I recently undertook some additional training with Dr. Tianjun Wang on how Acupuncture can help depression, and here are just a few facts I learnt.
Did you know?
Acupuncture has been shown to relief the symptoms of depression and anxiety, and if you are on medication, it can help with the side effects and even reduce the dosage over time.
According to the World Health Organization over 200 million people suffer with depression worldwide, and 20% of people will suffer a major episode of depression during their life.
However, fewer than 25% of those affected receive either medication or psychotherapy from the NHS, whether due to lack of resources or trained providers, or simply because of the social stigma associated with mental disorders.
So how do you know if you are depressed?
Well, there must be at least five of the following symptoms for a period of at least two weeks to be diagnosed with depression:
1. Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day
2. Markedly diminished interest in pleasure in almost all activities most of the day
3. Significant weight loss or weight gain without dieting, or major changes in appetite or eating habit
4. Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly everyday
5. Psychomotor agitation or retardation
6. Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
7. Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, desperation, and psychic pain that are ongoing
8. Inability to think or concentrate
9. Indecisiveness daily
10. Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, or a specific plan or attempt of suicide
The problem is, however, sufferers can miss out on appropriate treatment because these symptoms are not connected and might be treated separately. For example, if you go to your GP because you are feeling fatigued and you are not sleeping properly, you might mistakenly be treated for insomnia instead of depression, which could in fact make the problem worse!
Medication and Side-effects
If you are correctly diagnosed, you could be prescribed a variety of drugs, most commonly SSRIs (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), which raise the serotonin levels in the brain. But only 60% of sufferers respond to these drugs.
Common SSRIs are:
But then there are the risk of side effects associated with these drugs, which include anxiety, nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, low sex drive, and even thoughts of suicide.
So what are the benefits of Acupuncture?
Well, Acupuncture has been shown to:
· Provide fast, lasting results with no side effects and
· Better mood and a sense of well-being
· It is cost saving in the long run
Acupuncture can also limit the use of antidepressants in the treatment of depression. It can improve the positive effects of medication and reduce their side-effects, and it can improve the general condition and balance of the body!
Used with antidepressants, acupuncture can:
· Improve their efficacy
· Improve their onset
· Can help reduce the dosage
· Reduce side-effects
So, if you are depressed, or a feeling stressed out or anxious, why not give Acupuncture a try.
If you would like to know more about Acupuncture and how it can help you, please feel free to give me a call.