Depression can be quite debilitating. Prolonged feelings of sadness, discouragement, and hopelessness greatly affect the quality of life.
Since the early nineties, studies around the globe have suggested that treating depression with acupuncture has a positive and holistic effect on depressed patients.The World Health Organization classifies depression as a condition for which acupuncture has been proven (through clinical trials) to be an effective treatment. Indeed, a research review published in 2008 sized up eight small trials (with a total of 477 patients) and concluded that acupuncture “could significantly reduce the severity of depression.” On the other hand, a 2010 research review analyzed data from 30 trials (with a total of 2,812 patients) and found “insufficient evidence of a consistent beneficial effect from acupuncture” in treatment of depression.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine incorporate thousands of years of experience in treating depression. Not only can they help to alleviate the signs and symptoms accompanying depression, they can address the root cause(s) and underlying imbalances.
Acupuncturists understand that there is a powerful interplay between body and emotions– the two are inseparable. When we experience emotional upset, our internal environment also becomes disrupted, leading to physical symptoms of depression, and when our internal environment has changed, our emotions can be greatly affected.
According to acupuncture theories, depression can be the result of an imbalance or blockage in one or more of the body’s organ systems and meridian pathways. When Qi becomes blocked or the quantity of Qi is insufficient and unable to properly nourish the organs, this can lead to illness, disease and emotional upset.
Based on a holistic approach, acupuncture consists of fine needles inserted along various points in the body, with the purpose of stimulating the body’s flow of energy and functionality, known as Qi. Though acupuncture has been traditionally taught as a preventive form of health care, it has also been proven effective in the treatment of pain and chronic conditions.
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