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Acupuncture for Depression: What You Need To Know

Acupuncture for Depression: What You Need To Know

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An alternative treatment for depression that dates back thousands of years involves inserting needles into pressure spots on the body called acupuncture. There is some scientific proof that acupuncture relieves some anxiety symptoms. Keep reading to learn more about this treatment method.

Difference Between Anxiety and Depression – Acupuncture for Depression

Anxiety and depression difference: The fact that one term denotes a single sickness while the other denotes a collection of ailments is a significant distinction between anxiety and depression.

In reality, depression is one illness. There are numerous distinct symptoms (see below). And different people may experience it very differently. However, the term “depression” only refers to one illness.

The word “anxiety” can indicate a number of different things. We all experience anxiety occasionally, and the word “anxiety” can be used to describe that feeling simply. However, when we use the word anxiety in a medical context, it actually refers to anxiety disorder.

Some less frequent conditions are included under anxiety. These include panic disorders and phobias. However, generalized anxiety disorder is the most prevalent (GAD). In the US, a generalized anxiety disorder may affect four to five out of every 100 persons. In this post, we’ll concentrate on generalized anxiety.

What is Anxiety Disorder?

According to The National Institute on Mental Health, periodic anxiety is a standard component of life. When faced with a challenge at work, before a test, or before making a crucial decision, you could experience anxiety. However, anxiety disorders involve more than just passing apprehension or terror.

Anxiety and depression difference: It’s critical to get anxiety treatment as soon as possible since, for someone with an anxiety condition, the anxiety does not go away and can worsen over time. The symptoms might affect daily tasks like work performance, academic progress, and interpersonal connections. Generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and various phobia-related disorders are only a few of the several types of anxiety disorders.

Anxiety and depression difference: People with a generalized Anxiety disorder (GAD) display excessive Anxiety or worry, most days for at least 6 months, about many things such as personal health, work, social interactions, and everyday routine life circumstances. Fear and Anxiety can cause significant problems in areas of their life, such as social interactions, school, and work. 

What is Depression?

Depression (also known as Major Depressive Illness or Clinical Depression) is a common but significant mood disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. It produces severe symptoms that interfere with your ability to function on a daily basis, including sleeping, eating, and working. The signs of depression must last for at least two weeks before a diagnosis may be made.

Depression treatment is required when depressive symptoms are chronic and do not go away since some types of depression are slightly different or may arise in unusual situations.

Types of Depression

  • Persistent depressive disorder (also called dysthymia): is a depressed mood that lasts for at least two years. A person diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder may have episodes of major Depression along with periods of less severe symptoms, but symptoms must last for two years to be considered a persistent depressive disorder.
  • Psychotic Depression: occurs when a person has severe depression plus some form of psychosis, such as having disturbing false fixed beliefs (delusions) or hearing or seeing upsetting things that others cannot hear or see (hallucinations). The psychotic symptoms typically have a depressive “theme,” such as delusions of guilt, poverty, or illness.
  • Bipolar disorder: is different from Depression, but it is included in this list because someone with bipolar disorder experiences episodes of extremely low moods that meet the criteria for major Depression (called “Bipolar Depression”). But a person with bipolar disorder also experiences extreme high – euphoric or irritable – moods called “mania” or a less severe form called “hypomania.”
  • Postpartum Depression: is much more serious than the “baby blues” (relatively mild depressive and anxiety symptoms that typically clear within two weeks after delivery) that many women experience after giving birth. Women with postpartum Depression experience full-blown major Depression during pregnancy or after delivery (postpartum depression). The feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that accompany postpartum depression may make it difficult for these new mothers to complete daily care activities for themselves and/or their babies.
  • Seasonal affective disorder: is characterized by the onset of Depression during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight. This Depression generally lifts during spring and summer. Winter Depression, typically accompanied by social withdrawal, increased sleep, and weight gain, predictably returns every year in seasonal affective disorder.
  • SAD Seasonal Depression (Depressed SAD): A form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is triggered by the changing of the seasons; it starts and ends about at the same periods each year. If you have SAD like the majority of people do, your symptoms begin in the fall and last through the winter, draining your energy and making you cranky. Typically, these symptoms go away in the spring and summer. SAD less frequently results in depression in the spring or early summer and clears up in the fall or winter. SAD treatment options include medications, psychotherapy, and light therapy (phototherapy).

