When a relationship ends and your heart breaks, you try to find a way back to a place where you can just feel normal again. But then negative thoughts and emotions take hold, looping over and over again in your head. It feels like you’ll never recover from the pain. But there is hope. While it may be true that nothing heals a broken heart better than time, acupuncture may just be the next best thing. Throw in a few natural remedies and a little mindfulness to your day, and you’ll soon be feeling like your old self again.
Can acupuncture really mend a broken heart?
Proponents of acupuncture say yes! Acupuncture can mend a broken heart. It is, after all, a 3,000-year-old healing practice used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In case you didn’t know, it does involve inserting needles at certain locations of the body, commonly referred to as acupuncture points or acupoints. But don’t worry, it won’t cause you more pain. It’s actually quite relaxing.
TCM is based on an ancient philosophy that describes the universe and the body as two opposing forces, yin and yang, according to UC San Diego, Center for Integrative Medicine. When the yin and yang are in balance, the body is healthy.
Energy, called “qi” (pronounced chee) flows along specific pathways or meridians throughout the body. It’s this constant flow of energy that keeps the yin and yang forces balanced. But, if the flow of energy becomes blocked, the blockage can lead to pain, lack of function or illness — similar to what your broken heart feels like.
Western medicine represses pain; TCM promotes self-healing
Through acupuncture you can improve your sleep, release pain and develop a sense of well-being. Everything your body and souls needs to mend your broken heart. According to research published in the Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, acupuncture can also help release feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin — the same feel-good chemicals your body releases when you’re in love. In fact, those who use acupuncture for heartache, say it makes them feel lighter and free of anxiety, more hopeful, stronger and better able to sleep.
More natural remedies to heal your broken heart
Sadness, depression, anger, loss and loneliness can stem from heartbreak. But, the right herbs and essential oils can help heal your heart and lift your spirit.
Hawthorn extract for a more resilient heart
Hawthorn is an all-around heart tonic. It strengthens and tones the cardiovascular system, lowers cholesterol levels and helps manage blood pressure. When it comes to dealing with emotions, a stronger more resilient heart may help you rebound from heartbreak better. Take note: hawthorn may interact in harmful ways with drugs, including some heart medications, according to the National Institute of Health. Therefore, if you’re taking medication and you’re considering using hawthorn, consult with your healthcare provider first.
Lemon balm and chamomile to help treat insomnia
With heartbreak often comes insomnia. Several studies show that lemon balm combined with other calming herbs, like chamomile, can helps reduce anxiety and promote sleep. Try lemon balm and chamomile tea. Steep two teaspoons of dried lemon balm in a cup of chamomile tea. Add sweetener and a splash of lemon juice if desired.
Therapeutic effect of rose essential oil
Rose essential oil can calm the nerves, relieve insomnia and even mild depression. It can also help fatigue and soothe feelings of anger or resentment. Rose essential oil opens the heart and lifts the spirit. It helps overcome grief, and prepare the heart for new beginnings.
A study published in the Journal of Phytomedicine found that rose oil produced physiological and psychological relaxation, analgesic and anti-anxiety effects. If you’re anxious or feeling down, put five drops of rose and five drops of lavender in a diffuser by your nightstand before bed. By morning you should feel lighter and more at peace.
Mindfulness for a broken heart
When we’re suffering from the pain of a broken heart, our brains often get caught in a loop of negative thoughts. They repeat over and over, like a broken record. Instead of dwelling on your negative situation, try a little mindfulness to help clear your head.
Most understand that meditation helps your reach ultimate consciousness and concentration. Research suggests that meditation may physically change the brain and body and could potentially promote healthy behaviors. Mindfulness meditation, in particular, though, has become more popular in recent years, especially for stopping the negative thought process that overwhelms during times of heartache. In fact, according to a study out of Lund University in Sweden, mindfulness is thought to be just as effective as visiting a therapist who treats depression, anxiety and stress.
The practice of mindfulness is simple. It involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future. You may be surprised to discover that while you’re simply noticing your grief or sorrow, and not focusing on tomorrow or yesterday, pain and sorrow will flow away.
Feeling lost is natural after a breakup. But you don’t have to suffer silently — life is too short. So, when painful thoughts or emotions arise, notice them without judgment. Send love and kindness to yourself, and then, try a little acupuncture.
— Katherine Marko