Depression is one of the most widespread ailments with over 8 million afflicted people in the US alone. It's a major cause of suicide claiming about 40,000 American lives every year. The biggest problem with western anti-depressants is their side effects, and you have to take those pills all the time. The depression patients have found acupuncture as a reliable and promising therapy.
Acupuncture is a Chinese method that uses thin needles to treat an illness. There is a Chinese saying, "emotions are the root of 100 diseases" and depression is an outcome of imbalance in the flow of emotions. These wild emotions can cause stress, indigestion, insomnia, fatigue, pain and sensation of heat.
Treating depression with acupuncture calms your spirit and unblocks the emotional stagnation. Some therapists use electro -acupuncture especially to treat the depression patients. Applying a small electric current through acupuncture needles has been found extremely beneficial in mild as well as chronic depression. Acupuncture helps you find emotional balance in a natural way by promoting healing abilities of the body.
What Research Says
Recently the Chinese researchers compared fluoxetine hydrochloride and acupuncture to find out which one is more effective in treatment of depression. Fluoxetine hydrochloride is the active ingredient in most of the anti-depressants including Prozac.
The researchers decided to treat 60 depression patients with acupuncture and other 60 such people were given western medicine containing fluoxetine hydrochloride. Acupuncturists precisely chose the points for each patient depending on their unique symptoms. The patients under western medication received 20 mg of fluoxetine hydrochloride per day.
The acupuncture procedure and drug treatment was continued for eight weeks, and at the end, two assessment tests - Hamilton Depression Scale (HDS) and Treatment Emergent Symptom Scale (TESS) were conducted to measure the success rate of each treatment method. Both the group of patients showed similarity in effectiveness of treatments.
However, the researchers who published their work in Hong Kong Medical Journal, observed a major difference in emergent symptoms. Patients treated with fluoxetine developed adverse reactions with visible symptoms like anorexia, nausea, diarrhea, etc, whereas no adverse reaction was reported in acupuncture group.
How it Works
Many of us usually wonder how inserting tiny needles provides relief from depression and how acupuncturists know where in the body to insert them. Well, there are fourteen main pathways (meridians) that are responsible for the flow of energy, fluids and emotion. Along these meridians are about two thousand pressure points that acupuncturists target depending upon the symptoms of your depression. The needles enhance the flow of emotions through pathways, thus relieving stress and depression.
You should be flexible with your thoughts when taking acupuncture treatment. Meeting new people and making friends can change your mental outlook by keeping upsets and disappointments away. Since insomnia is a crucial part of depression, do everything you can to get a nice sleep. Another important thing when treating depression with acupuncture is to eat healthy foods that are easy to digest. They help you fight lethargy and fatigue.
Healing elements of acupuncture are fully capable to improve the life of people living with depression. The western world hasn't utilized its full potential yet to help patients get rid of depression and lead a normal life.