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Can Acupuncture treat depression?


A_son_unique
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Hi

I've had Acpuncture in the past to treat headaches and general aches/pains but I'm not to sure about how effective it is for depression. It worked wonders for what I wrote above so I have complete faith in that aspect but would like to know who far Acpuncture can reach into the realms of mental health.

I'm contemplating going back for some treatment and would like to know if anyone else has been treated for depression or anything else relating to the mind plus any qualified Dr's or therapists who work in this field.

I've spoken to the chinese doctor who performs acupuncture and the man from delmonte says YES it can work but why take his word for it when I can also consult healthypages

Thanks

18 Replies
jnani
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Hi

I've had Acpuncture in the past to treat headaches and general aches/pains but I'm not to sure about how effective it is for depression. It worked wonders..

I've spoken to the chinese doctor who performs acupuncture and the man from delmonte says YES it can work but why take his word for it when I can also consult healthypages

Thanks

When people speak, only words are ever used. Why take his word for it, why indeed! But what is the guarentee you will take our(those who reply to this post) word for it?
Trust is something you find within your own heart. Who can do it for you?
Why not go for it? it worked before. Give it a chance.

I feel you are frightened to lose money(if it doesn't work) but then you try nothing, because there is always a chance with everything that it might not work.

Money is important but You are more so. Go for it. Stop sitting on fence. You are sending a message to the Intelligence that ''I want it but I am not prepared to risk a few measly quid; I can't waste money beacuse I have not got enough; I can wait until someone can do it for free( because embracing healing is not my top priority...)That is a weak message don't you think? Jump! You will stumble upon the right thing.
Finding your wholeness is an urgency. It is not a wishy washy affair.

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David- Maldon
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Hiya

Acupuncture has been shown to be helpful in cases of mild depression and I’ve certainly seen evidence of this in my own training and practice. It works from the principle of restoring balance to the body, and as depression is usually accompanied by physical symptoms, acupuncture may help to alleviate some of these too.

Chinese medicine has a foundation in which the mind and body are intrinsically connected, so a “physical” treatment like acupuncture (or massage and so on) can have an effect on the emotions too. It is noted for having a calming effect, which may help with things like stress levels and insomnia, often associated with depression.

It’s worth finding a practitioner you can relate to; I would avoid anywhere where a consultation took place via an interpreter, not because the practitioner in not qualified, but because a personal connection is essential to build trust and support, and that’s difficult to do via a third party. Check out the websites of practitioners in your area, and call them directly, or ask around for recommendations, but avoid physiotherapists and osteopaths as the type of acupuncture they normally deliver is not usually based in the whole Mind-Body-Spirit approach, and is often learned in just two weekends.

Interestingly Chairman Mao removed the word “depression” from the Chinese language in order to make China seem a brighter place. Chinese use the word “oppression” instead, for which the character represents a heart being crushed in a door. As “heart” also represents “spirit” or consciousness, it seems like a good way to describe the effects of depression on the body.

Anything more serious than minor depression should always be referred to your GP, but you can still work with acupuncture alongside anything else they might recommend.

Best wishes for improved well being

David Kemp BSc Hons Acupuncture

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Elixir
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I couldn't agree with David more, he makes some excellent points.

I too have seen great results treating mental and emotional conditions with acupuncture in my practice. In Chinese medicine we don't separate mind and body, and mental issues such as depression are considered as disorders of Qi in a similar way as physical problems. As we all know, mind effects body and vice versa, so it's really impossible to separate the 2. Acupuncture can have profound effects on physical, mental, emotional and even spiritual levels - give it a try!

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dragon_healer
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Hi

I've had Acpuncture in the past to treat headaches and general aches/pains but I'm not to sure about how effective it is for depression. It worked wonders for what I wrote above so I have complete faith in that aspect but would like to know who far Acpuncture can reach into the realms of mental health.

I'm contemplating going back for some treatment and would like to know if anyone else has been treated for depression or anything else relating to the mind plus any qualified Dr's or therapists who work in this field.

