Acupuncture for Anxiety and Depression

Two studies caught our eye this week – the first, published in the American Journal of Public Health, showed that the use of prescription painkillers (think oxycodone) in the United States has increased 415% in women and 265% in men. The second was a large study that found acupuncture treatment was more effective than standard care (medication alone) and standard care + counseling for the treatment of depression where pain was present. With levels of depression rising - one American in ten taking an anti-depressant, when you look at women between the ages of 40 and 50 the rates is one in four – we may be heading into an epidemic of drug use if we do not explore alternative approaches.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a mind/body medicine system that views conditions of the mind and emotions no differently than conditions like pain or headache. In all cases, TCM seeks to address the root cause of the condition a person is experiencing. The core TCM techniques – acupuncture, Chinese herbs and lifestyle recommendations – have been shown to be effective in alleviating depression, reducing anxiety and even improving cognitive function. Holistic therapy for anxiety and depression can be used in conjunction with anti-depressant and other medications. Acupuncture treatment does not need to replace your current treatment. What acupuncture can do is help your body learn to relax when you cannot make it relax, improve your ability to get a good night of rest and bring you back to a state of wholeness. Furthermore, MRI studies have shown that acupuncture treatment directly stimulates parts of the brain engaged in promoting wellbeing and sense of self. It has also been shown to generate new neurons in the adult brain, improve recovery following brain injury and stroke and even help with autism and Alzheimer's Disease.

If you or someone you love is struggling with depression, acupuncture with a skilled professional can help with the root causes of this condition. For more information about services available for depression and anxiety at Pulling Down the Moon please contact us at

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