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How Does Acupuncture Work in Treating Depression?

Updated: Oct 7, 2019

Depression is a very lonely and agonizing condition to deal with. It can feel like there is no hope. And, anyone who has suffered from depression, knows that the “go to” aid in mainstream Western Medicine has always been pharmaceutical drugs. Unfortunately, in many cases the very drugs that are used to help one condition cause a list of other issues and/or side effects. In fact, the major side-effect of most anti-depressants is depression!

Acupuncture is a safe, natural, alternative to treating depression and anxiety, that has no adverse side affects associated with it.

A study published the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that electroacupuncture—in which a mild electric current is transmitted through the needles—was just as effective as Prozac in reducing symptoms of depression.

Another study found in the Journal of Endocrinology showed even more promise. The study’s author, Eshkevari, said, “We found that electronic acupuncture blocks the chronic, stress-induced elevations of the HPA axis hormones and the sympathetic NPY pathway. Our growing body of evidence points to acupuncture’s protective effect against the stress response.”

How Does Acupuncture Work in Treating Depression?

In traditional Chinese Medicine, depression stems from an imbalance in the liver. Acupuncture works by improving the liver function, regulating brain chemicals -serotonin and dopamine, and by releasing endorphins; which are the body's natural opioids to make a person feel happy, reduce pain, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the 'analytical' brain, which is responsible for anxiety and worry. These endorphins have even been shown to be more powerful than morphine!

Regular acupuncture treatments for depression can be just as beneficial to the brain as physical therapy is to the body. Many people who get regular acupuncture for depression have more stable mood patterns, are happier, have better self esteem, and more energetic.

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