I've spoken to the chinese doctor who performs acupuncture and the man from delmonte says YES it can work but why take his word for it when I can also consult healthypages

Thanks

It works very well for depression, but antidepressants and CBT from your GP are cheaper. If I were you, I would try those first and only try acupuncture if you don't get satisfactory results. I am an acupuncture practitioner so it is not in my personal interest to tell you this, but the patient's interest has to come before the practitioner's and too many practitioners fail to inform prospective patients when they can get cheaper and probably equally effective treatment on the NHS. This is unethical.

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Tashanie
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It works very well for depression, but antidepressants and CBT from your GP are cheaper. If I were you, I would try those first and only try acupuncture if you don't get satisfactory results. I am an acupuncture practitioner so it is not in my personal interest to tell you this, but the patient's interest has to come before the practitioner's and too many practitioners fail to inform prospective patients when they can get cheaper and probably equally effective treatment on the NHS. This is unethical.

Speaking as a pharmacist, anti-depressants are no more effective than CBT and other talking therapies in mild to moderate depression. Anti-depressants get prescribed because there are too few spaces for CBT etc on the NHS. I would never advise a patient I was tretaing to stop anti-depressants. But if someone came to me for hypnotherapy saying they were depressed I would actually want them to go to their GP to get a proper diagnosis before I did any treatment on them. To do anything else would be dangerous and unethical.

I have no knowledge about whether accupuncture would help, but most complementary therapies probably can help to an extent simply becasue you are taking responsibility for trying to get better and that is the key . I know hypnotherapy can help if you get the right practitoner - but then it is also a 'talking therapy'

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Indo
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The cheapest and most effective long tern therapy for this is BREATHING 😮

If you look at the word 'DEPRESSION' it is like putting your finger on a button, the button wants to push up but the finger keeps it 'Depressed'

Depression also is linked to thinking in the past so learning to think in the present is a good tool. Being aware of breathing brings you into the present.

Improving oxygen improves all physiological processes in the body.

As biological beings we need air, water and sunlight to grow, If you can balance these three things you should begin to feel better.

Due to the horrible long and dull winter and supposed summer we are having its only natural that we are feeling more 'down'.

Find a local Tai Chi class or Qigong practitioner.

This will teach you to breathe and to move that breath through nourishing movement.

BUQI Breathing is good too!

Recovery from any emotional stress is a personal journey, but don't rule out the physical either. Some foods or digestive imbalances are big contenders for depression. Your GP will never equate this to emotional response.

My teacher always said ' you can talk about things until you are blue in the face but it wont remove the imbalance'

Hopefully if you practice these simple things the need for medication will subside.

Also I would highly recommend a regular neck and shoulder massage to relieve any restriction of bold flow to the brain. 8 out of 10 cases can be put down to lack of oxygen due to tense muscles.

GOOD LUCK 🙂

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Tashanie
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Actually the starting point for dealing with depression as it is with so many other illnesses is a healthy diet and regular exercise. There is a good reason why health professionals kepe recomending this- becasue there is evidence it works!.

Tai chi is very good for all sorts of reasons - and any step that is taken with intention of dealing with the depression will probably be productive .

I am not sure that breahing on its own would help since we all breathe anyway . I accept that oxygen levels are important - but very few people have low oxygen saturations in my experience.

Each person will find the approach that works for THEM . No therapy has a monopoly on being right or wrong for depressioin

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Indo
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 Indo
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Hi tashanie....do you have personal experience of chronic depression? You sound very confident that diet and exercise will do the trick!

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Tashanie
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Hi tashanie....do you have personal experience of chronic depression? You sound very confident that diet and exercise will do the trick!

Indeed I do ! I suffered from depression for 10 years. And I didn't say diet and exercise would do the trick. I said it was a STARTING point. There is actually evidence that exercise by water can have a beneficial effect on depression.

But the mind cannot become healthy if the body is unhealthy - and the key to a healthy body is a good diet and regular exercise. If that regular exercise is Tai Chi (I have never done it but I have a friend who swears by it) fabulous.

If her class was closer to me I would join in myself.

I am not criticising Tai Chi at all - although I am sceptical about your emphasis on oxygen levels. But then thats my scientific conventional medical side coming out.
🙂

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Indo
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 Indo
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Actually the starting point for dealing with depression as it is with so many other illnesses is a healthy diet and regular exercise.

