Depression is a common and often serious medical illness that negatively impacts the way you feel and act. Depression is characterized by a persistent feeling of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed; you may continuously feel like you are caught up in a rigmarole of negative feelings and are unable to come out of it. So, what causes depression? Though it is difficult to find the exact reason; specific life events, medical conditions, genetic vulnerabilities and so on can lead to it. So is there a natural treatment of depression? And can Acupuncture fit the bill of a natural treatment for depression? First, let us discuss Acupuncture and why we feel it is a holistic solution in treating depression.
Acupuncture for Depression
How do you treat depression naturally? Acupuncture is an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). For over 2,500 years, practitioners have used Acupuncture as a suitable treatment option for treating varied health conditions. The treatment involves using needles to activate specific areas of the body to treat a variety of conditions.
The ancient practice is now widely accepted as a treatment protocol for treating common conditions such as aches and pains, and it includes treating conditions such as menstrual cramps and osteoarthritis.
As acupuncture has gradually worked its way into Western medicine, it can complement conventional treatment too
The Impact of Acupuncture and the Mechanisms of Acupuncture
Can acupuncture help depression? Acupuncture has shown tremendous success in recent years in treating a number of health conditions and can provide great relief for various ailments. According to TCM, your “Qi” or the energy flow moves through the entire body. Qi travels through your entire body via meridians or energy channels. Acupuncturists believe that you get sickness or disease when these energy channels become blocked. A few signs of the blocked channels can show in the form of physical manifestations such as pain, stress or anxiety.
Acupuncture can help remove blockages and restore energy flow, and help in balancing your organs, mind, and body. The Western school of healthcare providers sometimes question the nature of this treatment, yet truth be told, there have been ample instances to prove that needle insertions help release endorphins or happy hormones that help block out pain sensations. It can help in boosting the body and brain. This boost can help manage symptoms such as pain, headaches and/or depression. Is Acupuncture safe? Yes, it is for most people and they do not report too many side-effects.
Acupuncture Points for Treating Depression – Benefits of Acupuncture for Depression
Each of the acupuncture points correspond to a part of the meridian or Qi that helps target certain points for relief. These pressure points to relieve depression range from your head and neck to your legs and feet.
1. Guanyuan (CV4) :
It is located on the midline, 3 cun inferior to the umbilicus. Conception Vessel 4 (CV 4) is an effective point in treating chronic debilitating diseases. Apart from treating depression, it can treat health issues such as urinary problems, menstrual disorders, sexual dysfunction, menopause symptoms, and other intestinal digestive disorders.
2. Qihai (CV6):
The CV6 point is 1.5 cun inferior to the center of the umbilicus. Conception Vessel 6 is great to treat anxiety and depression.
3. Zhongwan (CV12):
It is located midway between CV 8 and CV 16, 4 cun above CV 8 or the umbilicus. This acupuncture point works great in treating digestive disorders such as nervous stomach, heartburn and diarrhea, along with depression-related symptoms such as insomnia, anxiety and so on. It helps curb worrisome thoughts and/or overthinking.
4. He Gu (LI 4) :
Locate the He Gu (LI 4) on the highest spot of the muscle when you bring together the thumb and index fingers close. This point also helps treat migraines and tension-type headaches.
5. Master of Heart 6 (MH6):
MH6 is located right on the anterior surface of the wrist, three finger breadths near the distal wrist crease. This is a potent acupuncture point to treat acute emotional disturbances such as mania, shock, anxiety, and sudden loss of voice.
It is located in the indentation between the anterior and inferior to the head of the fibula. It can treat health problems such as sciatic nerve issues, leg muscle issues (cramps, fatigue), gallstones, and of course, depression.
7. Zu San Li (ST36):
Zu San Li (ST36) is used for problems such as gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea and vomiting stress and fatigue. It is located four finger widths down right from the bottom of your knee cap, along the outer edge of your shin bone.
8. Taixi (K 3):
The Kidney 3 (KI 3) is known as the source point of the Kidney channel. In Chinese medicine, the kidney is not only linked with the kidney organ but also encompasses your “life source energy,” the energy you were born with, which gradually declines with age. Find this point in the indentation between the medial malleolus and the Achilles tendon, right at the level with the tip of the medial malleolus. It can treat issues such as arthritis, night sweats, hot flashes, dementia, dental problems, infertility, premature ejaculation, difficulty with urination and so on.
Can Acupuncture Help Relieve Symptoms of Depression? Try Acupuncture Protocol for Depression
Acupuncture may help minimize depression symptoms by treating the underlying condition. A few of the recent studies have proved that electroacupuncture (usage of mild electric current transmitted via needles) has been as effective as fluoxetine (Prozac) in lowering depression symptoms. Another study has evaluated the impact of acupuncture on sexual dysfunction, one of the most common side effects of taking antidepressants. A continual 12 weeks treatment has shown a remarkable improvement in both men and women suffering from depression. Acupuncture is said to be more potent when it is used in conjunction with other clinical treatments. In fact, in some cases, acupuncture is said to be more effective than counseling and must be an integral part of a complementary care plan suitable for depression.
A growing number of people are placing their faith in alternative treatments as opposed to antidepressant medications, and new research suggests that acupuncture may indeed prove to be a promising option. Acupuncture has shown tremendous promise in recent years in treating depression and the best aspect of acupuncture is that it is a holistic practice and comes with little to no side-effects. If you are feeling the blues lately and seeking treatment for the current health situation, it is time you gave this natural treatment for depression a try.