These days’ people are very reluctant to be put on anti-depressant medication because of the negative side effects it can have. Because of this, GP’s are increasingly suggesting acupuncture treatments to patients as a promising alternative.
New studies are being carried out every month providing evidence which supports the use of traditional Chinese practices. These studies are regularly showing how acupuncture can be just as effective as antidepressants as well as help treat the side effects of the medication if it is being taken.
A lot of people are put off acupuncture based on the idea that large needles are going to be stuck into them but this isn’t the case. Acupuncturists use fine needles the width of a single hair to pin point specific pressure points in the body which correspond with different organs. New Western research has suggested that the needles help by activating natural painkiller responses located in the brain. Traditional theory on the other hand supports the idea that energy is blocked or imbalanced within the body. Therefore by stimulating these pressure points circulation is improved which in turn rebalances and unblocks energy within the body.
One of the more recently published studies found that by using electro acupuncture (which consists of a small electric current being transmitted through the needles) patients were able to experience the same effects and effectiveness as Prozac. Over a period of 6 weeks, individuals with depression were either given electro acupuncture five times a week or were given a standard dose of fluoxetine. The individuals were then assessed every two weeks with their levels of neuroprotective protein being monitored. After the six weeks both of the groups showed the same improvements in symptoms with both treatments restoring the levels of neuroprotective protein to its normal state. However, the acupuncture treatments were shown to work significantly faster than the medication by reducing symptoms drastically at two and four weeks into the test.