Mental Health and Acupuncture:

the evidence for effectiveness

We can all experience feelings of sadness, loneliness, or depression during some point in our lives, but it’s when these feelings become overpowering, cause physical symptoms or last for long periods of time that they can negatively affect your health and stop you from living a normal, quality of life.  With almost half of the Australian population, (45%) aged between 16-84 experiencing a mental disorder at some point, it is important for us to be able to recognise when something is not quite right and to seek medical treatment or advice. 

 

If you find yourself experiencing symptoms of:

  • Fatigue, restlessness or insomnia

  • Social exclusion or loss of interest in enjoyable activities

  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness, persistent sadness or emptiness

  • Trouble concentrating, remembering details or making decisions

  • Aches, pains, headaches or un-explainable cramps

  • Overeating or appetite loss

  • Digestive problems that don’t go away even with treatment

  • Irritability or dangerously;

  • Suicidal thoughts

 

You may benefit from seeking medical help and beginning a journey to bring back your normal self. There are many treatment options for mental illnesses, one of which can include the assistance of acupuncture therapy.  Although there is still a growing need for quality research on the benefits of acupuncture, there is supporting evidence to indicate that acupuncture could be a beneficial therapy for some mental health concerns, such as the below studies. 

When women are transitioning through menopause, it can cause experiences of abnormal periods, fluctuations in hormone levels, insomnia, hot flashes and depression.  A study evaluating the effectiveness and safety of traditional Chinese herbal medicine (TCHM) in treatment of perimenopausal depression in Chinese women, determined that although traditional Chinese herbal medicine alone had no significant benefit, however, when it was combined with Western Medicine, a significant benefit was found.  Therefore, if you find that you are experiencing perimenopausal depression and the medicine alone is not quiet working, considering acupuncture as an additional treatment option may be beneficial in your case. Link to study: http://www.wjtcm.net/article.asp?issn=2311-8571;year=2017;volume=3;issue=3;spage=51;epage=57;aulast=Zhang;type=0

 

A study evaluating the effectiveness of acupuncture as an alternative therapy in treating depression-related insomnia, found that acupuncture made significant improvements in treating depression-related insomnia, compared with Western Medicine.  It also determined that acupuncture, combined with Western Medicine had a better effect on improving sleep quality and had more effect on improving depression-related insomnia than Western Medicine alone.  In summary, this review indicates that acupuncture could be an alternative therapy to medication for treating depression-related insomnia.  Link to study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28286776

This study evaluated the scientific evidence that is available on the effects of acupuncture for treating anxiety and the quality of the evidence. It determined that whilst there is a need for improving the research in this field, it concluded that acupuncture seems to be a promising treatment for anxiety. Link to study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27355312

 

If you have any mental health concerns and/or are considering adding acupuncture therapy to your treatment plan, call us on 5539 5998 to talk to our friendly receptionist or acupuncturist today.

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