Is Acupuncture the solution to your Depression ?


As life gives us “Up’s and Downs” our mood is affected accordingly.

Typically when we are going through a “Down” period we describe these feelings as depression.

But the normal highs and lows of life should not be confused with the serious medical illnesses know as “Mood Disorders”.

In regards to depressive mood disorders there are a few variations such as.

– Bi-Polar Disorder (manic depressive illness)

-Perinatal Depression

– Clinical or Major Depression (most commonly diagnosed)

Mood disorders are very serious illnesses that can have sever, even fatal health effects. They are the most commonly diagnosed condition within the realm of “Mental Health Disorders”.


According to Statistics Canada’s 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey 12.6% of Canadian Adults or  1 in 8 met the criteria for experiencing mood disorders at some point in their life.

Women are also more prone to mood disorder at 2:1 ratio for women to men.

Risk Factors and Causes

While no single cause has been identified in relation to mood disorders many risk factors have. Some of these risk factors include but are not limited to…..

– Previous episodes of depression: Individuals who have had past bouts of major depression are more than 50% likely to experience a recurrence.

– Stress: Stress can effect our body in many ways including our emotions and mood and is view as a major contributing factor to major depression.

– Past Trauma: Either physical or emotional trauma are contributing factors.

-Socioeconomic: Factors such as income, workplace stress, prejudice, housing etc.

-Chronic disease: The sicker we are, the worse we feel emotionally. Some diseases frequently associated with major depression include…Cancer, AIDS, Stroke, Alzheimer, Arthritis, Heart disease, COPD, Obesity and many others.


Symptoms will vary with ever individual but typical symptoms are as follows.

-Depressed Mood

– Negative feelings : Guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, pessimism

-Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities.

-Weight and appetite fluctuation.

-Sleep disturbances

– Thoughts of death.

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Depression

One of the unique qualities of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is the understanding that the mind and body effect each other. All disease in TCM comes from imbalance, and emotional imbalance is no exception.

A TCM professional will ask the patient a whole array of questions including life style habits and other physical symptoms the patient may be suffering from. By analyzing  their constitution and life style habits we can better understand where the root imbalance contributing to the condition lies, and craft a  treatment plan accordingly.

Typically the emotion of “Sadness” , “Grief” and “Depression” are related to the Lung in TCM theory. But this pattern can be influenced by many factors, the liver for instance is the main organ associated with processing stress and can contribute to depression if overwhelmed.

The heart is also a typically involved organ. The Heart in TCM is related to the emotion of Joy, if the heart qi (energy) is weakened or out of balance this may also play a role.

By analyzing the patient holistically we can get a better picture of the causative factors influencing the patients mood.

Once a TCM diagnosis has been made, your Acupuncturist can prescribe a treatment plan and recommendations accordingly.

Research has shown Acupuncture to be statistically effective in the treatment of mood disorders. Both as a stand along treatment as well as when paired with traditional drug therapy.

Pairing Acupuncture and Antidepressants

A recently published study in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that combining Acupuncture and Antidepressants to be more effective than just using Antidepressants alone. Acupuncture was also noted as being effective at reducing the side effects associated with antidepressant use.

Researches noted that acupuncture had shown to increase levels of serotonin in the body. As well as increase nocturnal melatonin levels reducing insomnia and anxiety.


Whether you are suffering from the sever effects of a mood disorder, or if you are experiencing one of life’s “low’s”, acupuncture had proven to be a safe, effective tool in the treatment of depression.

To book a FREE consultation to see how acupuncture can help you go to our website to check dates and times.


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