Acupuncture Treatment For Depression

According to Traditional Chinese Medical, depression falls into two categories: Liver Qi Stagnation or Deficiency involving either the Heart, Spleen, or Kidneys. Ancient literature states: “Anger makes Qi rise; joy slows down Qi; sadness dissolves Qi; fear makes Qi descend; shock scatters Qi; pensiveness or worry knots Qi.”

The main treatment principle in mental/emotional problems is directed at Nourishing the Heart, Calming the Mind, Pacifying the Liver and/or Strengthening the Kidneys. The diagnosis is determined by the emotions that are most predominant. Anger, “flying off the handle” or frustration is the result of Liver Qi Stagnation. Heart Qi Deficiency or Stagnation causes sadness or overwhelming grief. Excess worry or rumination is the result of Spleen Qi Deficiency. Lack of ambition or will power indicates Kidney involvement. There will be secondary symptoms which further clarify and support the diagnosis.

Many people have varying degrees of depression. In an article entitled,. Acupuncture, Anxiety & Depression. By Nada Ljubinovic, Psyc Central “It is estimated that approximately one in five people will experience clinical depression at least once in their lifetime. Clinical depression refers to a long-lasting and intense emotional, physical, and cognitive state that greatly affects day-to-day life. Symptoms include:

  • Loss of positive associations and sense of achievement (lack of interest in normally pleasurable activities)
  • Negative thoughts (often worrying about the future)
  • Irritability, agitation, and exhaustion
  • Changes in sleeping patterns (too much or too little)
  • Hopelessness (feeling trapped or suicidal)”

According to Scientific American, “a growing number of people are seeking alternatives to antidepressant medications, and new research suggests that acupuncture could be a promising option. One new study found the traditional Chinese practice to be as effective as antidepressants, and a different study found that acupuncture may help treat the medications’ side effects. In acupuncture, a practitioner inserts needles into the skin at points of the body thought to correspond with specific organs. Western research suggests the needles may activate natural painkillers in the brain; in traditional Chinese medicine,(acupuncture) improves functioning by correcting energy blocks or imbalances in the organs.”

According to recent research in Medical Acupuncture, June 2013, “Anxiety and depression are high in prevalence, especially in the female population, whose incidence is approximately double that of the male population. In addition, these conditions are difficult to treat and have high relapse rates and medication side-effects. There is evidence to suggest that acupuncture may be an effective treatment modality.”

In my clinic, I am seeing good improvement of mental/emotional conditions with the acupuncture treatments.  The treatment is very gentle and there are no side effects.  Often secondary symptoms such as headaches or sleep disorders benefit from the treatment as well. To schedule your appointment click here!

Silent Tears © Amanda Smith, Published: October 2011

shh…listen don’t you hear
I’m crying but they are silent tears
I’m crying on the inside so you can’t see
all the pain running though me
I cry for you I cry for me
I cry for the times I can’t
so if you listen you may hear my silent tears.



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