Acupuncture for Depression Symptoms
A Natural Therapy for Depression
Are you looking for a natural therapy to help you with your depression? I offer many types of acupuncture treatment for symptoms of depression. As an acupuncturist, I recognize that you are a unique individual with your own set of emotional symptoms. Acupuncture is not a ‘one size fits all’ treatment. Patients with symptoms of depression receive individualized care here at Inner Light Wellness.
Acupuncture and Your Emotions
One of the main things people notice when they come in for acupuncture treatment (no matter what condition we are treating) is that they feel happier and less stressed! This is because acupuncture is naturally harmonizing for the mind and body so they work together to enhance all of your functions. People report that they feel more emotional well being as their acupuncture treatment progresses. Why is that?
Acupuncture Treats Function
Acupuncture excels at treating all functions of the body. Your emotions are one of those functions just like your digestion, your sleep, and the ability to walk, climb stairs, or bend over to pet the dog without pain. For acupuncturists, emotions are just as important as any other complaint you might have. An emotional symptom such as depression carries the same weight clinically as any physical symptom and is treated as a priority concern.
Depression affects an estimated 1 in 10 adults according to the CDC.
Depression affects more women than men according to NIMH
Types of Depression
According to NIMH, there are many categories of depression. Here are 3 of the major classifications:
Major depressive disorder
Symptoms that interfere with a your ability to go to work, study or concentrate, sleep, eat, and enjoy once-pleasurable activities. Major depression is disabling and prevents you from functioning normally. Some people may experience only a single episode within their lifetime. More often a person may have multiple episodes.
Dysthymic disorder, or dysthymia
Long-term (2 years or longer) symptoms that prevent normal functioning or feeling well. There may be one or more major depressive episodes over your lifetime.
Milder symptoms for 2 weeks or longer that do not meet full criteria for major depressive disorder. Without treatment, people with minor depression are at higher risk for developing major depressive disorder.
Symptoms of Depression
- Little interest or pleasure in daily activities
- Feeling hopeless or pessimistic
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep
- Waking too early
- Sleeping too much
- Difficulty concentrating or poor memory
- Irritability and easily overwhelmed or frustrated
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Appetite loss or overeating
- Thoughts of suicide and Chronic pain
Is Acupuncture an Alternative to Antidepressants?
Acupuncture provides natural relief from symptoms of depression. Acupuncture works by regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. If you are already taking antidepressant medication, acupuncture may help your medication work better.
At times, my patients seek acupuncture to assist them in reducing or eliminating the need for antidepressants. In those cases, I always advise them to work with their doctor. After approximately 10-20 visits, many patients who are trying to wean off medication begin reducing their antidepressant under guidance of the prescribing doctor. With acupuncture and the support of a mental health professional, depression symptoms can be reduced or eliminated.
The American Psychiatric Association encourages anyone feeling severe symptoms of depression or suicidal thoughts to contact a doctor immediately or seek help at the closest emergency room. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 800-273-TALK (8255) or via online chat.
Depression Research Studies
Acupuncture is an effective therapy for major depressive disorder
New research concludes that acupuncture is an effective monotherapy for major depressive disorder. Researchers from the Depression Clinical Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston) cited prior research as the basis for this investigation. In a follow-up investigation, the researchers examined the safety and efficacy of acupuncture for the treatment of depression as a standalone therapy.
Acupuncture Treatment for Women with Depression
A new pilot study by researchers at the University of Arizona confirmed that acupuncture is a promising treatment for major depression in women. After completion of acupuncture treatment, 70% of women experienced at least a 50% reduction of symptoms, results comparable to the success rate of psychotherapy and medication.
Seasonal Affective Disorder Acupuncture for S.A.D.
Is S.A.D. a disorder? It really depends on the severity of your symptoms. S.A.D. occurs during the change of seasons so it is called ‘seasonal’. Acupuncturists know that moods fluctuate with the seasons. Chinese medicine recognizes that our bodies are a microcosm of the natural world and that our bodies are composed of the same elements that occur in nature. As a smaller version of nature, we are intimately connected to changes that occur during seasonal cycles. Shouldn’t our moods be expected to shift accordingly?