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Treating Betrayal with Chinese Medicine and Homeopathic Remedies

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Stress can be at its worst when relationships are involved. Divorce and breakups actually rank among the top three most stressful events of life. These two occurrences are almost always difficult to get over with even if they end up in mutual consent or amicably. This work will focus on some of the most important emotional processes of a breakup involved and how homeopathy, herbs, and acupuncture can be very helpful therapies for both your spirit and body during this really extremely stressful time.

People who have experienced someone they love wanting to let go for no apparent good reason often ask why? This question is a very natural response which is usually followed by another question: what is the point? There are really no easy answers to these questions although it is important to understand that the zenith of emotions we can experience with joy can be often accompanied by the most depressing emotions of despair and sorrow.

The Major Emotions

When a breakup happens, the person on the raw end of the deal can experience a wide range of feelings and it is not uncommon for him/her to go through the whole gamut of emotions in just a single day.

Betrayal and Grief

The two most important emotional processes involved in most breakups are betrayal and grief. Let’s take a closer look at these factors and see how can significantly impact the emotional and physical health of a person.


Breakups usually engender the feeling of betrayal. This is usually felt by one of the partners (the betrayed) although, at times, it can be experienced by both. Simply the thought of the beloved leaving the mutual agenda of the relationship can generate the feelings of betrayal even if no lying or deceit happened. The emotions get even more intense if there was actual deception, lying, and cheating involved. The harm that betrayal brings can be far reaching and profound. The term heartbreak is felt by some in more ways than one as the heart feels like it’s been physically hurt during a betrayal. Betrayal basically destroys a person’s trust and leaves him/her in shock. The hurt is further amplified when we’ve realized that the person we would normally turn to for solace is gone. All of a sudden, he/she becomes a stranger – a person whom you don’t know at all. For people who have spent decades in a seemingly loving relationship, it would feel that those years had all been a waste of their time which increases even more the bitterness of the experience. Sadly, all of these have very serious consequences on the emotional and physical health of the betrayed individual.

Betrayal Based on the Viewpoint of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Based on the tenets of TCM or traditional Chinese medicine (especially the teachings of Five Element Acupuncture), the heart (and its protective system) is the organ system that suffers the most damage in a betrayal. The Pericardium is known as the heart-protector and according to TCM, is the energetic system of the body that gives you the ability to shut or open yourself to intimacy with another individual. It is the system that actually allows you to feel betrayal in a manner akin to a physical injury. Anyone who has been betrayed in a huge way would tell you this statement is true. The damage may not be tangible, but it is physically felt and real, nonetheless. There is actually a study done recently that proved an association exists between heartbreak and heart disease. When a betrayal occurs, it first generates shock, which people may react in feelings of denial or incredulousness. As reality sets in, the Pericardium attempts to minimize the damage although at this time, you may start to feel bruised and numb. You become insecure, feel internal and extreme physical pain and shut down.

For acupuncturists, the aim of the treatment is to support the Pericardium. The emotional damage needs to be repaired but in a way that prevents the person from becoming hardened or bitter that he/she may not be able to function at all, making him/her even more prone to another betrayal.

Acupuncturists can locate and treat acupuncture points that correspond to the Pericardium for treatment of betrayal. The treatment is usually reinforced with herbal remedies to address the physical traumas. Also certain homeopathic medicines such as Arnica can be given the patient to alleviate the feelings of betrayal and shock. Arnica works for a bruised heart same as antibiotic ointment works for an open tissue wound. Yarrow is a plant that helps protect the heart as it heals, while Hawthorne can help soothe heartache. Recue Remedy is a flower essence that can be used to treat shock or the denial/disbelief that comes with a sudden breakup or betrayal.


When dealing with grief, it is important to undergo the stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance) that Elizabeth Kubler-Ross elucidated in one of her books. A lot of people have actually gone through these stages at various points in their lives. These stages do not necessarily follow a specific sequence and it is perfectly natural to feel anger for a certain time then be in a state of acceptance afterwards, only to be aware that you’re in denial about something else which causes you to be severely depressed. People go through these stages in different ways and there is no right or wrong ways to overcome grief although getting stuck in or more of these stages does commonly occur. People who have gone through the death of a family member or a death of a beloved may discover the same old grief being felt all over again during a breakup. Interestingly, this feeling can be felt even if the relationship is short-lived or not really that serious. Perhaps, grief is the universe’s way of telling us that nothing is permanent in life and the acceptance of this reality is fundamental to the human experience. Grief that is unresolved can also cause dysfunctions in the Large Intestine and Lung systems. Acupuncturists utilize Five Element Acupuncture to heal these systems to help the person cope much better with grief.

It is vital to seek help if you are experiencing difficult times after a betrayal. The help can come from friends or it may come in the form of a relaxing activity or a procedure such as acupuncture or by reading self-help books or seeing a counselor. The most comforting thing to remember about a breakup is that oftentimes, the outcomes bear much incredible and better gifts that the former relationship can ever offer.

Dominic Sembello, L.Ac., is board certified and licensed acupuncturist in Linwood, NJ.

Written by Valerie

December 23rd, 2014 at 8:35 am

Posted in Acupuncture