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Depression Fact Sheet

Depression Overview

Depression is a group of illnesses like depression or bipolar disorder that are connected to mood elevation or depression


Types of Depression

Clinical Depression: A mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life.

Persistent depressive disorder: A mild but long-term form of depression.

Bipolar disorder: A disorder associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs.

Bipolar II disorder:  A type of bipolar disorder characterized by depressive and hypomanic episodes.

Postpartum depression: Depression that occurs after childbirth.

Depression Treatments

  • Support group: A place where those pursuing the same disease or objective, such as weight loss or depression, can receive counseling and exchange experiences.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: A conversation treatment that aimed to change the negative attitudes, actions, and feelings connected to psychiatric discomfort.
  • Counseling psychology: A subfield of psychology that handles issues with the self that are connected to work, school, family, and social life.
  • Anger management: To reduce destructive emotional outbursts, practice mindfulness, coping skills, and trigger avoidance.
  • Psychoeducation: Mental health education that also helps individuals feel supported, validated, and empowered
  • Family therapy: psychological counseling that improves family communication and conflict resolution.

Depression & Anxiety Statistics

It’s critical to understand the distinction between anxiety and depression. Anxiety, in its most basic form, is an excessive feeling of worry, whereas depression, in its most basic form, is an excessive feeling of worthlessness and hopelessness. It is conceivable for someone to experience depression and anxiety simultaneously.


6.8 million

GAD affects 6.8 million adults or 3.1% of the U.S. population, yet only 43.2% are receiving treatment.

Source: National Institute on Mental Health

19 million

19 million adults experience specific phobias, making it the most common anxiety disorder in America.  

Source: ADAA2020

17.3 million

Major depressive disorder affects approximately 17.3 million American adults or about 7.1% of the U.S. population aged 18 and older.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health


Generalized anxiety disorder and depression can both have emotional and physical symptoms.
Generalized anxiety disorder and depression can both have emotional and physical symptoms.

Acupuncture For Anxiety And Depression

Depression and anxiety are considered warning signs in Eastern philosophy because they are signs that something more serious is going on inside the body. Traditional Chinese medicine refers to this source of life energy as “qi,” and when it is out of balance, it causes sickness, which can show up as depression and anxiety.

Although acupuncture is not a panacea, it can help with the symptoms of depression and anxiety when used as a part of an integrative strategy to make the entire body healthy.

A licensed practitioner places thin, thread-like needles into particular bodily nerve sites during acupuncture for anxiety and depression.

Each needle pokes and activates a sensory nerve, causing it to become active and begin communicating with the brain. Endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, are then released by the brain, causing the immune system to react and promoting healing throughout the body.

Acupuncture treatments typically last about 30 minutes. The needles will then be positioned all over the body, and the practitioner will either manually move them or stimulate them with electrical currents to encourage the body’s neurochemical activity.

When working with our team, one of our qualified practitioners will work with you to assist reduce your symptoms because they are familiar with acupressure sites for anxiety and depression.

Acupuncture For Depression: Acupuncture Depression

Acupuncture And Depression: Can Acupuncture Help With Depression?

A type of Traditional Chinese Medicine is acupuncture (TCM). Practitioners have been stimulating specific locations with needles for over 2,500 years to cure a range of ailments. The age-old practice is now increasingly frequently used as a pain relief method. Under this heading, osteoarthritis and menstruation cramps are both acceptable diagnoses.

