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Depression is prevalent in the US. In fact, depression medications are some of the most prescribed medications in the country.
Depression has risen 3x higher than it was before the beginning of COVID-19 precautionary measures. The rates of suicide among teens jumped by 25%. These rates will rise as we enter the winter months, where depression symptoms are more common.
Medications are the only options that western medicine has in the battle against depression. Medications only work 50% of the time, leaving half of those suffering with no relief. Acupuncture offers a non-medication option in the battle against depression.
What causes Depression?
Depression is described as the overwhelming sadness and loss of interest that affects your daily life. Although depression symptoms vary in severity, it is a sign of physical, cellular fatigue in the body.
Causes of depression can be
Acupuncture gives hope
Acupuncture is the insertion of tiny needles into strategic points on the body. Research shows that many of these points activate different neurological and hormonal responses in the body.
A 2013 study in the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that electroacupuncture, specifically, was just as effective as fluoxetine (the generic name for Prozac). In this study, the researcher assesses the production of a chemical called glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), a neuroprotective protein. Lower amounts, of which, are found in those with major depressive disorder. After 6 weeks both groups showed similar improvements in GDNF production, with the acupuncture group working faster, with more symptom improvement seen at the 2- and 4-week marks than the medication.
Another study done by Stanford University School of Medicine focused on depression among pregnant and postpartum women, where medications may not be a viable option due to safety. The researchers found that the group that received depression specific acupuncture treatments had a 50% greater reduction in depressive symptoms than the other treatment groups (non-depressive acupuncture and massage).
There is still much to learn about the biological effects of acupuncture in the treatment of depression, but this gives hope to those who do not wish to use medications or cannot use medications in treatment.
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