Can Acupuncture cure Depression?

Acupuncture for Depression

In today's highly complicated and fiercely competitive world, we find that survival is tough and extremely stressful. Stress leads to a number of serious health conditions that an have a bearing on your health in the long run, and one of such conditions is depression.


What is stress?

Stress can be defined as a normal physical response to emergency situations and at normal levels it is welcome as it helps in increasing productivity and staying alert and focused. But, it becomes a threat when the situation gets out of control and affects your personal relationships and quality of life. Stress can be found in a variety of forms, from mild worry to phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD and even panic attacks. A little anxiety is a normal, healthy response to everyday stress; but, anxiety that occurs in an excessive manner is a sign for concern. Extreme stress leads to the onset of depression, which can have long-term ill effects on the disturbed person.


Symptoms of Stress:

  • Insomnia (sleeplessness) or hypersomnia (excess of sleeping)
  • Fatigue and loss of energy
  • Either weight loss or weight gain
  • A decreased or increased appetite
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Reduced ability to think or concentrate, combined with indecisiveness
  • A sense of excessive guilt, or inappropriate guilt
  • Psycho-motor agitation or retardation

While treatment for anxiety and depression is available in almost all schools of medicine, many people do not prefer the continued use of antidepressant drugs which are necessary for the treatment of the problem. We find a new option for treatment of anxiety and depression - Acupuncture.


Acupuncture is one of the oldest and one of the most commonly used systems of healing in the world. The system, which originated in China over 3,500 years ago, has become one of the popular healing systems in the world.


According to this traditional Chinese therapy, there are about 2,000 acupuncture points on the human body, which are connected by 20 pathways called meridians. These meridians conduct energy, or qi - pronounced chi - between the surface of the body and its internal organs. The qi has a different effect on each point. This theory was used various to cure a host of ailments such as migraine, anxiety, depression, pain, diabetes, insomnia, Cholelithiasis, and male infertility, among others.


Studies have shown that this method of healing has been used in the treatment of anxiety and depression. Research has shown that acupuncture can ease anxiety by acting on those areas of the brain known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, and promote relaxation and deactivate the area of the brain, which is responsible for anxiety and worry.


Acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system that causes the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. This results in biochemical changes that influence the body's equilibrium mechanisms and thus promotes the physical and emotional well being.

It was seen that stimulation of certain acupuncture points affected areas of the brain that are known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress. They also promote relaxation and deactivation of the analytical area of the brain, which is responsible for anxiety and worry. Stress-induced changes in behavior and biochemistry can be reversed to bring back normalcy.


One of the major advantages of acupuncture is that it can be safely combined with conventional medical treatments such as anti-depressants, helping to reduce their side effects and enhance their beneficial effects. Acupuncture treatment also helps cure physical ailments such as chronic pain, which may be one of the major causes of depression. In the process of curing, acupuncture experts will suggest patients to make dietary and lifestyle changes that can be helpful in overcoming depression.


How Can Acupuncture Help Anxiety and Depression?

The school of acupuncture has always maintained that the connection between mind and body are inseparable. Anger, fear, sadness, worry, and joy was correlated to each of the five yin organs of the body. Imbalances within these organs could injure the corresponding internal organ over time.


Normally, acupuncture can be used as a single therapy, but in the treatment of persistent diseases, it can be conjoined with any other alternative method. In the initial stages, treatment can be given about 6-8 times a week, but in the later stages, it may be reduced to 1-2 times a week after improvement is noticed.


What are the advantages of acupuncture for depression?

There are only a few medical treatments that work effectively all the time, and one of them is acupuncture. One of the main advantages of acupuncture is that does not have any side effects, and extremely few cases of injuries or bruises. While some medications can have serious side effects that can lead to dependency, acupuncture does not have any such problems. Unlike other systems of medicine, acupuncture can show results even after one session. Acupuncture is especially helpful to people who want to limit or stop use of regular medications. Acupuncture can be combined with other therapies as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for depression. There is plenty of evidence about the effectiveness of acupuncture, that include claims from a number of patients who have been treated for depression.