Acupuncture for treating depression

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In the case of psychological problems, not only common remedies such as medication or psychotherapy can help. Acupuncture can help to treat mood swings and depressions. Many people are affected by a depressive disorder at least once in their lives. On average, the phase lasts between half a year and a full year. In addition to medication and psychotherapy, alternative methods also help to find your way out of the depression. Acupuncture is particularly effective.

Efficient not only in mild cases

"According to current study results, it is very effective in mild and moderate depression," says Johannes Fleckenstein, co-director of the Institute for Complementary Medicine at the University of Bern. Acupuncture can also be useful in cases of severe depression. "It can help to keep the dose of drugs needed low and reduce their side effects," says the expert.

Stimulating the flow of energy

In traditional Chinese medicine TMC it is assumed that energy channels, so-called meridians, exist in our body. Diseases are traced back to the disturbed flow of the life energy Qi in these meridians. If there is a traffic jam, one feels bad. Acupuncture helps to harmonize the flow of energy. From the point of view of western medicine there are no such paths, so the effect of acupuncture has to be explained differently.

Relaxation through needles

"Until now, it has not been possible to identify a key mechanism in acupuncture," explains Fleckenstein. "There is therefore no physiological pathway that works in every case." Nevertheless, there is scientific evidence for the efficacy. Different mechanisms work together. The needle punctures do not only relax the muscles, but the whole person. You sleep better again. The vegetative nervous system, which regulates stress and rest, is demonstrably better regulated by acupuncture. In the case of depression, the body releases stimulating and relaxing messenger substances into the brain and body after acupuncture. Several scientific studies in recent years have shown, that acupuncture can significantly reduce the intensity of depression.

Diverse symptoms

A depressive mood manifests itself through various symptoms - often in the form of depression, powerlessness, exhaustion, irritability, insomnia, nervousness or anxiety. The acupuncturists' needle sticks start with these specific complaints: There are around 360 points of effect, which stand for the most varied complaints, symptoms or organs. It is not unimportant that acupuncture has hardly any side effects. The needles may cause a bruise, the puncture may hurt or you may feel a little dizzy afterwards. "But there is no systemic damage such as anaemia, liver or kidney failure," says Johannes Fleckenstein.

Although acupuncture is an effective method to alleviate psychological impairments, it is not the only miracle cure - it should be used together with the treating psychiatrist and as part of an overall concept.

 Acupunture against depressions