Acupuncture has become a mainstay in supplementary medicine as it has merged with Western medicine. Additionally, studies have started to investigate into the advantages it can have for illnesses including sadness and anxiety. The advantages of acupuncture have only seldom been the subject of thorough or credible studies. Numerous research has produced ambiguous and frequently conflicting conclusions.

However, a number of sizable studies have indicated encouraging outcomes for acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture may offer some help for a number of conditions, despite the fact that the body of studies is scant. According to TCM, your body’s “qi” is the movement of energy. Qi circulates through the body via meridians, which are energy pathways.

It is said that sickness may arise if your energy becomes obstructed or stopped. This could manifest as mental symptoms like stress and anxiety or physical signs like a sore back. Acupuncture is thought to balance your organs, mind, and body by assisting in clearing blockages and restoring energy flow.

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Acupuncture Points For Depression (Depression Acupuncture Point)

You may be wondering where acupuncture needles go, here are the acupuncture points for anxiety and depression:

Depression Acupuncture: Point 1, Shen men or Heart 7

This spot is situated where your pinky finger is on the inside of your wrist, in the crease. This advice is excellent if anxiety prevents you from falling asleep or if you wake up in the middle of the night feeling anxious. This spot can be massaged to reduce heart rate and anxiety.

Can Acupuncture Help Depression? Point 2, The third eye or Yintang

This spot is situated between the eyebrows and is well-known to yogis. Another helpful idea for insomnia is this. It is directly above the pineal gland, which aids in controlling melatonin. In addition to helping with insomnia, this point is renowned for easing restlessness and promoting general emotional well-being.

Can Acupuncture Help With Anxiety And Depression? Point 3, Pericardium six

This location is also on the inside of the forearm, near the center of the forearm, about two inches below the wrist crease. Although it is frequently used for nausea, it is also an excellent spot to open the chest and the heart, reversing the energy of contraction associated with anxiety.

Acupuncture For Depression And Anxiety Near Me: Point 4, Chest center or Conception vessel 17

Between the nipples, in the middle of the chest, is where this spot is situated. Many people’s experiences of anxiety include chest tightness or shortness of breath. This spot expands and soothes the chest while also calming the diaphragm.

Does Acupuncture Help With Depression? Point 5, Hundred meetings or Governing vessel 20

Use both hands to draw a line from the middle of the top of your head to the top of your ears in order to locate this spot. With rushing thoughts and existential distress, consider this point. This is a fantastic place to let go of worry if you clench your jaw when you feel anxious. This location can also increase yang energy, which alleviates grief and depression.

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Acupuncture For Depression And Anxiety? Are There Any Risks?

Does acupuncture help depression? Acupuncture has some potential risks and side effects, but it won’t make your anxiety worse. By making sure you see an authorized acupuncturist, you can prevent the majority of complications. State-by-state licensing standards in the US vary, but the majority call for passing an exam administered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

Soreness after a session is the main adverse impact that acupuncture patients report. Even while it sometimes leaves some bruising, this normally goes away in a few hours. During a session, some people experience sharp pains.

An alternative treatment for depression that dates back thousands of years involves inserting needles into pressure spots on the body called acupuncture. There is some scientific proof that acupuncture relieves some anxiety symptoms. Keep reading to learn more about this treatment method.
Acupuncture has some potential risks and side effects, but it won’t make your depression worse.

Acupuncturists with a license must use sterile, single-use needles. If your doctor doesn’t use adequately sterilized needles, you can get an infection. According to the Mayo Clinic, these side effects are quite rare if you go to a skilled, licensed acupuncturist.

Some medical disorders should prevent people from receiving acupuncture. Acupuncture should be avoided if you:

  • Have a pacemaker
  • Have a bleeding condition, such as hemophilia

It’s also important to keep up with any ongoing anxiety treatment, including prescribed medications while getting acupuncture. You shouldn’t stop any medications without first discussing them with your doctor.

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