In 1998 in the USA, the National Institute of Health’s Office of Alternative Medicine funded a study at the University of Arizona. Working with acupuncturist Rosa Schnyer and PhD researcher John Allen studied acupuncture in relation to depression.
Following the course of acupuncture treatment, the depression-specific groups experienced a 43 percent reduction in their symptoms. Since then, there have been many more studies confirming the beneficial effects of acupuncture in the treatment of depression.
In Chinese medicine there is a saying: all emotions, if excessive, turn into fire. This can include worry, anxiety and anger as well as many other emotions. Fire rises and goes to the head and affects the thinking process. Each organ in Traditional Chinese Medicine theory is allocated to a certain emotion. This is why if you visit a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner you may receive treatment for your Liver and if another person goes for depression they may receive treatment for their heart.
In modern psychological terms, patients are given labels such as bipolar, obsessive compulsive disorder or chronic depressive disorder to describe their condition. Often, these patients get different diagnoses from different specialists depending on the latest criteria classifying the symptoms. The symptoms that depressive patients can experience is many but can include insomnia, tiredness, lack of motivation, low self esteem and specific symptoms such as fear to go outside, and repeatedly checking if they have locked the door and so forth.
It is interesting to note that historical references to the uses of specific acupuncture points has recorded such uses as “fear to go out of the house” and “loss of will” and “desire to hit people for no reason”. These are some of the common day symptoms that some people experience in deteriorating mental health conditions.
Many patients who have come for acupuncture to have treatment for another condition such as tiredness or back pain often comment that they also experience an increased sense of well being and better moods during the course of treatment. This exemplifies how acupuncture can improve the mental state. It is now known that acupuncture releases endorphins, a natural morphine substance that can influence the mood.
In the US alone, at least 2.5 billion dollars is spent annually on depression drugs. All the medications have side effects, contraindications and some of them are addictive and many have been taken off the market only to be replaced by new ones. It won’t be easy and it won’t happen overnight, but you may be able to free yourself of your antidepressant medication using acupuncture and Chinese medicine. You could then buy shares in the pharmaceutical companies with the money you save on medication and collect healthy dividends each year.