Using Acupuncture to treat Depression

Updated at: Jan 30, 2013
Using Acupuncture to treat Depression

Most of the people across the globe are opting for acupuncture for treatment of various disorders including depression. Acupuncture is an alternative treatment method that lacks side effects that are associated with prescription medications.

Editorial Team
Home RemediesWritten by: Editorial TeamPublished at: Jan 30, 2013


Most of us would have felt depressed at some time or other in our lives. If it resolves without a problem then it is not a concern but if it triggers emotional and behavioral alterations like disruption in sleep pattern, eating habits, work, personal and social life then it needs medical attention.


Many patients avoid going to a doctor due to the stigma attached to it (visiting a psychiatrist), or discontinue the treatment in middle due to the side effects of the drugs or incomplete or slow response to treatment.


So an alternative therapy that lacks the side effects associated with prescription medications is often sought. Many people opt for acupuncture - it is a widely accepted form of alternative therapy that is being used increasingly all over the world for treatment of various disorders.


Acupuncture for depression


Studies have suggested that acupuncture can be useful in treating mental health disorders. Acupuncture along with psychotherapy and herbal treatments has a positive and holistic effect on patients with depression.


Electro acupuncture is also used in people with depression. In electro-acupuncture method, low-frequency currents are transmitted through normal acupuncture needles to your body.


This stimulates release of certain chemicals in the body which influence the flow of energy, or Qi, in the body and correct the imbalances.


Acupuncture has been observed to be more effective for mild depression and for depression that occurs in people due to any chronic medical illness.


How does acupuncture work?


The drugs used for treatment of depression have several side effects. Acupuncture can be considered as a safe and natural way to treat the depression. According to acupuncture theories--- an illness is caused by a disruption of Qi, or the flow of energy in the body. This leads to an imbalance of energy. Acupuncture by stimulation of the energy that flows along the meridians, or energy-carrying channels can correct this energy disruption and correct the emotional, mental, and physical balance of the body. In addition acupuncture stimulates release of chemicals like endorphins and enkephalins, which are responsible for a person's mood and feeling of well being etc.

Does Acupuncture relieve depression?


Acupuncture is being used increasingly to treat depression and other types of mental health issue. But there are few studies on the efficacy of acupuncture in depression and other types of mental health disorders. According to some studies on acupuncture can be of help in treating depression. The findings of a study suggested that acupuncture for depression could be as effective as other types of treatments such as psychotherapy and prescription drugs.


Depression: Acupuncture Helps in a Natural Way

Acupuncture can be considered as a safe and natural way to treat the depression. It is thought to correct the energy disruption in the body and correct the emotional, mental, and physical balance of the body. In addition acupuncture stimulates release of chemicals like endorphins and enkephalins, which affect a person’s mood and feeling of well-being, and it promotes the body's natural healing abilities.


  • Acupuncture treats both the mind and body as a unit and treats both the physical and mental symptoms of any condition concurrently
  • It helps a person to relax and relieves stress
  • It improves the overall health of a person and even corrects the conditions caused by drug side effects
  • It can possibly reduce or even eliminate the need for medication


Along with acupuncture treatment, you should take care of the following facts for the prevention of emotional or mental disturbances;

  •    Avoid beverages such as nicotine, caffeine and alcohol which worsen stress
  •   Avoid hot, spicy, or cold, raw foods and iced drinks
  •   Eat a healthy and balanced diet
  •   Avoid over thinking and being overly ambitious
  •   Take adequate rest
  •   Do regular exercises
  •   Take supplements after consulting your physician

The bottom line


Acupuncture is a low-risk, safe and effective procedure when performed by a properly trained and licensed practitioner. Acupuncture has been shown to be of help in people with depression and other mental health disorders. As it lacks the side effects of prescription medicine many people with depression are willing to try it. However the evidence on effectiveness of acupuncture in depression is not conclusive to recommend it as a treatment measure for depression or other mental health disorders.



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