Depression is an emotional state manifested by crying, malaise, melancholia, sadness, insomnia, anxiety and disinterest in activities. Some cases of depression sometimes lead to suicide. Depression alters the affected person’s daily activities not in a positive way. In most cases, these people need to communicate with other individuals if only to relieve the pressure caused by depression.
Western society’s ways to deal with depression is with pharmaceutical medications, support groups and psychotherapy. Acupuncture for treating depression is gaining adherents since acupuncture has been hugely successful in the treatment of emotional disorders like addiction. In traditional Chinese medicine, the cure for depression and any other emotional or psychological ailments is in treating the affected organs and assisting the body to release endorphins, chemicals that relax and let the body feel good and euphoric.
The acupuncturist needs to know the history of the depressed patient to be able to select the best treatment for him/her. Chi, the life force flowing in the body can stagnate when strong emotions, positive or negative, are felt by the person. When chi is not flowing very well, the body suffers from ailments, diseases and sicknesses. Acupuncture is the treatment with thin-reed needles inserted in certain parts of the body to stimulate the flow of energy in the body. It also allows the release of endorphins, which combats the low mood of the individual. Chinese herbs are sometimes used introduced as part of the treatment as they help speed up the healing process. Herbal medicine offers many types of cures for any particular organ yin-yang deficiencies.
Some have combined acupuncture treatment with psychotherapy and even in conjunction with anti-depressants. Even without adding these modalities, the person is perfectly fine with acupuncture treatment alone.
There were numerous studies done empirically proving the effectiveness of acupuncture against depression. There were controlled studies done in the University of Arizona that involved three groups of depressed people, one was given a type of acupuncture treatment designed specifically for depression, another group were treated with acupuncture not really for depression and the third group were not given acupuncture treatment at all.
The study showed that those treated with acupuncture specific for depression experienced a substantial improvement in terms of symptoms reduction with 50% no longer in the category classified for major depression, compared to those in the non-specific treatment. The third group had zero improvement, as expected, in symptoms.
The study showed the effectiveness of acupuncture in relieving depression symptoms. This treatment is as potent, if not more, as psychotherapy or pharmaceutical drug treatment in combating depression. The United Nations World Health Organization has given its stamp of approval to acupuncture as a valid form of treatment for depression.