Acupuncture for Stress, Anxiety and Depression
This article is by Gursharan the acupuncturist in Islington at the Angel Acupuncture Clinic
With the amount of pressure an average Londoner encounters on a day to day basis, it is no surprise that we as a society are increasingly turning towards complementary therapies to help manage stress levels and overcome anxieties. Chinese Medicine follows the principle that the mind cannot be divorced from the body. Anything that happens in the mind will impact the body, and anything that happens in the body can affect the mind. By encouraging the free flow of energy and removing blockages in the body, we often see acupuncture having a profound impact on stress levels and many different mental health problems
A few useful facts and figures:
• A British Acupuncture Council survey showed that the top four emotional issues treated by acupuncture are depression, anxiety, insomnia and stress (McNeil et al, 2009).
• The World Health Organisation lists acupuncture as an effective treatment for depression (WHO, 2003).
• Studies indicate that acupuncture can have a specific positive effect on depression by altering the brain's mood chemistry, increasing production of serotonin (Sprott, 1998) and endorphins (Wang, 2010).
• Acupuncture may also benefit depression by acting through other neurochemical pathways, including those involving dopamine (Scott, 1997), noradrenaline (Han, 1986), cortisol (Han 2004) and neuropeptide Y (Pohl, 2002).
Gursharan has a keen interest in working with mental and emotional health. She was awarded a First for her undergraduate thesis on the use of acupuncture in the treatment of depression, which involved an in-depth retrospective analysis of clinical case records. She has undertaken continuing professional development (CPD) in areas including anxiety and depression, and is taking steps to work more closely with those trying to advance research in acupuncture for post-traumatic stress disorder. Gursharan has also worked extensively with more hands-on techniques for those who are anxious about needles.
Gursharan would love to hear from anyone who is struggling to manage their stress, anxiety or depression, as she firmly believes that encouraging the correct flow of energy in different parts of the body is key to overcoming mental obstacles and challenges.