Acupuncturist Questions Depression

Can acupuncture help in relieving my mother's depression?

My mother is extremely depressed, and is afraid to take medication due to the possible side effects. Can acupuncture treat her depression?

31 Answers

Talk with the person who will be treating her.
Acupuncture is absolutely effective.
Acupuncture can help with mild to medium intensity of depression. If she is extremely depressed where she is not able to function and live a normal life, or if she is in risk of hurting herself or other people, then she may also need the support of a psychologist. Most depressed people can be helped with acupuncture and herbal medicine.
There must be a reason for a person to be depressed. Yes. acupuncture works on both the reason/cause and the symptom/depression.
A lot of research has found that acupuncture helps depression. Please check with a licensed acupuncturist near your area.
Your mother made a wise decision to avoid those anti-depressant medications as they can be very dangerous. I have treated many people for depression and acupuncture has helped them greatly.
Yes. Acupuncture can help in treating depression. You will need to find an experienced acupuncturist who can help your mother to find out the cause of her depression.

Dr. Hui (Grace) Gao LAc., TCMD
In Traditional East Asian Medicine, depression has many causes. We must first define which organ system is in disharmony, then using the therapies of acupuncture, dietary therapy and Qi Gong movements, depression can be treated effectively.
Yes acupuncture can help once we figure the cause with a proper evaluation. And there are no sid effects
Yes we help with a lot of emotional disorders. The key is to balance these emotions out with acupuncture and most likely herbal remedies. Be sure to bring the list of medications if any that she may currently be on.
Depression can be due to many factors, some constant reminders in one's life. Acupuncture can help the individual deal with the depression easier, but it may not get rid of it unless the individual can get away from the cause. I have had patients notice that the acupuncture will help them deal with their moods much easier, and that's definitely a first step.

Live happy,

Acupuncture definitely has been useful for helping sufferers of depression and when added to other methods of managing depression (such as medications) it's valuable; however, for severe depression I'd be reluctant to rely on it. I understand her concerns about side effects, but severe depression I do not feel it would be a cost-effect method of treatment ( a lot of sessions would be needed) and even then there are no guarantees. Depression can be situational, chemical, hormonal, etc. and I'd have no way to figure out which. For her safety and budget I am not sure this is the right fit. There are herbs and supplements that could help but in her case I think guidance from a mental health professional would be a good idea.
Yes, acupuncture can help treat your mother's depression. In fact, it can treat any mental emotional disorder identified or diagnosed by Chinese Medicine as a Shen disturbance. The Shen is defined as conscious awareness or mind. When it loses its natural qualities of health, we call that a Shen disturbance. Depression and anxiety represent two extremes of mental emotional expression, similar to yin and yang. As Chinese medicine operates upon specific principles to balance these pairs of opposites, it is capable of treating this kind of imbalance too. Many therapeutic points on the body are identified with the word Shen as part of its title, illustrating its importance in treating mental emotional problems. Depression is often also related to difficulty with the free flowing circulation of blood and qi throughout the body. Both acupuncture and herbs can assist with improving mood by also improving circulation, but without the negative side effects of SSRIs or other medications. Acupuncture effectively normalizes and modulates our lymbic and paralymbic neocortical network which is responsible for emotional expression in the human brain. There is a growing body of research that is demonstrating this fact and you can read more about that here:
Mild Depression can be treated with acupuncture and herbs.

Dr. Maryam Mansouri, Lac. OMD.
Yes, this is another condition that we help very well. Between acupuncture and herbs and maybe a slight variance in diet, she will see good results.
YES!! Please try it with her. I have seen great improvement with acupuncture and Chinese herbals. Some patients take both. Some stay away from herbs b/c of certain medications they are taking. For some patients, it can take a series of treatments. It's best to consult a licensed acupuncturist in person. If $$ is an issue, I'd also recommend looking for a local
acupuncture school.

Be well,

Alan Schroepfer, LAc
Yes, acupuncture is very successful in treating depression. However, she should not fear any medications. They can be extremely helpful and there is usually little risk. Acupuncture can also work with the medications and eventually help her to wean off of them if they prove necessary.
Acupuncture is very effective for depression and anxiety, which are often associated together. Depression is most effectively treated with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicines together. A full consult with an acupuncturist is definitely in order for patients suffering from depression, especially patients who suffer from side effects from Western medication.
I see a lot of patients with depression in my practice. Acupuncture can definitely help your mom live more fully.
Acupuncture treats psychological disorders and it can help your mother to feel better overtime with her depression. Finding the right therapist might be the most challenging in this situation as it is important to work with someone that can resonate with your mother. Compared to medications, Acupuncture doesn't have any side effects so it is extremely safe if it is performed by professionally trained medical provider.

Alexandre Hillairet, DAOM.
A 2013 article published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showed that electroacupuncture was just as effective as Fluoxetine (generic Prozac) in reducing symptoms of depression. So, it is certainly worth giving it a try. Be aware that more than one treatment is necessary to see results. Because you classify your mother's depression as extreme, even though she is afraid of medications, please be sure she is also working with her doctor.

Usually, acupuncture treatment helps depression. Some severe depression may need longer care. Knowing your mother's health condition will help to say if acupuncture can help her or not.

Thank you,

Acupuncture can definitely mitigate the effects of depression especially if it is due to deficiencies that occur as we get older.

Acupuncture along with HERBAL medicine should be helpful on the condition that your mother does not take any other meds that might interfere.
Yes, acupuncture can definitely help with depression. Make sure she sees a board certified, state licensed acupuncturist.
Oh, absolutely. Strangely enough, depression is one of my favorite things to treat because acupuncture works so darned well for it. Though everyone is different and has different causes of depression, she will likely start feeling results very quickly, and over time the improvements will last longer and longer til she only needs tune ups.

So yes, don't walk, run to an acupuncturist who has treated depression, and start getting your mom some relief!
I do recommend acupuncture treatments for her. Also, I would recommend physical activities. Half an hour per day walking or any light exercise helps with depression. Yoga and meditation are also great for feeling better.

Acupuncture can help with emotional issues for sure, but your mother would need to see one regularly and should be open to other modalities that can assist. If you see a "Worsley trained" 5-Element practitioner they are very well versed in working with emotional issues but most well trained Licensed Acupuncturists should be able to help.

If your mother's condition gets extreme, I would advise she try medications to keep her balanced while getting other treatments as well.
Yes, depression and anxiety are closely related to each other. In a comprehensive literature review appearing in a recent edition of CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics, it was proved that acupuncture is comparable to cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which psychologists commonly use to treat anxiety (Errington-Evans, 2011). Another study published in the Journal of Endocrinology in March, 2013 discovered stress hormones were lower in rats after receiving electric acupuncture (Eshkevari, Permaul, and Mulroney, 2013).

Dr. Dong