Having pain and depressed, tried acupuncture?
Chronic pain and depression are hand in hand. Chronic pain affects up to 20% general populations. It is persistent or intermittent pain that lasts for more than 3 months despite a normal tissue healing time. It associates with poor quality of life and often causes depression. Depression can be characterized by psychological and physical symptoms, including low mood or sadness, lack of energy, lack of motivation, insomnia, low sex drive and an inability to enjoy life. Chronic pain may induce depression, and people suffering from depression may also present abnormal pain perception and modulation, which increases the risk of developing chronic pain. About 85% of people affected with chronic pain suffer from severe depression.
The pathological process of both chronic pain and depression involve neuroinflammation. Neuroinflammation is an innate immune response of the nervous system to injury, infection or neurodegenerative disease characterized by the activation of resident glial cells, including microglia and astrocytes; release of cytokines and chemokines; and activation and infiltration of leukocytes.
These make them complex and difficult to treat. Acupuncture can reduce inflammation and is effective for chronic pain and depression.
Acupuncture can help reduce depression and anxiety
Depression affects people in many ways and can cause symptoms from psychological, physical to social symptoms.
The psychological symptoms of depression include: persistent low mood or sadness, feeling anxious or worried, feeling irritable and intolerant of others, feeling hopeless and helpless, having low self-esteem, without motivation or interest in things, having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself.
The physical symptoms of depression include: moving or speaking more slowly than usual, changes in appetite or weight, constipation, unexplained aches and pains, lack of energy, loss of libido, change of menstrual cycle, disturbed sleep.
The social symptoms of depression include: not doing well at work, avoiding contact with friends and taking part in fewer social activities, neglecting, having difficulties with other people.
Research has shown that acupuncture can help depression. For example,
There was a study with 120 female patients with depression treated with acupuncture and music. Acupuncture points used include Baihui (GV 20), Shenting (GV 24), Neiguan (PC 6), Shenmen (HT 7), Sanyinjiao (SP 6) and Taichong (LR 3). Result has shown that combined acupuncture and the music, ot acupuncture alone can help reduces the severity of depression and anxiety.
Healing from emotional and psychological trauma with acupuncture
Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extremely stressful events that traumatise the brain and leave you struggling with upsetting and depressing emotions, memories, and anxiety that won’t go away.
It can be caused by onetime events or ongoing, persistent stress that occur repeatedly. The symptoms include emotional & psychological symptoms: such as confusion, difficulty concentrating, anger, irritability, mood swings, anxiety and fear, depression, negative thoughts etc.; and physical symptoms such as insomnia or nightmares, fatigue, being startled easily, racing heartbeat, edginess and agitation, aches and pains, muscle tension etc.
Mental and emotional release can help you release post-traumatic stress, anxiety, fear and depression, other negative emotions, consequently, heal from trauma.
Acupuncture can help regulate brain region where controlling emotions such as amygdala and nervous system and balance chemicals which plays a vital role in emotional processing to help mental and emotional release.
Kathleen K.S. Hui et al Auton Neurosci. 2010 Oct 28; 157(0): 81–90.