Acupuncture is a practice rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It has been used for centuries to treat many different ailments.
During acupuncture, stainless steel needles are inserted to just below the skin and in the muscles to stimulate “Qi” or “energy” to move throughout the body. The acupuncture points make up a pathway throughout the body, in which the Qi or energy can flow. It’s postulated that when this energy is disrupted, it can cause disease.
In Western medicine, it can be explained as the needles are stimulating our central nervous system, which allows a release of chemicals into the muscles and brain that will stimulate our bodies natural healing ability’s & promote physical and emotional well-being.
Acupuncture is commonly used by practitioners to help in the treatment and management of various mental health conditions, including depression & anxiety.
Many studies have investigated this and most of them have found that acupuncture was able to reduce the severity of depression and anxiety.
When combined with antidepressants, it was found that acupuncture led to a greater reduction in anxiety & depressive symptoms then just the antidepressants alone.
Acupuncture was also found to have much fewer side effects than medication.
More studies are needed to determine the magnitude of these effects, but acupuncture can be a nice adjunct to depression & anxiety treatment.