Depression & Anxiety
Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can have a negative effect on a person's thoughts, behaviour, feelings, world view and physical well-being. Depressed people may feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, worried, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, hurt, or restless.
They may lose interest in activities that once were pleasurable; experience loss of appetite or overeating; have problems concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions; and may contemplate, attempt, or even desire suicide. Insomnia, excessive sleeping, fatigue, loss of energy, or aches, pains or digestive problems that are resistant to treatment may be present.
Depressed mood is not necessarily a psychiatric disorder. It is a normal reaction to certain life events, a symptom of some medical conditions, and a side effect of some medical treatments.
From the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine, depression is considered as a problem of constraint, it is mostly related to the stagnation of liver qi. The liver is the energetic organ responsible for circulating the qi, or vital energy of the body. As a person's mood becomes low, this depresses the flow of qi within the body leading to liver qi stagnation. Essentially, this indicates that the qi within the body is not flowing smoothly and results in the symptoms of depression.
Medication for Depression can relieve some symptoms of Depression immediately, but it also comes with side effects and safety concerns, including the risk of addiction. Consequently other treatment options are sought by patients.
Non-drug treatments for Depression may not relieve your Depression as quickly as medication, but they can produce lasting results. In order to treat or even prevent depression, Chinese medicine believes strongly in dealing with the root cause (the emotions).
Acupuncture can assist by resolving the inner blockages and thus creating a good footing for healing. Acupuncture for the treatment of Depression and Anxiety has been shown to offer a viable alternative to the pharmacological approaches currently prescribed. Since the early seventies, studies around the globe have suggested that treating mental health disorders with acupuncture has a positive and holistic effect on depressed patients, particularly when used in combination with Chinese herbal medicine.
The study findings suggest that using acupuncture and/or Chinese medicine could be as effective as other types of treatments for relieving depression symptoms typically used in Western medicine, such as psychotherapy and drugs.