Seasonal Sadness: Relief for the “Autumn Blues”

I coined this term myself this year (perhaps I am not the first) based on a trend I see year after year at my office, and in my personal circle as well.

This is a common time of year for seasonal sadness and depression to surface and to worsen. There can be several different explanations for this, including the shortening hours of daylight, the impending difficult winter in this part of the country, and the Chinese Medicine correspondence with the Lungs during the Fall season.

The emotion associated with the Lungs is sadness. It is a common time of year for issues of unresolved sadness and grief to surface, which can be a healthy process, but when not acknowledged can put a strain on our Lung qi leaving us more susceptible to colds, flues, and more significant depression.

If you are noticing symptoms of sadness, depression and/or lack of motivation in yourself, don’t ignore it. Acupuncture, talk therapy, writing down your feelings, and exercise are all ways of helping as well as taking extra care to support your Lung qi. Really work on using the tips above, particularly eating well and getting fresh air during daylight hours, and add in some regular massage to the following points:

  • Lung 9: Turn your hand palm upward. Extend your thumb. Find the tendon that pops out coming down from your thumb. Massage the point along the wrist crease, just inside of this tendon.
  • Yin Tang & GV 20: Slide your finger up over the top of your nose to the point just in the center between your 2 eyebrows.  Massage gently in a circular motion.  This point can stimulate the pineal gland to reduce lethargy, fatigue, and resulting depression.  If you continue sliding your finger up over the centerline of the scalp to the center of the top of your head. You may feel a slight depression in the scalp there.  Massage this point to help stimulate the brain and relieve depression.

Acupuncture treatments can be very effective for treating symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder and for helping to gently unblock emotions that are stuck.