About two thirds of adults will at some time experience depression severe enough to interfere with their normal activities.
Depression causes symptoms such as low mood, loss of interest in enjoyable activities, anxiety, irritability low self-esteem, disturbed sleep or appetite, weight change, tiredness, lack of motivation, concentration or libido, physical pain, and suicidal thoughts. Depression is likely to result from a combination of genetic, biochemical, environmental, and psychological factors.
Acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body’s homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional wellbeing.
Studies indicate that acupuncture can have a specific positive effect on depression by altering the brain’s mood chemistry, increasing production of serotonin and endorphins. Acupuncture may also benefit depression by acting through other neurochemical pathways, including those involving dopamine, noradrenaline, cortisol, and neuropeptide Y.
Stimulation of certain acupuncture points has been shown to affect areas of the brain that are known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the ‘analytical’ brain which is responsible for anxiety and worry.