Saturday, June 29, 2013

Acupuncture and Depression - A Good Match?

Acupuncture and depression seem to be an unlikely match. But you will be surprised what acupuncture can do for depression. After many tests conducted by researchers to test the claims by many who have benefited from acupuncture, it has been proven that this natural treatment method can really do wonders for depression and anxiety.

What Is Acupuncture, Anyway?

Acupuncture is the ancient Chinese medicine form of treatment or fitness regimen that uses a needle insertion technique into strategic nerve points in the body. Treating pain, treating diseases and promoting well being - these are the major objectives of acupuncture.

Scientific studies are looking at the efficacy and usability of acupuncture in modern medicine and there have been relevant evidences of its effectiveness in the treatment of muscular pains in the neck and back regions, in nausea and headache instances, even in some psychiatric disorders like depression and anxiety.

Anxiety And Depression - Physiological

Many researchers are now leaning towards the theory that depression is physiological rather than psychological. The condition often comes about when the body lacks the necessary biochemicals, nutrients and vitamins to enable the mind and body to work in sync and thrive healthily.

When these physiological needs have been met, many depressed people get well dramatically. For these reasons, researchers are now finding ways on how to retain and how to prevent these biochemicals from breaking down prematurely.

This is where acupuncture comes in. Acupuncture stimulates nerve endings to send the correct signals to their corresponding organs. The stimulation results in active production of needed chemicals, not more, not less - in just the perfect amount.

With regular acupuncture sessions, a depressed person may not even need medications to alleviate the symptoms. A visit to an acupuncturist is all it might take to have a peaceful and calm mind.

Conclusions Drawn By Reliable Institutions

The National Institutes of Health found that, to quote their conclusion, "there is sufficient evidence of the value of acupuncture in expanding its use in conventional medicine and to encourage further studies of its physiology and clinical value".

Other studies on the clinical or medical use of acupuncture have been done, and one notable among them is one on the link between acupuncture and depression treatment. This study noted that with the failure of medication and sometimes even psychotherapy in during depression, the possibility of alternative treatments for depression, like acupuncture, may be helpful.

Targeted Treatment

For acupuncture to be effective, it has to be focused and targeted, and done on a regular basis. A University of Arizona study on acupuncture and depression subjected a group 38 adults who have been found to be suffering from depression ranging from the mild to the moderate stage of depression. The acupuncture regimen was done regularly, with twice-weekly sessions lasting for 30 days, with reducing frequency on the succeeding months. After the study period, more than half of those treated say that they experienced no less than half of the symptoms have been reduced, if not totally eliminated.

As such, acupuncture may well have been an effective alternative treatment for depression, but the study concluded that it has to be targeted and focused nonetheless. Specific acupuncture treatment, one that is targeted at acupoints that will induce relaxation and reduce anxiety, is seen to reduce the treatment time among patients. In comparison, non-specific acupuncture treatment tends to prolong the treatment although it may aid in the treatment of other conditions. The benefits of acupuncture will still have to be studied taken in the context of specific and focused acupuncture treatment designed for the severe depression types, vis-à-vis conventional treatment and medications.

Lifestyle And Diet Change

It should be noted that as acupuncture gains more acceptance in its use as a complementary method for the treatment of depression, the cure brought about by acupuncture is also often related to a lifestyle change and dietary discipline among the patients using the acupuncture treatment. This is so because acupuncture in the strictest Chinese traditional medicine sense is a discipline in itself, and that discipline radiates to other lifestyle and dietary aspects of the patient being treated for the depression.

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