Wenhui Qiao C.M.D. Acupuncturist

National Board Certified Acupuncturist
License Maryland Board of Acupuncture
License Virginia Board of Acupuncture

Acupuncture for Depression

Acupuncture Combined with Chinese Herbal Medicine for Treatment of Depression and Anxiety

Research suggests that 1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year. Depression occurring together with anxiety are two of the most common mood disorders affecting approximately 20% of the population at some point during their lives. Today, more than 30 million Americans are taking anti-depressant and anti-anxiety drugs, and over 130 million prescriptions were written for anti-depressants each year, and these numbers have been growing. The top anti-depressant and anxiety drugs address only the signs and symptoms of the disease and can cause a myriad of side effects: insomnia, anxiety, listlessness, fatigue, loss of appetite, and sexual dysfunction.Contemporary Western psychiatry defined major depression as a persisting pattern of severe depressive episode, with an episode defined as a severely depressed mood for at least two weeks, accompanied by at least four additional symptoms including: persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness; weight loss or gain; lose of all interest in pleasurable activities, including sex; fatigue; sleep disturbances; irritability; guilt; poor concentration or indecision; difficulty thinking and suicidal thoughts. Anxiety is defined as a persisting state of fear that may or may not be associated with a specific object or situation. Some of the symptoms associated with a diagnosis of anxiety include: persistent worry; muscle tension, aches, twitching; sleep disturbances; fast of irregular heartbeat; frequent urination; shortness of breath; fatigue; nausea; dizziness; restlessness; poor concentration; irritability; overreaction when startled.

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Depression/AnxietyChinese medicine recognizes a powerful interplay between the body and emotions; the two are, in fact, inseparable. When we become emotionally upset, our internal environment also becomes disrupted, leading to the physical symptoms of anxiety and depression. When we are physically compromised, our emotions can be greatly affected. According to Chinese medical theories, depression and anxiety are often the result of an imbalance or blockage in the body energetic organ meridian systems. If the Qi becomes obstructed or the quality becomes insufficient, emotional upset, anxiety/depression, illness and disease may occur. Many things may cause the Qi to become blocked or insufficient: physical trauma, emotional trauma, hereditary weakness, poor diet, and chemical, physical and emotional stress.Acupuncture has been used in the treatment of psychiatric disorders in China. Documentation of their traditional diagnosis and treatment can be found in the Han dynasty classics of the Huang Di Nei Jing and the Nei Jing. Psychiatric treatment in China has more recently shifted toward the adoption of modern Western psychiatric methods, while acupuncture trials commonly combine Western diagnosis with the acupuncture treatment. With the advent of electro acupuncture, Chinese doctors are now using techniques that span the ground between modern electro-convulsive therapy and traditional acupuncture techniques. Depression itself is one of the 10 most frequent indications for the use of complementary and alternative medicineA ground breaking pilot study at the University of Arizona studied the treatment of depression using traditional, individually tailored acupuncture treatment, within the structure of a double-blind, randomized, control trial. 64% of the participants were judged to be in full remission of their symptoms.A recent clinical trial from Stanford University in the U.S. has found that 70% of women studied responded positively to treatment with acupuncture for depression during pregnancy. Sixty-one pregnant women with major depressive disorder were studied in this double-blinded controlled trial, with the researchers concluding that [acupuncture holds promise for the treatment of depression during pregnancy].

Treating Anxiety/Depression with Acupuncture and Herbal MedicineMy treatments for anxiety and depression combine acupuncture, microcurrent electrical therapy (the current is so low, people do not feel it), and herbal medicine. Acupuncture and microcurrent electrical therapy can relieve anxiety, depression, and insomnia. The herbal supplementation is key to the effectiveness of the treatments. The treatments will not be as effective with out the supplements. The herbal formulas are used to address stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. The success rate for this type of treatment is very high, 75%+. While severe depression may require more intensive treatment, relief of stress and anxiety is usually felt immediately and not as many treatments are required.

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