If you’re suffering from depression and/or anxiety, the two most common mood disorders, you’re seeking relief from psychological pain. If you have one of these conditions, you’re more than likely to be dealing with both of them. Researchers estimate that more than half of those with anxiety also experience depression and vice versa.
You may have tried standard approaches to help with your mood disorder, but they’re not helping you enough. If you’re on medication, you don’t want to just continue increasing the dosage.
It’s time for something you haven’t tried. Acupuncture is currently used to relieve a wide variety of physical ailments, from chronic pain to headaches to menstrual cramps and seasonal allergies. You may not have realized that it can also help relieve depression and anxiety symptoms for some patients.
Our New York licensed and board-certified acupuncturist Dr. Dongwhan Lee, with DH Acupuncture, practiced acupuncture in China for more than a decade and trained under a master in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
In TCM, if you aren’t well, your life energy, or “qi,” is out of balance. Depression and anxiety are considered imbalances. Western researchers believe that your body’s neurotransmitters may be malfunctioning if you’re depressed.
Trained acupuncturists use small, sterile needles to stimulate key pressure points in your body that can help redirect the flow of energy and help lift your depressed or anxious mood. They know specific points on your body associated with depression and anxiety and stimulate those target areas using the needles.
Following are four good reasons to try acupuncture for depression and/or anxiety.
Acupuncture is an alternative to excessive drug use
Perhaps you’ve tried prescription or over-the-counter drugs for depression or anxiety. They may have uncomfortable side effects. You may simply be averse to taking prescription medication. You may have seen someone in your family become addicted to drugs and see the negative consequences of taking them.
Acupuncture is a good alternative to medications that can disrupt your body’s systems. It’s safe and doesn’t have the unwanted side effects of drugs. If you’re currently on prescription drugs, you may be able to lower your dosage or eliminate prescription medications altogether.
Other treatments haven’t provided relief
If other treatments haven’t alleviated your anxiety and/or depression, it’s time to try another or a complementary approach. You may not have realized that up to one-third of those diagnosed with depression don’t obtain relief from medication and/or therapy; in that case, the disorder is called treatment-resistant depression.
If your depression hasn’t lifted, you may be experiencing feelings of hopelessness. You likely have some insomnia, which fuels irritability and extreme fatigue. If you suffer from anxiety, you likely have persistent worry leading to mental paralysis and an inability to make decisions. Both conditions can come to be overwhelming and lead to thoughts of self-harm.
You can try adding acupuncture as a complementary approach to treating your depression or anxiety. Studies indicate that it helps some patients. The research on acupuncture for depression is mixed, but some of it is promising. Larger studies are needed.
Acupuncture releases endorphins
Endorphins are a type of hormone that help alleviate pain and boost your mood. They’re known as your body’s natural painkillers. When Dr. Lee inserts the needles at specific pressure points in your body, the needles trigger specific nerves. They send a message to your brain to release endorphins.
When you suffer from chronic anxiety, your body needs a break from the surges of cortisol flooding it receives from the stress you feel. Acupuncture can give you that break. The release of endorphins can also help depression because it can lift your mood and make you feel better.
Acupuncture is relaxing
You lie on a table for your acupuncture treatment. You’re in a calm, quiet environment. Most patients find acupuncture treatment relaxing. It helps relieve stress and anxiety.
Call DH Acupuncture today or book an appointment online at our New York, New York, office to learn more about acupuncture as a possible complementary treatment for your depression or anxiety.