Stress, Anxiety and Depression
Stress is a leading cause of health problems and the mental strain and anxiety of a modern life style often leads to anxiety, depression, fatigue, physical tension, insomnia, weight gain, digestive disorders, fertility issues and a range of other problems.
A situation or thought that is perceived as stressful will produce hormones and neurotransmitters in our bodies designed to encourage us to respond by engaging in a conflict or fleeing. This is referred to as the 'fight or flight' response.
The 'fight or flight' response is necessary for motivating us to take action and avoid danger when needed. However, it is meant to be a short term reaction to an acute situation. Unless we take action through regular exercise, meditation, or other stress management techniques, we don't give our bodies the opportunity to recover from stress.
With continued or repeated stress without adequate time and resources for our bodies to recover, the 'fight or flight' response can become chronic, leading to symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Acupuncture for Stress, Anxiety and Depression
Most people who get regular acupuncture treatment will tell you that they feel relaxed and peaceful during and after treatment and they feel more able to deal with the stresses and challenges of life with greater ease.
Studies have shown that acupuncture can have a specific positive effect on depression by altering the brain's mood chemistry, increasing the production of serotonin and endorphins. Acupuncture can be safely combined with conventional medical treatments such as anti-depressents, helping to reduce their side effects and enhance their beneficial effects.
In my practice, I regularly see patients who suffer from the effects of chronic stress, depression and anxiety achieve significant relief with acupuncture. This may be coupled with recommended life style changes where needed and viable, as well as working along side ongoing therapy and/or medication.
What to Expect
For most patients who choose acupuncture treatment alone or in conjunction with conventional medicine, an initial series of 6 - 10 weekly acupuncture treatments is recommended. After that time, treatments may be spaced out to once every 2 weeks. Over time, as patients feel better and better, the time between visits becomes longer until eventually patients only come for 'top up' treatments every 3 months to help maintain balance, or as needed when acutely stressful situations arise.