Acupuncture Depression Treatment

Acupuncture is a centuries (if not millennia) old practice of Chinese medicine. It is truly an art form and an incredible way to heal just about everything that ails you. There is research going on into the effectiveness of acupuncture on depressed patients as a way to augment or replace chemical therapies.

It is believed that acupuncture can be at least as good as and maybe better than drug therapies and even psychotherapy regimens. The studies that are surfacing are properly and scientifically controlled studies that use placebo, drug and talk therapy treatments in comparison to people with similar types of depression. The researchers are finding that the acupuncture depression treatment is so effective that doctors are beginning to recommend their patients consider this as an alternative depression therapy.

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How Chinese Medicine Views Depression
In contrast, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) does not recognize depression as a particular illness per se, but it aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to the individual using a variety of techniques such as acupuncture, Chinese herbs, tui-na massage, and energetic exercises to restore imbalances found in the body.

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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Acupuncture Depression Treatment
As with other types of acupuncture treatments, acupuncture depression treatment rebalances the life forces in the body using ancient Chinese medical techniques. These types of therapies have been employed in eastern medicine for many, many years so it is a wonder they took so long to find their way to the west.

Acupuncture depression treatment addresses the many problems that come along with depression and works to eliminate the symptoms of depression as well as the illness itself. Many depressed people suffer from chronic pain, fatigue, insomnia, mood disorders and emotional upheaval; acupuncture depression treatment treats all of these problems at the same time as treating the overall depression.

Understanding Acupuncture Depression Treatment
The treatment works because it releases endorphins in to the central nervous system which are ‘feel good’ hormones which increase energy and rebalance the emotional imbalances that lead to mental imbalances which result in depression. It kick starts the process of realigning the mental processes and begins a positive cycle to combat the negative, depressive cycle.

Initially, acupuncture depression treatment is not enough to treat depression on its own, it is a catalyst. It helps other treatments take hold easily and work better on the depression. Eventually, you are able to decrease any medication or other therapy and use acupuncture as your primary depression treatment.

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How That Works
Unlike allopathic treatment where each condition or organ system is treated separately, acupuncture considers the entire human body system and its alignment or balance with the environment in examining and treating various conditions. Acupuncture engages a similar methodology in diagnosis, treating, and healing depression.

Acupuncture establishes a concrete link or association between the mind and the body while treating depression; hence this form of treatment becomes much more effective and holistic in treating depression.

Most physical problems have a corresponding mental or physical cause or imbalance and the opposite is also true, mental problems and complaints do have physical causes and reasons. Therefore, acupuncture is one of the best forms of treatments to employ in diagnosing and treating depression.

The premise on which acupuncture and depression treatment works is to bring about a balance in energy flow with no disruptions or blockages and to bring about a harmonious relationship between the mind, body, intellect, and environment.

Depression, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture, is a representation of blocked energy or imbalance between the yin and yang poles of energy. This is something which is made used of in acupuncture and depression treatment.

Imbalance in the yin and yang energy can manifest in different forms and by examining the physical body, posture, gait, texture of the skin, vision, voice, tongue, pulse etc., an astute and well-experienced acupuncturist will be able to make an accurate assessment of the problem and extent of depression.

Acupuncturists will also record a detailed history of the patient and his or her symptoms from the patient. This will be followed by evaluating the extent of imbalance present in the fortitude, mettle, energy, blood, fluids, and organs of the patient.

Acupuncture describes the presence of 14 main channels in the human body through which the life force or qi (chi) flows. These channels run through all parts of the body and are interconnected. Externally there are close to 400 acupoints or key points that can provide access to these channels of energy. Each key point is associated with one or more functions hence by inserting needles into these key points, the acupuncturist is releasing energies that are stagnating or blocked and helping it to move freely.

Energy that is blocked at a particular point will result in depriving a certain organ or channel of energy thereby starving it of the vital force. By releasing energy that is blocked, these organs or channels will be flush with fresh energy and will no longer be deficient of energy.

