Acupuncture For Anxiety And Depression

How do Acupuncture for Depression & Anxiety treatments work?

Acupuncture stimulates the natural production of ‘feel-good’ substances in the body, which act like ‘antidepressants & pain killers’, and help to reduce chemical imbalance in the brain and the system. 

Acupuncture may be an effective way to improve depression and reduce the side effects of medication and improve metabolism (weight loss).  (Please consult your medical Dr. regarding medications.  Results vary).

Acupuncture Anxiety & Depression Treatment

According to Acupuncture Medicine, anxiety and depression in men and women is the result of “complex interactions between diverse factors. Causes of depression and anxiety are typically chemical and environmental. Deficiency are all part of the constellation of findings associated with depression, and all affect the Mind. Chinese Medicine treatment of depression relies upon the diagnosis of each individual patient and on formulating use of a distinct group of acupuncture points unique to each individual. Along with a strategy that may also include other recommendations, including, but not limited to, exercise, herbal therapy and lifestyle modifications. These varied diagnoses and ever-changing constellations of acupuncture points make the need for individualized acupuncture treatment plans vital.

Anxiety Physical Signs

Physical symptoms of anxiety

The physical symptoms of anxiety refer to how we experience anxiety in our bodies. Examples include:

  • A feeling of restlessness, feeling “keyed up,” or “on-edge;”
  • Shortness of breath, or a feeling of choking;
  • Sweaty palms;
  • A racing heart;
  • Chest pain or discomfort;
  • Muscle tension, trembling, feeling shaky;
  • Nausea and/or diarrhea;
  • “Butterflies” in the stomach;
  • Dizziness, or feeling faint;
  • Hot flashes;
  • Chills;
  • Numbness, or tingling sensations;
  • An exaggerated startle response; and,
  • Sleep disturbance and fatigue.

Anxiety Behavioral Signs

Behavioral symptoms of anxiety

The behavioral symptoms of anxiety refer to what people do (or don’t do) when they are anxious. Behavioral responses reflect attempts to cope with the unpleasant aspects of anxiety.

Typical behavioral responses to anxiety may include:

  • Avoidance behaviors such as avoiding anxiety-producing situations (e.g., avoiding social situations) or places (e.g., using the stairs instead of an elevator).
  • Escaping from an anxiety-producing situation (like a crowded lecture hall).
  • Engaging in unhealthy, risky, or self-destructive behaviors to cope with the anxiety.
  • Feeling compelled to limit the amount and scope of one’s daily activities to reduce the overall level of anxiety (e.g., remaining in the safety of one’s home).
  • Becoming overly attached to a safety object or person (e.g., refusing to go out, away from home, to school, or to work in order to avoid separation).

Types of Depression

  • Major Depression.
  • Situational Depression
  • Psychotic Depression.
  • Bipolar Disorder.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • Peripartum (Postpartum) Depression.
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder.

Depression & Anxiety Causes and Risks

There are numerous factors that can trigger the onset of depression, including bereavement, illness (such as cancer or chronic pain), social isolation or loneliness, and stressful life events (such as divorce or money problems).

But scientists don’t know exactly why some people develop depression and others avoid it. Several factors most likely contribute to the development of depression, including:

Genetics (mood disorders and suicide run in families)
Trauma or abuse at an early age, which can cause long-term changes in how the brain deals with fear and stress
Brain structure and chemistry
Hormonal changes, such as from pregnancy or thyroid problems

Women are 70 percent more likely to experience depression than men, and non-Hispanic blacks are 40 percent less likely to experience it than non-Hispanic whites, according to the NIH.

In addition, people ages 18 to 25 are 60 percent more likely to experience depression than people ages 50 and above.

Depression Signs & Symptoms

Signs of Depression in Adults

Depression doesn’t affect all people in exactly the same way, but the illness is associated with a number of possible symptoms, which include:

Persistent feelings of sadness or emptiness
Frequently feeling irritated, anxious, frustrated, or angry
Feeling hopeless, worthless, helpless, or guilty
Fatigue and decreased energy
Changes in appetite and eating habits
Inability to concentrate, remember details, or make decisions
Sleep disturbances, such as sleeping more than usual or insomnia
Loss of interest in activities or hobbies that were once enjoyable
Unexplained body aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems
Thoughts of death and suicide
Slowed thinking, speaking, or movement
Reckless behavior

Depression in Men

Although men and women can experience the same symptoms of depression, there are important differences in how often they report specific symptoms, according to a 2013 report in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

Men with depression are more likely than women to report the following signs of depression:

Risk-taking behavior, 
and more.

Depression in Women

Women are 70 percent more likely than men to experience depression, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Other sources, including the 2013 JAMA Psychiatry report, state that women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression.

Women with depression are more likely to report the following symptoms:

Sleep problems
Loss of interest

Teen Depression

Teenagers experience the same symptoms of depression as adults, but these changes in mood and behavior are sometimes mistaken as a normal part of puberty or adolescence.

Other signs of depression in teenagers can include:

Obsession with death, such as poems and drawings that refer to death
Criminal behavior, such as shoplifting
Withdrawal from family and friends
Sudden sensitivity to criticism
Drop in grades or school attendance
Risky behavior, such as unsafe sex and reckless driving
Irrational or bizarre behavior
Sudden, dramatic changes in personality or appearance
Giving away belongings

Complications of Depression

Experiencing and surviving an episode of major depression puts you at risk for more episodes in the future.

Half of people who recover from their first episode of depression will eventually have one or more additional episodes later in their life.

Additionally, 80 percent of people who have experienced two episodes will go on to have additional episodes, according to a 2007 report in Clinical Psychology Review.

Up to two-thirds of all suicides are associated with clinical depression, according to the health information resource A.D.A.M.

Depression can negatively affect your personal relationships and work life.

It may also raise your risk of developing heart disease or obesity, having a heart attack, or experiencing a sharp decline in mental function in old age.

Depression Tests and Diagnosis

There are a number of online tools and self-tests to determine whether you may be depressed and need to seek help, but only your doctor can diagnose clinical depression.

Before diagnosing major depression — the most common type of depression — your doctor will conduct exams and tests to rule out other problems that could be causing your symptoms, such as thyroid issues, brain tumors, sleep apnea, or vitamin deficiencies.

These efforts may include a physical examination and blood tests, as well as a discussion about your medications, some of which may cause depressive symptoms.

Your doctor will also ask in-depth questions about your mood and feelings, and may ask you to fill out a questionnaire.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, you must meet specific criteria to be clinically diagnosed with major depression.

Five of the Following Symptoms Means Depression

Feeling sad or having a depressed mood for most of the day
Loss of interest or pleasure in once-enjoyable activities
Unexplained weight loss or gain
Insomnia or sleeping too much
Fatigue or loss of energy
Restlessness or slowed movements, speech, and thoughts
Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions
Thoughts of death or suicide

Other forms of depression have other specific diagnostic criteria.

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