Major depression affects more than 11 million people annually in the United States. Extremely common, it is among the ten more frequently reported medical conditions. Depression is treated with psychotherapy or antidepressive drugs.
Many patients cannot tolerate the side effects of antidepressant medications and seek alternative management therapies. Complementary and alternative methods such as stress management, diet therapy, homeopathy, and acupuncture may be helpful for people who suffer from depression. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) treats specific depression symptoms that are unique to the individual using a variety of techniques such as acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, energetic exercises, and tui na massage.
For those with a medical illness complicated by reactive depression such as chronic pain, chronic fatigue, arthritis, cancer, anemia, and endocrine abnormalities, acupuncture can alleviate physical symptoms occurring in conjunction with depression. Acupuncture increases cerebral serotonin, which has anti-depressant analgesic effects. Insomnia, fatigue and other symptoms of depression can be minimized with acupuncture therapy.
In conjunction with Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture can be an effective depression treatment modality that corrects the internal imbalance or root origin of the disease. If you are taking anti-depressants, your acupuncture physician can prescribe Chinese herbs that work synergistically with your medications to address symptoms.
After one to two months of weekly visits, individuals typically experience reduced depression symptoms and benefit from the mood elevating effect of acupuncture therapy. The World Health Organization (WHO) has approved acupuncture as a treatment for depression. While acupuncture can resolve depression symptoms, in order to sustain the positive results of treatment your acupuncture physician may recommend diet and lifestyle modifications. For more information about acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine for the treatment of depression contact Dr. Richard Browne.