Stimulation of certain acupuncture points has been shown to affect areas of the brain that are known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the ‘analytical’ brain which responsible for anxiety and worry (Hui 2010).
Acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules, increasing production of serotonin (Sprott 1988), 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).
Acupuncture can be safely combined with conventional medical treatments such as anti-depressants (Zhang 2007), and you should speak to your current practitioner about how acupuncture may be of help to you.
Acupuncture can also help treat physical ailments such as pain and digestive issues, which may contribute to anxiety and depression.
Wanting to know more, click here to read Tanya’s blog about how Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can provide a natural alternative to the treatment of anxiety and depression.