There are many benefits to this ancient practice, including potential relief from depression and anxiety. Here are seven reasons to try acupuncture if you are looking for relief from anxiety and depression.
1. It works! Through a metanalysis of a variety of research studies on acupuncture and depression, acupuncture can significantly reduce the severity of depression, as measured by the Hamilton rating scale for depression or the Beck Depression Inventory.
2. It’s an alternative to toxic medications. There are virtually no negative side effects to acupuncture. When used as a part of a holistic approach to treating depression, it can help you heal depression naturally.
3. It releases endorphins. Have you ever heard of a runner’s high? The awesome feeling you have after exercising is also caused by endorphins. Endorphins are a hormone that acts as a natural pain killer in the body. When needles are inserted into sensory nerves just below the skin’s surface, the body stimulates a response in the immune system, which increases circulation to that area of the body and triggers the release of endorphins.
4. It can be a good option for pregnant women. If you’re expecting a child, you might want to reduce or eliminate your intake of medications to prevent adverse side effects in the child. Studies show that acupuncture is an effective option for pregnant women who do not want to take medication.
5. It can reduce inflammation. Because the needles act as tiny wounds throughout the body, acupuncture prompts an anti-inflammatory response from the immune system as it combats the small invasions. There is increasing evidence that chronic inflammation keeps you depressed.
6. It is relaxing. Yep—getting dozens of tiny needles stuck in your body is actually a pleasant experience! Most patients find their acupuncture visits to be extremely therapeutic, and some even fall asleep during the session.
7. It gives you much more than a mood boost. Because acupuncture aims to make the body well, not treat specific symptoms, you’ll benefit from an overall increase in health. In fact, acupuncture is an effective treatment for migraine and tension headaches and has been shown to help treat allergies and infertility.
If you decide to give acupuncture a try, make sure to find an experienced, certified acupuncturist who knows specifically how to treat anxiety and depression.
Keep in mind that acupuncture is most effective for depression and anxiety over the course of several weeks of treatment. Make sure to ask your provider about how many sessions they recommend for optimal healing.