It is estimated that at least 17.5 million Americans suffer from depression. As a naturopath and acupuncturist, I am interested in staying on top of research studies and ensuring I can provide my patients with the most up-to-date information regarding non-prescription treatment options. There are some promising, recent studies showing how acupuncture can treat depression, anxiety, and stress.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) states that “evidence for the use of acupuncture to treat anxiety disorders is becoming stronger.” A study from the University of York in the UK recruited 755 people with moderate to severe depression. Seventy percent of the patients had been on anti-depressants and continued on them throughout the study. The study concluded that acupuncture had a strong, positive effect on depression by lowering the depression scale from an average of 16 out of 27 at the start of the study, to 9. The benefits lasted 3 months after treatment had concluded.
I’ve personally seen patients whose anxiety-induced rashes disappear in two treatments. I have also seen acupuncture significantly reduce anxiety and stress as well as improve depression. It’s important to note that most of these conditions require an initial treatment protocol of eight or more sessions. Once a significant improvement is reached, you can then move to a maintenance schedule. Acupuncture can’t always treat moderate or severe depression alone and you should consult your doctor before going off or reducing any medication. But, the evidence is clear: acupuncture can improve depression, anxiety, and stress.
For more information on how naturopathic medicine and acupuncture can help with anxiety, depression, and stress, please visit Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture or call Dr. Lee at 206-319-5322.
Chronic pain is an increasingly common ailment or condition and most often patients are suffering from lower back pain, general joint or arthritis pain or neck pain. It’s estimated that 26% of Americans suffer from chronic pain, compared to 7% that have diabetes, 6% with heart disease and less than 2% diagnosed with cancer. For those living with chronic pain, neck pain is the third most common cause, according to a survey conducted by the National Institute of Health Statistics.
There are many causes for neck pain. The Mayo Clinic has some great online resources and information about what can lead to neck pain, including muscle strains, worn joints, nerve compression, injuries and diseases.
Physicians and researchers have also been conducting studies to test the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating chronic neck pain. The results have been compelling. A 2001 study showed that acupuncture was effective in relieving neck pain and improving range of motion. In a 2004 study, the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating chronic neck pain was evaluated in 153 patients. Nearly 70% of those patients had a successful outcome from acupuncture, reporting an improvement in pain of at least 50%.
So, while having chronic neck pain can be…well, a pain in the neck, acupuncture can make a significant difference. A licensed acupuncturist or practitioner of TCM can help develop a plan that is customized for you and eases that ache.
First and foremost, prevention. This is the number one reason for trying acupuncture and although it’s not the most common reason to try it. Most people try acupuncture for the first time because they have some kind of ailment such as pain, digestive distress, or emotional imbalance. Acupuncture can and should be looked at as preventative medicine, instead of waiting to get a diagnosis of a specific condition. An acupuncturist is be able to detect much more subtle imbalances in your system and work to correct them.
• Acupuncture can be used to offset stress and the effects of aging. Research proves that neglected stress can wreak havoc on our bodies and minds, leading to all kinds of ailments ranging from digestive distress, painful periods, chronic pain, hormonal imbalances, allergies, blood pressure and sugar imbalances, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and fatigue. Cosmetically speaking, wrinkled skin, grey hairs, thin hair, and dark circles under the eyes are no strangers to the extremely stressed body. Acupuncture has been proven to help offset these adverse effects and can help promote a more youthful energetic self.
• Acupuncture can help you understand your body and mind better. Acupuncture is not just all about tiny needles. In addition to being treated with acupuncture to help regulate your system, most practitioners offer dietary and lifestyle suggestion that may help you make the changes you want to see in your life.
The next time you have trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating, consider seeing an acupuncturist which might detect subtle imbalances that could be leading to those distressing symptoms. Furthermore, acupuncturists are trained to treat not only the “symptoms” but the “root causes,” which means making changes on deep fundamental levels of your being.
Filed under Acupuncture, Back pain, Chronic pain, Cosmetic acupucnture, Depression, Digestive problems, Facial acupuncture, Facial rejuvenation acupuncture, Fatigue, Headache, Hot flashes, Insomnia, Menopause, Neck pain, Pain relief, Shoulder pain
In a recent study, Duke researchers found that acupuncture is more effective than medication in reducing the severity and frequency of chronic headaches after reviewing the results of 31 studies. Of the studies comparing acupuncture to medication, the researchers found that 62 percent of the acupuncture patients reported headache relief compared to only 45 percent of people taking medication. Correct technique is important as well. Sham acupuncture, which was done on parts of the body not associated with the ancient Chinese principles, was less effective than traditional acupuncture.
Wolfberry, commonly known as goji berry, is a kind of robust vitality and energy of the plant. It is most suitable for treatment of fatigue. It can promote blood circulation, prevent atherosclerosis and liver fat accumulation.
Wolfberry contains a variety of vitamins, essential amino acids and fatty acids to promote the healthy body metabolism and to slow down aging. They include:
- 11 essential and 22 trace dietary minerals,
- 18 amino acids,
- 6 essential vitamins,
- 5 unsaturated fatty acids, including the essential fatty acids, linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid,
- 5 carotenoids, including beta-carotene and zeaxanthin, lutein, lycopene and cryptoxanthin, a xanthophyll, and
- numerous phenolic pigments (phenols) associated with antioxidant properties.
Its efficacy covers a wide range, and is often used to treat fever, diabetes, cough and phlegm. Drinking tea made from the wolfberries, helps in treatment of physical deficiency, fatigue, constipation, insomnia, low blood pressure, anemia, various eye disease, hair loss, stomatitis, skin care and other effects. However, the body warming effect of wolfberry is quite strong warm. Therefore individuals with hypertension, high blood pressure or those who have impatient temperament should consult with an Oriental health care professionals prior to using wolfberry on a regular basis.
To enjoy the health benefits of wolfberry, try adding about 20 dried wolfberries to a cup of boiling water. Let tea steep for 8 minutes. The wolfberry tea will have a mild sweet taste so there is no need to add honey or sweetener. If you feel adventurous, you can also add wolfberries to soups and stews!
Acupuncture has been shown to be an effective mode of treatment for back pain, headaches and more.
According to Acupuncture Today:
Acupuncture can play an important role in the reduction or elimination of back pain by reducing recovery time and preventing a chronic condition from developing.
Research has shown that acupuncture causes the body to produce natural steroids and promote the production of natural endorphins. Steroids decrease inflammation, while endorphins are produced by the body to kill pain. Both substances can play an integral part in the breaking up of the pain cycle.
By reducing acute back pain, acupuncture may also reduce the chances of chronic back pain from occurring. It can help avoid the need for costlier and more invasive surgical procedures. And if back pain can be significantly reduced with acupuncture, it also lowers the need for painkillers or other medications that can either cause unwanted side-effects or prolong a patient’s condition.