Treatment of Depression and Anxiety with Acupuncture
It may feel like you are alone in the world with a mountain pressing down on your shoulders and nobody cares about you. Well, you are not. In the US alone, about 1.6 million people suffer from this serious illness. It causes a prolonged period of sadness which affects the way a person feels, thinks and behaves. Anti-depressant medication is commonly prescribed to treat the symptoms of depression, but 25% or around 4 million people have shown no progress using the average antidepressant treatment. By the year 2030, research has predicted that depression will be a leading cause for negative impact on health and life expectancy all around the globe. Although depression has no inclination to socioeconomic, ethnic or racial boundaries, women still tend to suffer from it more.
This serious medical condition lasts for a minimum of two weeks and hinders a person’s ability to carry out daily activities and tasks. Though leading scientific theories point the cause of depression to be neurotransmitter imbalances in the brain, the exact cause behind it is still unknown. More often than not, depressed patients suffer from anxiety as well.
In the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases system, loss of enjoyment or interest, diminished energy levels, reduced activity and presence of a depressed mood is the key criteria to diagnose depression. Other common symptoms include:
- Diminished confidence and self-esteem
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- Suicidal and self-harming thoughts
- Pessimistic attitudes regarding the future
- Loss of appetite
- Diminished focus and concentration
It is important to seek help if you experience any of these symptoms. Depression is crippling and prevents a person from carrying out normal daily functions. It affects those who surround you as much as it affects you. Causing up to a million suicides every year, depression can be devastating. Not only a huge economic burden for the society, but depression is also a cause for disability and disease burden worldwide.
Anxiety is commonly experienced by many in day-to-day lives. However, it comes in many different forms, and it is vital to distinguish between ordinary state of anxiety and the one that can harm your health. Anxiety ranges from mild worrying sensations to PTS disorders, panic attacks, phobias and nervous, upset stomach. Anxiety that occurs in response to stress or in an unfamiliar situation is normal. But the anxiety that occurs without any cue or randomly should be carefully examined.
In general, extreme exhaustion is the common manifestation of depression. Despite wanting to get better, you lack the will to act upon it. Every patient’s symptoms differ, but the common theme between all patients is a weak state of mind that is impossible to get rid of. Breaking free of this confined state of mind is the path to treating depression.
Many side effects associated with the intake of antidepressant medication has led people to seek safer therapies such as acupuncture and herbal medicine. Acupuncture treatment for depression focuses on balancing energy levels and qi circulation. Since energy blockage causes imbalance in the state of mind, promoting proper flowing of qi and balancing energy levels becomes the key treatment strategy in treating anxiety and depression. Once proper balance and circulation is restored, it becomes possible to let go of anxiety and depression, you can start enjoying the life again.
An excerpt from an anti-depressant medication quotes “Antidepressant medicines may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some children, teenagers, or young adults within the first few months of treatment. Depression and other serious mental illnesses are the most important causes of suicidal thoughts and actions. Some people may have a particularly high risk of having suicidal thoughts or actions. Patients on antidepressants and their families or caregivers should watch for new or worsening depression symptoms, especially sudden changes in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings. This is very important when an antidepressant medicine is started or when the dose is changed.”
Oriental Medicine believes that the mind and body are closely interconnected. However, modern society strains the mind to the degree that this connection breaks, disrupting mind and body imbalance. Acupuncture helps treatment of anxiety and depression by bringing back the physical and mental balance prior to this condition, hence the patient can lead an easy life without the worry of undue stress.
Despite there’s no specific cure available for depression, the use of acupuncture effectively brings plenty of patients back to their normal lives, free from all their symptoms. If you are depressed or know anyone who is, contact us to get more information to learn about acupuncture. Taking the first step is the most important step to make a difference in your life. Even if you are taking antidepressants already, you can incorporate acupuncture treatment to enhance the benefits and reduce the side effects.
At Chang’s Acupuncture and Herbs, we often combine acupuncture and moxibustion to induce deep relaxation and to balance energy. You will feel the difference even after the first treatment. If you are suffering from anxiety or depression, we would like to help. Call us or send us an email so you can start on the path to improved emotional health starting today.