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TCM x PSYCH Anxiety Programme

Living with anxiety? Reclaim your peace of mind again

Do you constantly feel on-edge and worried about things that may go wrong? Anxiety involves excessively feeling anxious and worried; to the extent that it becomes difficult to control and may affect one’s well being and functioning. Whether you are dealing with a temporary period of excess stress and anxiety or a more serious anxiety condition– we can help. 

PULSE offers a natural, alternative approach for managing anxiety. We provide Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatments targeted towards improving stress and anxiety symptoms. In this East-meets-West program, you also have the option to combine evidence-based therapy by a clinical psychologist for more holistic results.   

Benefits

TCM treatments such as acupuncture and Chinese herbal medication have been supported by research as effective in reducing anxiety symptoms without causing adverse side effects such as in Western anxiety medications.

Psychotherapy is the medical ‘gold standard’ treatment for anxiety. 
Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) in particular is one of the most effective treatments for anxiety
as backed by research and medical authorities. 

Signs & Symptoms of Anxiety

Emotional

  • Frequent feelings of anxiety or panic
  • Irritability
  • Stress

Cogntive

  • Excessive worrying
  • Irrational fears
  • Negative thoughts
  • Difficulty concentrating

Physical

  • Restlessness
  • Muscle tension
  • Trembling
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbance

Behavioural

  • Avoidance of situations and places that may trigger anxiety

Experiencing some level of anxiety or some of these symptoms occasionally is a normal part of life. However, experiencing them frequently and excessively; to the extent that they are interfering with daily functioning or quality of life; may indicate the need for professional help. 

Common Anxiety Conditions

Anxiety from A TCM Perspective

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views anxiety conditions and emotional imbalances as connected to disturbances in the Qi
Vital life force that flows through the body and can be regulated via TCM
 energy and functioning of internal organs.

Different organs are believed to be involved in regulating different emotions.

The functioning of these organs can impact our emotional health. Vice versa, excessive anxiety, worry, overthinking, stress, sadness or any excessive emotions can also harm the functioning of internal organs and cause blockages in Qi
Vital life force that flows through the body and can be regulated via TCM
energy and functioning of internal organs. energy
. This in turn can further exacerbate the symptoms of stress and anxiety.

The following are examples of some TCM imbalances that are commonly associated with anxiety.

Liver Qi Stagnation

Symptoms

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Chest tightness
  • Digestive issues

Heart and Spleen Deficiency

Symptoms

  • Restlessness
  • Frustration
  • Excessive worrying
  • Pensive & suspicious
  • Forgetfulness
  • Insomnia
  • Poor appetite
  • Palpitations

Kidney Qi Deficiency

Symptoms

  • Chronic anxiety
  • Fearfulness
  • Insecurity
  • Low back pain
  • Fatigue

Note that this list is not exhaustive and there are other types of imbalances that can also contribute to depressive symptoms. Your physician will conduct a thorough assessment and examination to identify your own unique condition and health imbalances.

How TCM Can Help with Anxiety

Acupuncture

Anxiety and stress causes energy blockages within the meridians of the body (energy channels) as well as muscle tension. 

By targeting specific acupuncture points related to emotions and relaxation, acupuncture can help to reduce anxiety by: 

Chinese Herbal Medication

Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) is another common TCM treatment for anxiety. TCM physicians would prescribe specific herbal formulas (combination of multiple herbs) tailored to each patient’s symptoms and patterns of imbalances

CMH can also help with anxiety by:

How Psychotherapy Can Help with Anxiety

TCM treatments can help to provide some relief to anxiety symptoms by influencing the physiological systems involved in stress and anxiety. They may be able to successfully resolve mild, temporary episodes of stress or anxiety

However, they may not be sufficient to fully resolve complex anxiety cases, such as: 

  • Chronic, persistent, or severe anxiety where dysfunctional patterns of thinking and responding (e.g. overthinking habits, avoidance behaviours) are involved. 
  • Complex anxiety linked to past trauma

For more complex anxiety, addressing the psychological and behavioural aspects that contribute to anxiety through psychotherapy is usually necessary to achieve deeper, long-lasting changes.

1. Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

The premise of CBT is that the way we think has a direct impact on how we feel and behave, and vice versa.

Across various types of anxiety, there is usually a common thinking pattern of over-exaggerating the danger in various events or the likelihood of things going wrong.  This triggers the excessive feelings of fear and anxiety

A major part of CBT is helping people to learn to identify when their thoughts are exaggerated, and to change their thoughts to more realistic, helpful ones. This can have an immediate effect on reducing the feelings of anxiety.

2. Exposure Therapy

Another common tendency in anxiety conditions is to avoid the specific situations, people or places that tend to trigger anxiety. For example, someone with social anxiety may avoid all social gatherings at work.

While avoidance is a natural reaction, it worsens anxiety in the long run. Recovery from anxiety usually requires people to face situations they have been avoiding. 

Exposure therapy is a part of CBT that involves gradually exposing people to the things they fear and learning overcome their anxiety through manageable steps. 

3. Psychoeducation

Having a solid understanding of your condition, triggers and how treatment works is key to being able to successfully manage it. As part of therapy, our psychologist will educate you on:

  • The condition, your symptoms and your triggers in daily life. 
  • Intervention strategies and an overview of your therapy plan.

4. Mindfulness & Relaxation Techniques

You will also learn techniques to self-manage your anxiety, such as breathing techniques, and mindfulness or relaxation strategies.

The premise of CBT is that the way we think has a direct impact on how we feel and behave, and vice versa.

Across various types of anxiety, there is usually a common thinking pattern of over-exaggerating the danger in various events or the likelihood of things going wrong.  This triggers the excessive feelings of fear and anxiety

A major part of CBT is helping people to learn to identify when their thoughts are exaggerated, and to change their thoughts to more realistic, helpful ones. This can have an immediate effect on reducing the feelings of anxiety.

1. Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Another common tendency in anxiety conditions is to avoid the specific situations, people or places that tend to trigger anxiety. For example, someone with social anxiety may avoid all social gatherings at work.

While avoidance is a natural reaction, it has the effect of worsening anxiety in the long run. If avoidance behaviours are present, recovery from anxiety usually requires people to face these trigger situations and learn to “conquer” them.

Exposure therapy is a part of CBT that involves gradually exposing people to the things they fear in order to help them overcome their anxiety through small, manageable steps

2. Exposure Therapy

Having a solid understanding of your condition, triggers and how treatment works is key to being able to successfully manage it. As part of therapy, our psychologist will educate you on:

  • The condition, your symptoms and your triggers in daily life. 
  • Intervention strategies and an overview of your therapy plan.

3. Psychoeducation

You will also learn techniques to self-manage your anxiety, such as breathing techniques, and mindfulness or relaxation strategies.

4. Mindfulness and Relaxation Technique

Meet our Psychologist

Lead Clinical Psychologist

Dr Jaswyn Chin

Doctor of Psychology (Clinical), James Cook University Singapore

Bachelors of Art in Psychology, Murdoch University Australia

Registered Psychologist with Singapore Psychological Society (SPS)

View profile

Dr. Jaswyn is a registered clinical psychologist with over 10 years of experience.  She has extensive experience providing intervention for various  a wide range of mental health issues from anxiety, depression, grief, insomnia, OCD, personality disorders, stress management to trauma. 

Dr Jaswyn adopts a person-centred approach to therapy where she believes in working collaboratively with individuals through the process of recovery. She is also trained in multiple therapeutic modalities including cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and eye movement desensitisation reprocessing therapy (EMDR).

During her free time, Jaswyn enjoys music and plays the piano. She is also a keen learner of new languages and loves to travel.

Price

TCM Services​

To engage our TCM services only, please refer to our Charges page.  As a general guide, a typical TCM session would include a consultation + a choice of one treatment (patients can choose more than one treatment in some cases). 

TCM x PSYCH Trial Bundle

  • Prices are exclusive of GST.
  • Only applicable for first-timers to the programme.
  • To enjoy this trial price, please notify our clinic that you are coming for a trial session upon registration. Otherwise regular pricing will apply.   
  • If acupuncture treatment is chosen as part of the package, additional charges would apply to herbal medication prescription or other additional treatments.
  • Note that more than one TCM/Psychologist session is usually needed to adequately resolve the presenting issue (see FAQ). A-la carte pricing for TCM & Psychologist would apply for subsequent sessions. 
  • Discounted credit packages are available in-clinic. Consult with your physician to find one that suits your needs.

For questions about the programme, please contact psychologist@pulsegroup.health or 9831 9912 (Whatsapp)

Embark on a path of physical and mental well-being.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    To book an appointment, complete the Appointment booking form at the end of this page. Our team will get in touch with you to schedule your appointment with our psychologist and/or a TCM physician at your preferred clinic location.

    As our psychologist and TCM physicians are based in different clinics, your psychotherapy and TCM sessions will be conducted in separate visits. 

    TCM Sessions

    Each standard session consists of a consultation with our TCM physician and an acupuncture treatment (can be substituted with Chinese Herbal Medicine prescription) . Additional treatments or herbal prescriptions may be recommended. (Duration: 45 – 60 mins).

    TCM sessions can be conducted at PULSE TCM clinics islandwide.

    Psychotherapy Sessions

    The psychotherapy sessions (Duration: 60 mins) are conducted at PULSE Allied Health clinic at Camden Medical Centre (by Orchard Blvd MRT), where our psychologist is based. 

    The number of sessions needed would vary person-to-person as it depends on many factors;  from the severity of the presenting condition to external factors that can also affect the condition (e.g. lifestyle, stress level, etc). 

    Below is a general guide. Note that some people may need less or more.

    TCM

    • 5-10 sessions
    • Once weekly (twice for serious conditions)

    Psychologist

    • 4-8 sessions
    • Once weekly, fornightly at later stages

    In general, patients with simple, mild conditions would require less frequent and fewer sessions. Those with more complex conditions with additional contributing factors (e.g. a highly stressful job or lifestyle, psychological factors) will require more frequent visits and a longer duration of treatment.

    Yes, you can choose to consult just a TCM physician or our Psychologist. On the appointment booking form, simply follow the booking process for either clinician rather than selecting the option for both.  

    However, please be aware that we would still highly recommend combining both clinicians for faster symptom relief and the most effective overall results. 

    More complex insomnia that involve psychological and behavioural components (e.g. sleep anxiety, poor sleep habits) may not be fully resolved from TCM treatments alone and can especially benefit from psychotherapy to help make the necessary changes.

    Because our psychologist and TCM physicians are based at separate clinics, this may not be possible. We can try to arrange the sessions on the same day but they will be at different locations.

    TCM physicians and psychologists commonly see patients with comorbid conditions. They would be able to tailor the treatment accordingly. Our psychologist can also additionally help non-mental health issues such as relationship and self-esteem issues.

    Acupuncture needles are extremely thin, and most patients do not find acupuncture to be painful. Many actually find the process calming or it is common to fall asleep during treatment.

    However, if you still do not wish to undergo acupuncture simply inform your physician. He or she will use other TCM treatments instead such as Chinese Herbal Medication; which is just as effective; or cupping therapy and moxibustion

    Acupuncture and CHM have often been used in conjunction with prescription sleeping pills and psychiatric medications (antidepressants, anxiolytics). For CHM, it is recommended to be taken two hours apart from other medications. However, do also check first with your prescribing physician on this. 

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