Acupuncture Treatment - Serving West Chester, Mason, Montgomery, Fairfield, and Cincinnati
Depression is considered to be a mood disorder that possesses symptoms that are both physical and psychological in nature. Ranging from moderate to severe, if not dealt with properly, depression can limit daily functioning and at times become completely debilitating. The symptoms of depression include anxiety, constant worry, excessive crying, insomnia, memory loss, lack of concentration, disinterest in hobbies, avoidance of social situations, fatigue, and more.
Many current treatments include medication, such as anti-depressants, or various forms of psychotherapy and behavior modification. The problem with most of these techniques is that they treat depression as a one-size-fits-all issue, targeting a list of symptoms that may or may not be present in the particular individual receiving treatment. Acupuncture, on the other hand, aims to restore the whole person, not merely fix the symptoms.
Acupuncture for Depression
Acupuncture is a holistic treatment that promotes overall health and wellness in both the mind and body. Studies conducted in the early 90s have shown the positive effects of acupuncture, especially when used in conjunction with psychotherapy and herbal remedies. University of Arizona psychologist, John Allen, Ph.D. along with acupuncturist Rosa Schnyer, DOAM, L.Ac. conducted the first ever pilot study focusing on treating symptoms of depression using acupuncture.
The study found that acupuncture alone could be just as effective as other common treatments for reducing and eliminating many of the symptoms of depression. The United Nations World Health Organization has officially approved of acupuncture as a legitimate treatment for depression (Allen, J. J. B. (2000). Depression and acupuncture: a controlled clinical trial. Psychiatric Times Online, 22, 3).
Another study, discussed in the Huffington Post, revealed that researchers noticed that a control group who received both acupuncture and counseling had lower depression scores three months after beginning treatment than those who merely received usual methods of care (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/24/acupuncture-depression_n_3983483.html).
Is Acupuncture Safe?
Acupuncture is both safe and effective. A Harvard study published in Boston Magazine showed that acupuncture could lessen depression among pregnant women (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/24/acupuncture-depression_n_3983483.html). There are no medical conditions that have shown adverse effects when treated with acupuncture.
It is vital that acupuncture is only performed by a professional, certified acupuncturist. Needles should be pre-sterilized and are for single use only in order to prevent the transmission of diseases. A clinic in which acupuncture is administered should adhere to the same standards of cleanliness as any other medical facility. The only risk factors involved in receiving acupuncture would be if these guidelines were not strictly followed.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Acupuncture in and of itself has a very calming and mood-boosting effect. There are over 2,000 insertion points on the body that, when stimulated, cause the pituitary gland, located in the brain, to release endorphins.
Endorphins are endogenous opioid peptides, which actually resemble opiates in their effect on the body and mind. They produce analgesia, such as that of an analgesic, or pain blocker. These neurotransmitters prevent nerve cells from releasing pain signals, thus promoting an overall sense of well-being and tranquility.
In this way, acupuncture has the ability to alter brain chemistry by changing the way that neurotransmitters communicate as well as stimulating the release of hormones, such as serotonin, which are responsible for pleasurable and peaceful feelings.
Functionally, acupuncture removes blockages in the bloodstream in order to restore the body and mind to optimal health. It emphasizes the integrated nature of the mind and body. Dr. Rosa Schnyer is known for her methodology that combines acupuncture with nutrition education and lifestyle counseling. She has witnessed firsthand how each individual has an innate capacity for healing from within by cultivating the mind body relationship (http://www.seedsofwellness.biz/#!rosa-schnyer/cagb).
Unlike psychotherapy and counseling, acupuncture does not raise up a language barrier for patients who do not speak English as a first language. Additionally, it is much more cost effective than both therapy and medication. Many anti-depressant drugs come with a host of unwanted and possibly dangerous side effects. There are no harmful side effects with acupuncture. More and more people are expressing a strong desire to treat their depression with non-pharmacological means, and acupuncture is filling in the gap (http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.1001518).
How Often Should Someone Receive Treatments?
When treating depression, a realistic expectation is to visit an acupuncturist once a week for as long as needed. Full recovery will be a gradual and ongoing process. However, immediate relief may be experienced from some physical symptoms, such as headaches, digestive issues, back pain, fatigue and sleep irregularities. People who undergo acupuncture to combat depression will likely experience other health benefits as well.
For those with depression who feel that they have tried all of the treatments out there, acupuncture could be the missing piece of the puzzle.