longer intimidates and controls you, you will have more space and capacity to handle it. The most important thing is that: you get to live the life that you value now.

Learn more about Chinese Medicine and ACT

Fee Schedule:

Combined acupuncture treatment and counselling (90 minutes): $170

Acupuncture treatment only (45-60 minutes): $100 session

10-treatment package for acupuncture : $900 for 10 sessions (You save: $100)

Individual counselling session (50 minutes): $120

The cost of the herbal medicine is in addition to the above treatment fees and varies depending on different formulas and dosage.

Third phase

This is the phase of integration and maintenance. When we let go of the old waste energy and re-balance the energy system, our system starts to establish a healthier and more functional pattern.

When we face the stress and demands of daily life, this newly established pattern will be tested and challenged. If we can further integrate what we have achieved in the first and second phases of healing, the effect will be more long lasting. You will be more able to handle your own mood and prevent depression and anxieties in the long run. The importance of this phase cannot be over emphasized. The frequency of visit for this phase is once in every two weeks for three months.

The combination of counselling sessions and acupuncture treatments are recommended. Depending on each individual’s needs, some may need more counselling and others may need more acupuncture treatment. The specific program will be discussed at the beginning of the third phase and can be adjusted along the course.

Herbal medicine will be prescribed, based on each patient’s specific condition, to supplement and support the effects of acupuncture. The herbal prescription may be the same as what you have in the second phase or may be modified. Most patients will go on a maintenance dosage at the third phase.

Fee Schedule:

Acupuncture treatment (45-60 minutes) : $100

10-treatment package: $900 for 10 sessions (You save: $100)

Individual counselling session (50 minutes): $120

Combined acupuncture treatment and counselling (90 minutes): $170

The cost of the herbal medicine is in addition to the above treatment fees and varies depending on different formulas and dosage.