Depression affects two thirds of us at some point in life

Symptoms may include low mood, loss of motivation, anxiety, low self-esteem, sleep problems, appetite or weight changes, tiredness, loss of libido, physical pain or suicidal thoughts. Depression is believed to be due to a combination of genetic, environmental, physiological and psychological factors. Sometimes depression can be triggered by a combination of events. For example bereavement following close after a period of illness.

Depression is more common in women than men and may be associated with hormonal changes due to periods, the menopause, pregnancy or after childbirth.

Conventional treatment may involve medication, psychotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy. Talking therapies can be really helpful and you may find it beneficial to join a self-help group. Exercise is recommended.

Acupuncture for Depression

Acupuncture may help depression by:

  • Altering the brain’s mood chemistry, increasing production of serotonin
  • Producing other neurochemical messenger molecules which promote physical and emotional wellbeing
  • Affecting parts of the brain responsible for anxiety and worry
  • Reducing pain associated with other conditions which may contribute to depression

Acupuncture can be safely used alongside medicines such as anti-depressants, helping to reduce their side effects and enhancing their beneficial effects.

Treating Depression
“In the UK we have a tendency to hide our emotions or to reproach ourselves for feeling emotional. It is normal to experience and show emotions. We are emotional beings. It is appropriate to feel angry when cheated or to feel sadness and grief when we lose a loved one. Everyone experiences a low mood or stress from time to time. But if your feelings are interfering with your daily life or affecting your health, it is important to seek professional help.”

Judy Bowen-Jones Lic Ac BSc Hons Ac MBAcC

Research Fact Sheets

For more information see the British Acupuncture Council Research Fact Sheet below.