treating anxiety and depression with acupuncture

Depression and anxiety issues among people are on the rise. These issues affect females more than their male counterparts. Additionally, these issues are difficult to treat, and in most cases, patients need to resort to taking medications that may have their own side effects. 

Acupuncture has been a big part of TCM or Traditional Chinese Medicine for close to 3000 years. Practitioners have used it for treating a variety of illnesses, and in recent years it has become a popular treatment option for treating depression and anxiety as well. 

Acupuncture is an ideal option for people with depression and anxiety issues that do not want to take medication and would instead treat it holistically.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture by WTHN in NYC uses long thin needles that are no more than a hair’s width, which is then gently inserted into certain body parts. 

Where the needles are inserted depends on the patient’s issue. In TCM, issues like depression and anxiety are considered serious that often point to a bigger problem that could develop in the body.

When ‘Qi,” or the source of life, is not in balance, it can then give way to illnesses such as depression and anxiety. 

For treating depression and anxiety, during an acupuncture session, the practitioner inserts needles into specific nerve points in the body. 

When they stimulate a certain nerve point, the needles help the brain respond by triggering the immune system to release endorphins that act as a natural painkiller. This action promotes healing of the body.

What are depression and anxiety?

Depression is an illness that makes a person feel extremely sad and upset. Some of its symptoms include:

  • Extreme tiredness and loss of interest in hobbies
  • Thoughts about suicide
  • Loss of weight and appetite
  • Irritability over minor matters
  • Feeling worthless
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Sleep issues

Anxiety is when you worry too much. The condition is so severe that you can’t even lead an everyday life. Some of its symptoms are:

  • Feeling restless
  • Heart palpitations
  • Difficulty concentrating

Both depression and anxiety are treated with medication and therapy. However, as much as 34% of those suffering from them do not show any improvement. Additionally, up to 50% get depression again despite receiving treatment. 

In such cases, alternative methods such as acupuncture have been a big boon. 

Benefits of acupuncture for depression and anxiety

Although no studies suggest that acupuncture completely treats depression and anxiety, the ancient practice of acupuncture has been shown to provide relief from the symptoms of these illnesses.

Acupuncture has been shown to significantly reduce the severity of the symptoms of depression and anxiety. In addition, it alters how the body responds to certain triggers, which helps prevent these illnesses from progressing.

The hormone endorphins are also known as natural painkillers. When needles are inserted into certain nerve points, the body responds by triggering the immune system, producing endorphins. This response of the body promotes healing and blood circulation. 

  • Holistic treatment method

For treating illnesses such as depression and anxiety, medical practitioners prescribe pills or therapy; most of these pills have side effects. Acupuncture, on the other hand, is an alternative method that helps treat depression and anxiety naturally with no side effects.

  • Good for expecting mothers

Expecting mothers that are suffering from depression and anxiety issues are not advised to take any sort of pills as it might harm the unborn baby. However, in such cases, acupuncture can be a great option. 

When needles are inserted into the skin, the body reacts with an anti-inflammatory response during acupuncture. It is often seen that chronic inflammation in the body causes depression. 

  • Promotes all-around healing

Acupuncture is undoubtedly very relaxing, but aside from providing relaxation and a mood boost, it also promotes overall healing of the body and not just healing of a specific area. 

Risks of acupuncture

Acupuncture is generally considered safe with very mild side effects such as:

  • Temporary bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Nausea

Some rare side effects are:

  • Punctured organs
  • Damage to blood vessels
  • Infections
  • Broken needles stuck under the skin

In order to avoid such risks when opting for an acupuncture session, it is always advisable to go for a licensed, well-experienced, and professional practitioner. 

Acupuncture can help reduce the severity of depression and anxiety symptoms, but it should not be replaced by medical treatment in serious cases. 

In mild cases, acupuncture can work wonders, but that is not immediate, as you may need to go for a few sessions before seeing any noticeable results. 

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