Acupuncture, an ancient Chinese form of treatment is about the application of hair thin needles into strategic points in the body. Acupuncture is derived from the Latin “acus” for needle while “pungere”, means to prick. Acupuncture is part of traditional Chinese traditional medicine (TCM) for over 2000 years. According to TCM, acupuncture points lie on meridians, a series of networks that transport the flow of life force, which in Chinese is called Qi or chi. Acupuncture is recognized approved by the World Health Organization as a valid treatment for twenty or more conditions, with the inclusion of depression.
Depression is an emotional or mental state condition, which manifests as a syndrome or a disease. Various factors lead to depression; emotional illness, genetics, hormonal instability and malnutrition are common factors for this. Depression may also be the body’s natural way to adapt to a particular situation to types of diseases, where this state of mind can induce resting and abets in recovery. Severe depression, on the other hand, can cause negative conditions, which affects the whole life of the person. Western science’s answer to depression is the intake of anti-depressant medications. However, the longer these medications are used, the more harmful they are to the body. Acupuncture has proven to be a very effective treatment for treating the origin of the depression. Acupuncture, primarily stimulates the nervous system and this activates certain chemicals that help with the body’s ability to heal itself.
Acupuncture activates secretion of hormones and neurotransmitters that alters the biochemical composition of the brain. Levels of serotonin are low when a person is suffering from weakness, sleeplessness and anxiety, etc. and these usually result in depression. According to TCM, the imbalances experienced between the mind and body are the bases for many illnesses, diseases and disorders including depression. This therapy is all about restoring the harmonic balance of mind and body. During acupuncture treatment, the acupuncture points where hair thin needles are inserted are where the twelve energy pathways called meridians are located.
Various experiments have already been done throughout the years showing the efficacy of acupuncture in treating the symptoms of depression. Acupuncture therapy helps the individual deal with extreme emotions such as anxiety and stress by allowing the free flow of chi or vital energy through the meridians. Many physicians nowadays, refer patients to acupuncturists for treatment of pain and chronic pain and for depression. For many patients who have suffered some form of chronic depression, they often opt for acupuncture rather than anti-depressant medications because of the relative safe use of acupuncture. Some patients use acupuncture as an adjunct to psychotherapy to speed up the treatment process while some opt for acupuncture treatment alone if only to efficiently cure the symptoms associated with depression.