Anxiety and depression are high in prevalence, especially in the female population, whose incidence is approximately double that of the male population. In addition, these conditions are difficult to treat and have high relapse rates and medication side-effects. There is evidence to suggest that acupuncture may be an effective treatment modality.
What Is Depression
Depression is recognized as a major public health problem that has a substantial impact on individuals and on society.
As a quick summary, depression is an illness characterized by certain symptoms, and not just sadness or the blues. It involves a persistently depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure accompanied by other symptoms, the most common listed below:
Changes in weight and appetite
Inability to concentrate
Having negative thoughts and worrying about the future
Feeling irritable, tired, or agitated
Being unable to sleep or sleeping too much
Feeling hopeless about the future
Having thoughts of suicide
There’s no single cause of depression, according to research. Brain chemistry, hormones, genetics, life experiences and physical health can all play a role.
While depression is most commonly treated with medication, therapy, or a combination of the two, increasingly, complementary and alternative treatments are being used and sought out by persons with depression.
A growing base of scientific evidence supports the use of acupuncture as a complementary treatment for depression and anxiety. One promising study from 2015, for example, found that acupuncture improved symptoms in people with anxiety that didn't respond to other treatments, including psychotherapy and medication. Participants received ten 30-minute sessions of acupuncture over the course of 12 weeks.
Alongside prescribed medications, acupuncture has been shown to improve symptoms and reduce patient suffering. These modern findings are consistent with the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) view that acupuncture may be applied to benefit mental health. This is expressed in TCM treatment principles including circulating the qi, calming the spirit (shen), stabilizing or descending the uprising yang, and lifting the qi.
According to Chinese Medicine, anxiety and depression in women is the result of complex interactions between diverse factors, many of which are not yet fully understood. The Chinese Medicine explanation for why depression is twice as common in women can be explained, in part, by the relationship between Liver depression and the menstrual cycle. Qi Deficiency (Lung and/or Kidney), Blood Deficiency (usually Liver and Spleen), Blood Stagnation (Liver), Cold Invasion causing Qi and Blood Stagnation, as well as Jing and Yuan .Qi Deficiency are all part of the constellation of findings associated with depression, and all affect the Shen or Mind. As such, in practice, treatment of depression at Acupuncture Herbs and Beyond relies upon the diagnosis of each individual patient and on formulating use of a distinct group of acupoints unique to each individual, along with a strategy that may also include other recommendations, including, but not limited to herbal therapy and lifestyle modifications. These varied diagnoses and ever-changing constellations of acupoints make the need for individualized acupuncture treatment plans vital to success for each patient at Acupuncture Herbs and Beyond..
According to Western Medicine Acupuncture is associated with an increase in the level of neurobiologically active substances, such as endorphins and enkephalins. There are also data indicating that acupuncture induces the release of norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine.
Acupuncture Herbs and Beyond offers a comprehensive treatment program for depression and anxiety under the direction of Dr. Weihui Li. The importance of an individualized treatment protocol cannot be overstated. No physician referral is needed for appointments with our experienced acupuncturists.