According to the British Acupuncture Council ‘around two thirds of adults will experience depression at some point in their lives severe enough to interfere with normal activities’. Depression is a very common mental health problem which affects people from all walks of life regardless of gender or age.
Acupuncture is believed to help depression by stimulating the nervous system which alters the brains’ mood chemistry, increasing the production of serotonin to promote a better mental and physical wellbeing. By stimulating certain acupuncture points studies have shown that it can affect areas of the brain which can reduce stress and pain and well as promoting relaxation by deactivating the ‘analytical’ part of the brain, responsible for anxiety.
The British Acupuncture Councils website shows supporting evidence for the benefits of acupuncture for individuals suffering from depression. According to a systematic reviews drawing on both Chinese and western data it was found that ‘acupuncture was similar in effectiveness to anti-depressant medication’. Acupuncture can also be combined safely with medication such as anti-depressants to help reduce the side effects and promote the beneficial effects.