Depression does not identify itself with an email, text message, or phone call. It does not leave a bruise or rash that triggers your best friend to politely suggest a visit to the clinic. Depression simply does not announce, “I’ve got you.” But in fact, depression can – and does – affect each of us either directly or through someone in our personal sphere.
What is Depression?
Depression is a slow, methodical, and stifling condition which drains the sufferer of energy, motivation, and general happiness. This disease frequently impedes both the mental and physical state of the patient. Causes are many and can be diagnosed by a physician, but factors can include life-changing events, hormone changes, genetic predisposition, health problems, and work or family stress. Depression can be “hidden” by patients who mask effects during professional or social events, but the toll is exhausting and often results in more severe symptoms when the individual returns home.
Interestingly, symptoms of depression and anxiety are frequently confused. While results might be similar – such as a reduction in work productivity – the conditions are unique. In very simple terms, anxiety is a continuous uneasy feeling which causes extreme nervousness and worry, while depression generally appears as lethargy and overall lack of interest in life’s events.
The scope and severity of depression symptoms will vary widely by individual and can be impacted by gender, age, lifestyle, and socioeconomic factors. Regardless of personal factors, the quintessential outcome must include help for the patient to avoid worsening conditions.
Commonly sought treatments for depression include: professional therapy for the patient (and family, if applicable), medications, healthier lifestyle changes, yoga / meditation, and spiritual guidance.
Acupuncture for Depression
As part of the overall healing plan, incorporating acupuncture for depression is an effective, safe, and comforting option. The benefits of acupuncture have been practiced for over 3000 years, meaning acupuncture is one of society’s oldest therapeutic options. Acupuncture for depression facilitates the flow of Qi through the liver, spleen and/or stomach channels to allow energy to flow correctly and dark or negative thoughts to lift. The benefits and aftereffects of an acupuncture session will be unique to each individual. But the overwhelming reactions reported by clients include feelings of peace, calmness, and tranquility. In some cases, these sessions are powerful enough on their own to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of depression. And for other customers, the centering effects of acupuncture augment the supplemental components of the overall depression treatment plan.
A recent article in Scientific American analyzes the helpful results of acupuncture for depression. Two referenced studies indicated that patients receiving acupuncture had similar or better results that patients receiving medication. And, there was evidence that acupuncture minimized the potential for sexual dysfunction, a common but unwanted side effect of antidepressant medications.
Depression is a severe and debilitating condition. There is no absolute remedy; treatments are as unique as the individuals who are impacted. In fact, there are over thirty types of antidepressants available. While choices are good, this simply indicates that the blended mental, physical, and emotional aspects of depression are difficult to soothe with any single option.
Dr. Laurie is a patient-focused expert in the practice of acupuncture for depression. If you or a loved one are experiencing the unsettling effects of depression, please contact us today to learn more about the benefits of acupuncture and treatment options for your unique situation.