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Do you suffer from any of the following?

  • Have you had headaches in the last 30 days?
  • Do you have periods during the day when you lack the energy that you would like to have or do you frequently feel fatigued?
  • Are you often tired in the afternoon?
  • Do you suffer from neck, shoulder, or lower back tightness and tension?
  • Do you have trouble getting to sleep, fail to sleep the whole night through, or wake up early and feeling exhausted?
  • Do you experience symptoms of irritability or mood swing beyond your control on a regular or periodic basis throughout the month?
  • Do you experience digestive trouble – bloating after eating, indigestion, and constipation?
  • Do you get allergies or do your sinuses bother you?
  • Most headaches and neck pain are stress related – stress irritates the nervous system which results in a build up of tension in the muscles of the neck and back. Fatigue can often come from nervous exhaustion due to lack of exercise, poor nutrition, emotional stress and over work. When stress and tension build up in the muscles this often affects the quality of sleep. Lack of sleep or restless sleep denies the body the full recuperating power of sleep and often leads to moodiness and irritability during the day.

Many of these problems can also be related to depression. Research suggests that 1 in four people will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year. Anxiety often occurs with depression. Anxiety is defined as a persisting state of fear that may or may not be associated with a specific object or situation, often accompanied by physiological changes such as a fast heart beat and rapid breathing. Acupuncture has long been used in the treatment of psychiatric disorders in China. Documentation goes back 2,000 years to the “Yellow Emperor’s Classic”… Depression itself is on of the ten most frequent indications for the use of complementary or alternative medicine.

The results of a research study, conducted at the University of Arizona and sponsored by the National Institutes of Health Office of Alternative Medicine, focused on the use of acupuncture for the treatment of women with depression. The Arizona research team managed to study the treatment of major depression using traditional, individually tailored acupuncture treatment, with the structure of a double-blind, randomized controlled trial. The group was divided into three groups the first group received acupuncture at points specifically used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for depression.

The second group received acupuncture for conditions other than depression – for example back pain. The third group was put on a wait list. Four acupuncturists blind to the conditions that they were supposed to be treating administered the treatment.

After eight weeks the three groups were rated on a depression scale those being treated specifically for depression had improved by 11.7 points on the scale, the second group by 2.9 points and the non
treatment control group by 6.1 points on a depression rating scale. After the eight weeks of the trial was completed the two control groups were given  specific acupuncture treatment for depression for the next
eight weeks. During this time period  groups two and three proceeded to improve at a similar rate to the original acupuncture specific group, with the result that, at the end of the study, 64% of the women were judged to be in full remission from their symptoms. .

Another German trial used a randomized double blind design. – 43 patients with minor depression and 13 with generalized anxiety disorders were divided into two groups one receiving acupuncture specific for depression the second group acupuncture at random points after 10 treatments a significant improvement was experienced by those receiving true acupuncture with a remarkable reduction in anxiety
symptoms.

In the past few years, studies in China and Europe have shown thatacupuncture treatments using body points and ear points can significantly reduce symptoms in patients suffering from minor depression, anxiety or general anxiety disorders. Two researchers at the Yale University School of Medicine assembled a group of 55 volunteers for a double blind randomized controlled trial to ascertain whether ear acupuncture could decrease acute anxiety. The results of the study showed that subjects who received acupuncture at a particular point in the ear did experience a profound change in their behavioral anxiety levels. The subjects consisted of staff members of a hospital operating room – an occupation that, by nature, can generate a considerable amount of stress. Anxiety levels were measured at various intervals using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory Scale, which measures feelings of apprehension, tension and worry. Patients who received acupuncture at a particular “relaxation point” in the ear reported being significantly less anxious than those in other groups. The researchers noted that previous studies suggest that acupuncture might affect the release of certain neurotransmitters such as serotonin, a chemical that may help determine a person’s emotional state. The researchers concluded that acupuncture may be an effective treatment for individuals experiencing intense levels of daily stress and anxiety…

In a large-scale study by Harvard Medical School published in the New England Journal of Medicine, depression was among the most frequently-reported conditions, and one of the top five conditions for which people were more likely to seek alternative treatments, with or without established treatments, over established treatments alone. Acupuncture was one of the alternative treatments listed in the study.

From the perspective of a Chinese medical examiner, each person has a different configuration of symptoms and that means a different pattern of disharmony which implies a different treatment approach. According to Chinese medicine, acupuncture achieves its effects by altering the flow of energy along various energetic meridians. TCM
diagnosis involves finding the energetic imbalances in the system which can lead to the symptoms associated with stress, anxiety and depression and using acupuncture a specific points on the body along the meridians to balance the qi .