Can Acupuncture Help Depression?

Depression is a serious medical illness that can lower a person’s quality of life while contributing to the onset of symptoms such as headache, insomnia, fatigue, and malnutrition.

Most cases of depression are treated with prescription drugs that trigger a range of problems of their own. The most frequently prescribed antidepressants all have a long list of adverse side effects. However, researchers are now saying that acupuncture may effectively treat depression in some individuals.

A recent study conducted researchers in the U.K. examined 755 patients whom were diagnosed as being clinically depressed by the their primary healthcare physician. The patients were then split into three different groups based on the treatment they were about to receive. One group received one-on-one counseling, another group received “usual care” (antidepressants), and a third group received acupuncture.

To determine the success of the treatment, researchers gave patients a health questionnaire at 3 months and 12 months, asking the patients series of questions regarding their emotions. To researchers’ surprise, one third of patients whom were treated with acupuncture experienced a 50% or more improvement in their depression score,  whereas 29% of patients from the other groups experienced an improvement.

But this isn’t the only study involving acupuncture and depression. In an issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, researchers found that electroacupuncture – acupuncture needles used in conjunction with a mild electric current – was equally as effective at treating depression as the frequently prescribed antidepressant.

How is the practice of acupuncture able to treat depression? This is a question that health professionals and researchers continue to debate; however, there’s some belief that depression is linked to poor Qi – a person’s natural energy or “life force.”

The traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) system of acupuncture aims to restore a person’s Qi by correcting imbalances in various channels known as meridians. When placed on the appropriate areas of the body, acupuncture needles stimulate the human body’s natural healing process, which is believed to improve his or her Qi, and subsequently aid in treating depression.

If you are suffering depression or anxiety, acupuncture would be a treatment option to help you overcome your blues time.

About Geoffrey He

Dr. Geoffrey He graduated in 1998 with Bachelor of Medicine majored acupuncture (Chinese medicine). He then worked as resident in Heilongjiang Province Hospital of China for five years. At the same time he furthered his education and acquired Bachelor of Medicine majored in Clinical Medicine (western medicine).He started his private practice in 2003 in Sydney and then moved to Adelaide in 2006 to pursue his special interest in pain management and fertility studies in combined Chinese medicine and traditional medicine.He has been practiced acupuncture and Chinese medicine for over twenty years treating general conditions with extensive experience in gynaecological disorders and infertility, stress related conditions and facial acupuncture, he is highly experienced in clinical medicine for pain management (Neurological Medicine), gynaecological disorders, fertility assistance (IVF) and cosmetic acupuncture. He is special interest in the area of Post Injury Management and General Practice in Chinese Medicine.Focusing on an intuitive level to suit each individual, Geoffrey's approach is rooted in the strong link between physical, mental and emotional health and the underlying cause of disharmony. Treatment is supported by additional lifestyle advice with an emphasis on empowering patients to achieve a healthy balance in their lives."I was trained in Western Conventional Medicine and Chinese Medicine with over 15 years clinical practicing experience including ten years in Australia, I combine the techniques of Modern Medicine and the art of healing from Chinese Medicine to help people get their natural and healthy life." - Dr Geoffrey x He