We are sometimes called citizens of Prozac Nation, as more than 28 million Americans are taking antidepressant or anti-anxiety drugs to combat their feelings of depression. As the stress and anxiety in our lives increases, it is unlikely that this trend will reverse itself without conscious efforts on our part.
While Western-style pharmaceuticals can help improve your mood, they can also bring an array of unpleasant side effects. The Physicians’ Desk Reference lists many potential side effects, including insomnia, anxiety, fatigue, listlessness, body rashes, tremors, loss of appetite, and sexual dysfunction, among others. If you are struggling with depression or these medication-related side effects, acupuncture may be a safer alternative for you.
For thousands of years, Chinese medicine has addressed the underlying causes of depression, in addition to treating the symptoms of depression. Acupuncturists treat the whole body, rather than compartmentalizing mental and physical well-being into separate categories. When we are anxious, sad, or upset, our physical body is also under duress—and when we experience a physical trauma, our emotions may be equally impacted. Neglecting one aspect of the whole body relationship is harmful to long-term health.
In acupuncture and Chinese medicine, depression is associated with stagnant Qi. Qi is the source of the body’s energy and internal harmony and is crucial to your wellness. If you are experiencing depression, an acupuncturist will be able to evaluate your health history and design an individualized plan to improve your Qi. This plan will:
- Be drug free and safe
- Be whole-body oriented
- Restore your Qi
- Address your current symptoms
While it is important to allow adequate time to achieve long-term results, an acupuncture-based depression treatment plan will eventually help to return your emotional and physical states to a place of balance and contentment. Click here to read one patient’s experience of treating depression with acupuncture treatments.