Can acupuncture help depression?
One new study found acupuncture to be as effective as antidepressants, and a different study found that acupuncture may help treat the side effects anti-depressants can cause.
Here’s the thing with depression…. it’s more than just a serotonin problem. The idea that there is a chemical imbalance and the only solution is to take a pill for the rest of your life is at best a reductionist misinterpretation of bad research and at worst, deadly. Just remember, that a prescription for anti-depressants never ends.
So if depression isn’t just a chemical imbalance, then what’s really going on?
Well, the current medical literature is shows depression and it’s symptoms being cause by inflammation. This inflammation can come from a number of different sources – including what you eat (nutrition), how you sleep, stress (this includes both pain and emotional stress), and if you exercise or not.
Here’s the crazy thing… a lot of physical disorders can mimic the signs of depression and leave you stuck taking anti-depressants forever. Things like a thyroid issue or blood sugar imbalances can wreck havoc on your body and make you feel down in the dumps.
Instead of running straight to the pills, I always recommend my patients make some serious changes to their lifestyle.
Here’s my version of an anti-depressant:
1. First make sure your diet and nutrition is as good as it can be. This means eliminating fast food and basically anything that comes in a box. (Check out my 30 day healing diet reset to see how to eat)
2. Moderate exercise daily. This means a short 30 minute walk and a couple times per week you should do some strength training.
3. Sleep 7-9 hours per night.
4. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water everyday. No sugary drinks like sodas or fruit juices.
5. Meditate for 20 minutes everyday. Use a guided app like Headspace or Oak.
6. Talk to a qualified mental health counselor to learn more skills. A counselor doesn’t make you weird, they are there to give you the skills so you can deal with the issues life throws at you. (There’s a reason why we have Aniesa here in the office, so just give the clinic a call if you want to setup a short consult with her.)
7. Get acupuncture regularly. It’s been shown in a bunch of studies to be as effective as anti-depressant medications without the side effects. Acupuncture works as a natural anti-inflammatory agent and stimulates your bodies own healing mechanisms. Who doesn’t want to feel less pain, reduce anxiety, increase energy, and just feel better overall. All without any negative side effects.
Take all of these steps and you will be feeling great in no time.
Here at Hanson Complete Wellness, we work with a lot of patients that experience depression and have seen amazing clinical results in a relatively short period of time.
Acupuncture helps to normalize sleep, reduce anxiety, reduce irritability, and help to restore balance to your mood.
Give the clinic a call at 813-534-0311 to schedule a free 20 minute consultation to see if you are a good candidate for acupuncture treatment for depression in Tampa, FL.
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