According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, over 20% of Canadians will experience a mental disorder at some point during their life. Two of the most common mental and mood disorders in Alberta are anxiety and depression.
Anxiety and depression is treated in several ways, including psychotherapy and prescription medications. Unfortunately, though, as many as one-third of people experiencing depression and/or anxiety don’t respond to those treatments or can not tolerate the side effects of pharmaceutical therapies. For those people and many others, alternative treatment options are necessary.
What about acupuncture?
Eastern medicine considers depression and anxiety as indicators of health concerns affecting a person’s entire body. Mood and mental disorders such as depression and anxiety may indicate that a person’s qi (life energy in the language of Traditional Chinese Medicine) is out of balance. Imbalanced qi can cause disease that presents with symptoms that include anxiety and depression.
Acupuncture is a 3,000-year-old healing practice that focuses on nerve points (called meridians or pathways) that allow your qi or energy to move throughout the body. Treating those meridians using tiny thread-like needles at strategic points allow your qi to travel throughout your body effectively and in balance. Restoring the qi’s balance in your body is intended to treat many symptoms of disease, including depression and anxiety.
Each needle stimulates a nerve in your body. That stimulation travels to your brain which responds by releasing endorphins via the body’s immune system. Those endorphins are natural painkillers that travel throughout the body to offer relief and promote healing.
Should you try acupuncture for depression and anxiety?
If you experience depression and anxiety, there are several reasons to consider traditional treatment at an acupuncture clinic near you.
Acupuncture works. Research based on the Hamilton rating scale and Beck Depression Inventory has established that acupuncture can significantly reduce the severity of people’s experience of depression.
Acupuncture has no side effects. Pharmacological treatments for depression and anxiety produce significant side effects for many people. Acupuncture produces no adverse side effects and is a completely natural approach to healing.
Acupuncture stimulates your body’s own immune system. Your body’s own endorphins are hormones that ease pain naturally. Acupuncture promotes the release of those endorphins to empower your body’s own defences and responses to depression and anxiety.
Acupuncture is appropriate for pregnant women. Pregnant women need to reduce or eliminate their intake of many drugs, including drugs that may offer relief from symptoms of depression and anxiety. If you are pregnant and required to wean off medications or do not wish to take medications because you’re planning a family, acupuncture is a safe and natural treatment alternative.
Acupuncture relieves inflammation. The same process that triggers the release of endorphins also triggers anti-inflammatory responses. That’s significant because of the well-established association between chronic inflammation and symptoms of depression.
Acupuncture is relaxing. If you’ve never undergone depression, you may find the prospect of having several needles inserted into your body as being relaxing hard to believe. It’s true, though. Acupuncture is minimally invasive, calm and very comfortable. Many patients fall asleep during treatment with acupuncture in Calgary SW.
Acupuncture does more than boost your mood. Yes, acupuncture will help resolve your symptoms of depression and anxiety, but it is also an effective treatment for headaches (migraines and tension headaches), allergies, and even fertility issues.
If you’re looking for alternative solutions for your anxiety or depression, we encourage you to contact a chiropractor near you for an assessment of your needs and goals. A chiropractor in SW Calgary may be able to offer relief that you’ve been waiting for.