Acupuncture For Depression: How It Works, Side Effects, and is It Effective? Depression is a mental disorder that has a considerable impact on the quality of life of sufferers so they are less likely to enjoy their lives. There are many therapies that can be done to overcome this problem, one of which is acupuncture.
Acupuncture is a treatment that uses needles to target certain pressure points in the body. It has been used for thousands of years to help various diseases from migraines, infertility, to stress.
Is acupuncture treatment for depression really effective?
How acupuncture works for depression?
As one of the traditional medicines from China that has gone global, acupuncture is believed to reduce some annoying symptoms, such as itching and pain.
The way acupuncture works is not as easy as it looks, i.e. sticking a few needles to a certain point on your body. Normally, the acupuncturist would insert the needles at a certain acupuncture point.
Acupuncture points are seen based on the ‘meridians’ that flow throughout the body and are associated with certain organs of the body. This meridian is an energy channel or commonly referred to as Qi in the acupuncture world.
After that, the needles will remove the obstacles that clog this Qi channel. As a result, people who does acupuncture feel a significant difference compared to before trying this traditional method.
Is acupuncture effective for depression?
Each acupuncture point has different properties because each point will relate to different organs. These points are all over your body, from the head, neck, to the soles of your feet.
Unfortunately, acupuncture cannot treat depression as a whole. However, this method can help reduce the symptoms of depression.
This is evidenced by a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. The study explored electro acupuncture or electric acupuncture.
In the study, it turned out to be just as effective as fluoxetine (antidepressant) to reduce depressive symptoms.
The researchers say electronic acupuncture can inhibit elevated levels of cortisol or stress hormones. They also concluded that acupuncture provides a protective effect on a person’s stress response.
Acupuncture For Depression as an adjunct treatment
The primary treatment is a treatment that is a priority for sufferers, because it has the best ability shown to help relieve and cure symptoms. For depression, this includes speech therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, antidepressants, and others.
Acupuncture treatment may not treat depression on its own, but it helps to get more composure and be happy.
One review of 64 different studies involving more than 7,000 people published in The Cochrane Database for Systemic Review in 2018, found that there was low quality evidence linking acupuncture to depression treatment.
In other studies, it has found positive results about acupuncture and depression. A study published in the British Journal of Midwifery in 2018 looked at 1,592 cases of depression and acupuncture to see if there was evidence acupuncture could help postpartum depression (PPD).
Only one proves that acupuncture may be as effective as the antidepressant fluoxetine hydrochloride (Prozac) for treating PPD.
If they want to use acupuncture to help with mental health symptoms, the researchers allow it as long as they get primary treatment.
Side Effects of Acupuncture For Depression
Usually, acupuncture is safe for everyone if done by people who already have a certificate and professional. In fact, now there are also acupuncture specialists.
However, for some people, there are side effects that arise from acupuncture treatment to overcome depression, such as:
- Itching of the needle-punctured area
- Allergic reactions to needles
- Bleeding in the puncture area
- Bruises around the puncture area.
If you are interested in using acupuncture to help overcome depression, it is best to find out in advance what are the benefits and risks of this method. You can also consult your psychiatrist, acupuncturist or therapist for other opinions.
Last Updated on April 12, 2021 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team