Is Acupuncture Good for Anxiety and Depression?
Updated: Sep 20, 2022
Anxiety and depression are closely linked and affect 40 million adults in the United States. Fortunately, numerous studies have shown that acupuncture is an effective treatment for these disorders, offering patients an alternative treatment to medication. Today, we go over how acupuncture can provide relief for people who suffer from these types of disorders.
How Does Acupuncture Help Depression?
Acupuncture has been used as a treatment for depression as it can regulate energy throughout your body, stimulate your body’s natural feel-good hormones, and reduce your levels of stress hormones like cortisol.
During an acupuncture treatment, your acupuncturist will inset needles into various points on your body to restore balance in various areas and get rid of any energy blocks which might also be negatively affecting your mind.
According to Harvard Health, research has shown that acupuncture needles help your body release endorphins, which are your body’s natural painkillers. Additionally, acupuncture impacts the part of your brain that controls serotonin, thus helping with mood stabilization. Endorphins are important as they help your ability to respond to physical and emotional stimuli, such as digestion, blood pressure, and pain.
Acupuncture for the Treatment of Anxiety
Managing anxiety is not easy and doing so can be very difficult. Fortunately, acupuncture has been proven to be a safe treatment method that can help alleviate anxiety. It is a safe alternative to medication that yields positive outcomes with fewer side effects.
So, how does acupuncture treat anxiety? Acupuncture can reduce anxiety on a physiological level as it can improve Heart Rate Variability (HRV), which is associated with lower levels of stress and anxiety. If you have a higher HRV, then you are better at coping with stress. Acupuncture can also stimulate the release of endorphins, which help with your body’s ability to handle stress. Additionally, acupuncture treatments have been shown to affect the body’s nervous system, balancing the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems to reduce stress.
Through acupuncture treatments, patients can experience pain relief, improved digestion, relaxation, and relief from the symptoms of anxiety.
How Many Acupuncture Treatments Do You Need?
As everyone is unique, the number of acupuncture treatments you will need to treat your anxiety or depression will vary. Speak to your acupuncturist to determine what your plan of action should be. Typically, you will go through treatments until you start to see improvements and then scale down your sessions for maintenance purposes.
It is important to note that if you are also taking medication, you should consult with your healthcare practitioner before coming off it.
Are you curious about how acupuncture could help you? Contact our office online or by calling 619-356-1226 to schedule a session today.