Shakespeare’s MacBeth has the famous three witches that cause much distress, worry and disaster for the main character. Likewise, our modern day lives inflict undo Stress, Anxiety and Depression (SAD) on our individual psyche, families, and coworkers.
What is a person to do?
There are many options to consider. Always consult with your primary care physician before incorporating any of these options. Here are a few: pharmaceuticals, herbal/vitamin supplementation, counseling, exercise, bio-feedback, prayer, meditation, massage, chiropractic, and acupuncture.
This post will focus on acupuncture and what current research shows in tackling SAD.
Stress comes with life. Technically speaking gravity causes a stress to our bodies. And no, acupuncture does not change this physical stress. All joking aside, stress is relative and a unique individual assessment. This study conducted at an urban college, emphasized “perception of stress.”
The conclusion was: “This study indicates that acupuncture may be successful in decreasing the perception of stress in students and staff at a large urban university, and this effect persists for at least 3 months after the completion of treatment.” (Reference: J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2017 Jun;10(3):165-170)
Acupuncture therapy can be focused on one area of the body where you are holding tension like your neck or shoulders. It can also provide overall stress reduction by improving functionality of your whole body systems.
In 2018, Diogo Amorim and his team reported in The Journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice: “Overall, there is good scientific evidence encouraging acupuncture therapy to treat anxiety disorders as it yields effective outcomes, with fewer side effects than conventional treatment. More research in this area is however needed.” (Reference: Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2018 May;31:31-37)
Consider acupuncture therapy especially if you are concerned about potential side effects that come with conventional use of pharmaceuticals to treat anxiety.
In 2015 and 2019, two similar studies analyzed the available research with positive results utilizing acupuncture for depression in conjunction with Western prescribed pharmaceuticals. The authors suggest “that acupuncture combined with antidepressant medication is effective, has an early onset of action, safe and well-tolerated over the first 6-week treatment period.
Moreover, this treatment combination appears to result in greater therapeutic efficacy than SSRI therapy alone.” (References: J Affect Disord. 2015 May 1;176:106-17 and Complement Ther Med. 2019 Aug;45:295-302)
Adding acupuncture therapy can be an essential tool to improve depression without additional medication side effects.
These SAD issues do not need to hijack your world and spiral out of control. The biggest take away from my brief review is get appropriate help early on. We have so many great options and resources — use them.