Acupuncture anxiety depression support and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
There is moderate level evidence supporting the use of acupuncture anxiety depression therapy for anxiety, depression and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
What is the history behind acupuncture anxiety depression support
Acupuncture anxiety depression therapy is well covered in the classical texts which underpin Chinese medicine however these texts described the signs and symptoms associated with mood disorders.
Central to acupuncture anxiety depression therapy and other psychological disorders is the correct Chinese medicine diagnosis.
What is the Chinese medicine diagnosis?
Traditional acupuncture texts refer to conditions like ‘dian kuang’ which broadly encompasses what is known in the modern world as bi polar disorder and manic depressive disorder.
Chinese medicine diagnosis relies on careful identification and classification of signs and symptoms often associated with mood disorders. This signs and symptoms include irritability, frustration and anger, worry and over-thinking (or rumination).
Chinese medicine also covers a condition called ‘neurasthaenia’. Neurasthaenia, in a modern context, covers anxiety-related disorders that might come from overwork and mental exhaustion. It broadly corresponds with the idea of adrenal fatigue which may include anxiety and insomnia.
While the mood disorder remains the acupuncturist’s focus, the value of the Chinese medicine diagnosis is that it confirms itself by the presence of other, often seemingly unrelated, signs and symptoms.
It is for this reason the acupuncturist may also ask questions around sleep, the bowels and digestion, one’s susceptibility to cold, flu and allergies, back and other body pain and for women the menstrual cycle.
The precise physiological mechanism behind the effectiveness of acupuncture anxiety depression therapy remains unclear.
What is the source of evidence to support acupuncture anxiety and depression therapy?
Across 2016 and early 2017, Australian researchers conducted a review of the highest evidence possible to support the use of acupuncture anxiety depression therapy and PTSD. This evidence included systematic reviews and meta analyses which are the highest form of available evidence.
What evidence is there to support acupuncture anxiety and depression therapy?
There is moderate evidence to support acupuncture treatment for people presenting with:
- Anxiety disorders which might include generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder and social phobias.
- Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), also a type of anxiety disorder
Of note, the evidence also couples acupuncture’s role in treating anxiety and depression with the patient also undergoing formal counselling.
A word about the importance of counselling and other therapies
Nothing replaces effective counselling and often people experiencing anxiety and/or depression may also benefit from counselling from a qualified health professional.
On its own, the evidence supports acupuncture helping with anxiety and depression. Counselling would sit alongside acupuncture for anxiety and depression treatment.
What if my condition isn’t listed on this page?
All that means is that there hasn’t been enough research to officially say, “yep it helps”. Before deciding whether acupuncture anxiety depression therapy is for you, feel free to give Peter a call to chat about your individual circumstances and his experience or knowledge of your problem