People who are depressed often suffer from anxiety, worry, crying spells, fatigue, an inability to concentrate, a lack of interest in social activities and hobbies, etc. In extreme cases, depression leaves individuals feeling hopeless, often considering harming themselves or others, or even committing suicide. Whether you’ve experienced it for yourself, you know a friend or relative who has dealt with it, or you’ve heard about it on TV (usually tied to some “miracle” pill), you probably know what depression means. Depression is a mood disorder characterized by symptoms (both psychological and physical) that can be detrimental to normal functioning.
Western antidepressant drugs such as Zoflot, Prozac, Effexor, Paxil, Elavil, Lexapro, Celexa, and Wellbutrin focus on maintaining the serotonin levels in the brain. About 8 million Americans are afflicted with depression. But, in addition to the side effects and financial costs, many patients find that they need to take them all the time. In contrast, acupuncture, combined with Chinese herbs, can be a very effective, long-term alternative to treating depression, anxiety, stress-induced fatigue and mood swings.
Though acupuncture has traditionally been taught as a preventive modality of healing, it has also been proven effective in the treatment of chronic conditions, such as depression and anxiety. For those living here in Asheville, acupuncture and other alternative healing modalities are widely available. If you suffer from depression and would like to try acupuncture, Asheville, or wherever you live, likely has practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) who can work with you. TCM does not recognize depression as a particular illness, but it aims to treat specific symptoms using acupuncture, Chinese herbs, energetic exercises, etc., to restore imbalances in the body. Acupuncture, which is based on a holistic approach to healing, consists of inserting fine needles along various points in the body, with the purpose of stimulating the body’s flow of life energy, known as Qi. The difference between prescription antidepressants and acupuncture is that acupuncture treatments treat the internal imbalance caused by exposure to external stressors – in other words, the root causes of the disease. Such stress, if left untreated, can cause energy blockages, or changes in the neurotransmitters, such as a decrease in serotonin levels, resulting in symptoms such as anxiety, fatigue, and ultimately, depression.
Acupuncture practitioners work with a unique selection of acupuncture points and Chinese herbal combinations to treat the root cause of the patient’s specific symptoms, whatever they may be. Most patients with chronic depression and related symptoms do not have suicidal thoughts, but many of them do have anxiety, poor sleep patterns, and stress. When patients with depression receive acupuncture, they generally experience decreased levels of anxiety and insomnia, and an increase in energy and over all well-being in as few as 3-6 visits, sometimes fewer. If you’re interested in learning more about how acupuncture can be used to treat depression, find an Asheville acupuncture provider who treats emotional issues including stress, anxiety and depression. Best of all, there are no side effects from acupuncture treatments. Furthermore, once patients get well, they will remain so even after discontinuing the acupuncture treatments because the mind and body are then better equipped to identify and correct imbalances on their own during times of stress.