During acupuncture and depression treatment, people suffering from depression often claim that their experience of acupuncture treatment was soothing, relaxing, and energizing. Needles employed in treatment are extremely fine, thin, and sterile making it a safe and painless procedure. Any experience of soreness or stretching sensation during acupuncture for depression treatment is a strong indication of the needle connecting with the qi or energy. During the procedure, patients are made to feel relaxed and comfortable and draped appropriately.

Patients often describe the acupuncture and depression treatment experience as coming out of deep meditation. The precise acupuncture treatment for depression could include a history and physical examination, followed by vital statistics, and acupuncture treatment. Patient is generally requested to lie on his or her stomach followed by a brief acupuncture session to key points on the back.

These points could include the lung point to release any sorrow that the patient is withholding and not letting go. The heart point to heal the lack of happiness, liver points to cure anger or depression, and kidney points to heal fear or distress, and the treatment to the back is completed.

For the next part of acupuncture and depression treatment, the patient is then asked to lie on his or her back for treatment of points that enhance the energy flow and balance the spirit. This involves inserting needles in the lower arms, legs, stomach, and head.

Acupuncturists select these points are selected because they are associated with the seven chakras as described in ancient Indian science of yoga.

In addition to this acupuncture needles could be inserted on the exteriors of the ears in an attempt to harmonize the neurotransmitters released by the brain and establish a sense of wellness. Most often times, magnets are placed behind the ears or in the auricular points to extend the treatment.

Thus, acupuncture and depression treatment involves releasing the blocked energies that are stagnating at certain points and depriving other channels and organs from the free flowing life force. Balancing the energy and brining about harmony within the body by accessing the energy channels with the help of needles is the treatment modality employed by acupuncture in treating depression.

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Studies of Acupuncture for Depression
Since the early nineties, studies around the globe have suggested that treating depression with acupuncture has a positive and holistic effect on depressed patients, particularly when used in combination with psychotherapy and herbal treatments.

Psychologist John Allen, from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and Acupuncturist Rosa Schnyer, conducted the very first pilot controlled study on treating depression symptoms with acupuncture in the Western scientific world. In a double blind randomized study, 34 depressed female patients who met the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria were assigned to one of three treatment groups for eight weeks.

The first group received acupuncture treatment specifically tailored to their depression symptoms. The second group received a general acupuncture treatment not specific to depression, and the third group was placed on a waiting list for acupuncture treatment, but received no treatment. The study found that those in the tailored acupuncture treatment experienced a significant reduction in symptoms, compared to those in the non-specific treatment. Moreover, over 50% of the participants no longer met the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for depression after the study.

The study findings suggest that using acupuncture alone could be as effective as other types of treatments for relieving depression symptoms typically used in Western medicine, such as psychotherapy and drugs. While these results are promising and the United Nations World Health Organization has approved acupuncture as a treatment for depression, further clinical trials with larger samples are deemed necessary to endorse this new hope for relief.

Disadvantages and Side Effects
None known, apart from discomfort from the acupuncture needles. Single-use needles are required.

Insurance Coverage
Depression is now considered an illness like any other that you would receive treatment for from a health practitioner and is covered by medical insurance. Most insurance companies accept acupuncture depression therapy as a normal type of treatment for depression and will cover the expense. Even if your insurance company does not cover acupuncture depression therapy, the cost of treatment is usually quite low and affordable.

Different Patients, Different Results
Just as with any other form of medicine or therapy, acupuncture depression treatment will not work for absolutely everyone. No one understands how or why acupuncture works, but they know that it does.

There is no known physical science explanation behind the treatment but it does work better than most other treatments available. Some people blame it on the placebo effect and others say it is simply ancient medicine that works for a forgotten reason. Simple fact is, it works. This treatment works in people of all ages, from childhood to old age and even works on animals. It is necessary to use any type of therapy for depression under the supervision of a trained professional and not try any form of self treatment.

Many people are incapable of using traditional drug treatments and even herbal depression treatments for a variety of reasons. When people find a treatment that is effective they tend to stick with it, especially if it has few or no ill side effects. Acupuncture depression treatment is one of those few therapies that is easy to stick to because it works and you feel great afterward.

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