The Wednesday Lunch and Learn topic at the PC MARC explores the connection between mental health and physical health from the perspective of Traditional Chinese medicine.
People who struggle with mental health are moving to a broader team approach for their treatment. It can include things like Yoga, a mindfulness practice and exercise. Maile McCain is an acupuncturist, herbalist and Chinese medicine practitioner. She deals with all levels of mental illness including anxiety and stress but also major depression.
“Almost everybody that comes in comes in with a component of stress and anxiety. So, even if it’s a digestive issue or an orthopedic issue, they have some kind of mental health concern as well. It’s really interesting that when people receive a treatment that is actually treating their body and changing their nervous system through their body, how it affects their mind."
McCain says the ancients figured out people can feel better with the tiniest change to the nervous system.
“Putting a needle into your body- what does your body do? And, it is going to have a response. And that response is mediated through the nervous system. And, it’s really amazing how quickly people will be able to feel themselves relax in a treatment.”
McCain says the body’s meridians look like a star chart.
“And, they applied the math of the stars to the human body. But this idea that there are places in our body that have a collection of nerves and blood vessels, the response is going to be stronger. And, that’s what the acupuncture points are. A place of a collection of nerves and vessels that illicit a response that creates a change in the moment.”
She believes when dealing with mental health issues, it’s good to create regular behavioral patterns to soothe the nervous system.
And, when you have a rhythm, your body can calm down. It’s the same as you do for your child. You go to bed at the same time. You wake at the same time. You eat at the same time. You exercise at the same time. And, what I notice in Park City, is we have so many fun things to do, that we just wind up getting all over the map and we start to get overwhelmed and crazed.”
McCain, an herbalist, says the body responds reliably to herbal remedies.
“And, our bodies and plants know how to talk to each other. There are just thousands of years of use of these plants and we know how our bodies respond. Many of the plants are high in vitamin B which we know helps with anxiety, for example.”
Traditional Chinese medicine practitioner Maile McCain from Stillpoint Healing Center will talk about health and wellness at the free Lunch and Learn scheduled for Wednesday at noon at the PC MARC on Little Kate Road.