Studies indicate that the use of acupuncture for depression can have considerable benefits. Acupuncture is a traditional Eastern medical treatment involving the use of thin needles placed at strategic points in the skin to unblock the natural flow of energy around the body, known as Qi.
Chinese medicine traditionally views ailments as the result of a blockage to the flow of Qi, and uses ancient treatments such as acupuncture, massage or herbs to stimulate and restore the energy flow. In this way, depression is not seen as an illness but a symptom of stagnant energy trapped in the body.
The Benefits of Acupuncture for Depression
The use of acupuncture in treating depression is thought to improve mood and restore feelings of well being and self worth, help to eliminate insomnia, improve or regulate the appetite, give an increased strength and vitality, and strengthen the immune system. The effects are thought to be seen faster than when traditional treatments are used.
People who experience depression often develop other associated health issues, such as unexplained aches and pains, headaches, insomnia, extreme tiredness and anxiety. As acupuncture is a holistic treatment, it will provide relief from these problems as well as treating the depression itself.
Acupuncture may be beneficial to those who do not wish to take antidepressant medication, and as the treatment is natural there are no side effects. It may also be used in conjunction with other Eastern treatments such as Chinese herbs and massage.
Does Acupuncture Work?
Recent studies have shown that using acupuncture to treat depression does have a definite beneficial effect. Experiments conducted indicate that patients receiving acupuncture treatment displayed a significant reduction in their symptoms, with half of them no longer meeting the diagnostic criteria for clinical depression following treatment.
Since the early nineties, studies around the globe have suggested that treating depression with acupuncture has a positive and holistic effect on depressed patients, particularly when used in combination with psychotherapy and herbal treatments.
It is not fully known how acupuncture works, but it has been successfully used as a form of treatment for centuries.
If you are interested in using acupuncture for depression, there are a few words of caution. Do not stop other treatment you may have been prescribed, particularly antidepressant medication as this could be dangerous. Don’t try acupuncture treatment yourself, look for a trained professional. Acupuncture may not work for everybody, but there is evidence to suggest that it can be effective, particularly if used in conjunction with other treatments such as psychotherapy.