For approximately 3,000 years, traditional Chinese medical practitioners have used acupuncture to treat various medical conditions, such as headaches and neck pain. Acupuncture has continued to gain popularity in the United States in recent decades, where practitioners administer more than ten million acupuncture treatments yearly.
People also turn to acupuncture to treat their mental health conditions, such as depression. Acupuncture procedures can reduce depression severity and migraines. It may also be an effective alternative treatment if regular medications don't work.
This article will define acupuncture, how it can treat your mental health condition, its side effects, and what to look for in an acupuncture practitioner.
In acupuncture, a practitioner inserts thin human hair-width steel needles into specific parts of your body. The needles' positions depend on the health issue they need to treat.
Traditional Chinese medical practitioners believe that the body has an energy flow (qi) that regulates your health. A disrupted flow can make you sick. They postulate that the body has over 2,000 acupuncture points, and applying needles to specific pressure points, or meridians, can rebalance your energy flow and improve your health.
This procedure can cure health issues such as arthritis, menstrual cramps, chronic and acute pain, headaches, sports injuries, and allergies.
Depression and Acupuncture
Depression is a common mental health condition that constantly causes a person to feel sad and lose interest or pleasure. Symptoms such as irregular sleep patterns, fatigue, suicidal thoughts, changing eating habits, increased irritability, trouble concentrating, and feeling guilty or worthless are signs someone needs help.
While medication and talk therapy may help treat depression, around 19% to 34% of people don't see improvements with medication or treatment. Many of them will also rebound again, even with therapy. Thus, some people are now trying acupuncture as an alternative treatment.
It's tricky to measure the accuracy of acupuncture treatment benefits since there are few studies about acupuncture for depression. At the same time, it's also challenging to create control conditions.
Despite the limitations, some studies support its effectiveness in treating depression and related symptoms.
Some people with depression can have migraines. Researchers found that those who experience severe headaches are more likely to have depression. Some studies found that people who received acupuncture treatments had fewer migraines.
Reduce Depression Severity
An eight-week study of 151 men and women showed that acupuncture treatment significantly improved their depressive symptoms.
Reduce Depressive Symptoms In Pregnancy
Several pregnant women may have depression that can harm them and their children. They may also worry about taking antidepressants and can seek alternative treatments instead.
A study found that pregnant women taking depression-targeted acupuncture for eight weeks had a significant reduction in depressive symptoms than those who received other treatments.
Side Effects of Acupuncture Treatments
Bruising, minor bleeding, or soreness are common acupuncture side effects, while dizziness, local internal bleeding, nerve damage, and increased pain are rarer side effects.
Pregnancy or a compromised immune system can put you at higher risk for complications. You also might want to avoid electroacupuncture if you have a device in your body, as it can interfere with your device.
Consult with your doctor before trying out alternative treatments.
What Makes an Excellent Practitioner?
While acupuncture risks are low, a certified practitioner knows the correct techniques and reduces injury risks. They must also use new sterile needles at their appointment and sterilize all pressure points before beginning.
Most acupuncturists use disposable, sterile, stainless steel, and single-use needles to reduce the risk of infection.
You can ask your doctor for recommendations when looking for an acupuncturist.
Pointing You Toward Good Health
Acupuncture can help cure headaches. At the same time, people turn to acupuncture to treat their mental condition if medications and therapy don't work. While the risks are low, finding a reliable practitioner is best to avoid injury risks. You must also take precautions if you're pregnant or have a compromised immune system.
Redmint can help improve your mental health through acupuncture treatments in San Francisco. Book now and enjoy a healthier you.