It would seem that the use of the word 'actually' would suggest you disagree and have a superior answer. You can eat all the god food in the world, but it wont make a difference if you have an existing digestive imbalance and for those that cant afford 'good' food...what then.
What about those people who cannot exercise due to joint pain...injury..or depression.
My suggestions were just that...suggestions.
Although it is proven that breathing exercises not only assist relaxation but also serve to improve digestion and neurological function..resulting in better health. They far outweigh the use of chemical medication in every sense.

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Tashanie
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It would seem that the use of the word 'actually' would suggest you disagree and have a superior answer. You can eat all the god food in the world, but it wont make a difference if you have an existing digestive imbalance and for those that cant afford 'good' food...what then.
What about those people who cannot exercise due to joint pain...injury..or depression.
My suggestions were just that...suggestions.
Although it is proven that breathing exercises not only assist relaxation but also serve to improve digestion and neurological function..resulting in better health. They far outweigh the use of chemical medication in every sense.

I can only apologise that I seem to have implied something I never meant..

Depression can have many and varied physical effects on the sufferer so it is likely that more than one approach will be needed. If the depression is due to physical injury then of course exercise is not going to be possible. For the patient with severe COPD breathing exercises will not be possible either.

I do remember the dreadful apathy I experienced at my worst and overcoming the apathy is the first and most crucial that needs to be done. My feeling about anti-depressants is that while they don't cure depression they can get the patient into a state where they can think more constructively. For some they can be a vital first step on the road to recovery

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finneypaul
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Nice Acupuncture post.

Thanks
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strongestmind
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BlueDoor
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Actually the starting point for dealing with depression as it is with so many other illnesses is a healthy diet and regular exercise. There is a good reason why health professionals kepe recomending this- becasue there is evidence it works!.

Ever since I've been exercising regularly I feel much better and less depressed. I do yoga, cardio and lift weights on alternate days and feel much happier these days.

Some days I still feel down and was considering acupuncture but I just don't understand what acupuncture really does. I've read that it's effect are all placebo. Do you think it really works?

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NickCareswell Acupuncture
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Acupuncturist here with lots of experience treating "depression".

As with most conditions that patients come in with, depression in TCM terms is seen as a symptom of some underlying imbalance. In my experience, usually of Wood or Fire. It's a pattern with many possible underlying pathologies.

Chinese medicine doesn't stop when the needles come out, a massive part of my job is lifestyle advice, and it's usually just common sense. Whatever the patient needs to do to move towards a more natural and harmonic existence. Regular exercise, a balanced diet and a good sleep pattern along with treatment goes a long way.

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andybrown
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Hi

I've had Acpuncture in the past to treat headaches and general aches/pains but I'm not to sure about how effective it is for depression. It worked wonders for what I wrote above so I have complete faith in that aspect but would like to know who far Acpuncture can reach into the realms of mental health.

I'm contemplating going back for some treatment and would like to know if anyone else has been treated for depression or anything else relating to the mind plus any qualified Dr's or therapists who work in this field.

I've spoken to the chinese doctor who performs acupuncture and the man from delmonte says YES it can work but why take his word for it when I can also consult healthypages

Thanks

Hi! Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can be very effective in aiding recovery and stability of depression and moods. One of the things we know for sure about acupuncture is that when the needles are inserted, the body begins releasing endorphins (simply 'feel good' juices) that help the body and person feel more relaxed and 'better'. By having repeated treatments your body continues these functions. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, there can be different patterns of depression and everybody is a little different anyway, and any licensed acupuncturist with Chinese Herbs certification should be able to prescribe the most suitable formulation for a person's underlying constitution, addressing other conditions that can be associated with or need care, as well as the depression. For example, some people with depression are very tired and lethargic and there have anxiety and insomnia or headaches or angry outbursts, while another is very subdued.

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Neha12
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Acupuncture - the Chinese way to treat the problem is really awesome in treating anxiety and depression. I tried acupuncture when I was back in London, I remember I had gone through 3 sittings & it was really relaxing.

I tried some herbal supplements too, as prescribed by my therapist. I would recommend this Chinese treatment to anyone who is going through depression.

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Anthony Welsh Counselling
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I would agree with David's post, touching on the holistic picture where the benefits many seem to get from Acupuncture can obviously translate into a greater sense of well-being, and in turn, potentially a positive affect in terms of alleviating any depression (albeit, to some degree!).

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