Depression is a common mental health problem that affects people of all genders, ages, and backgrounds. About two thirds of adults will at some time experience depression severe enough to interfere with their normal activities.
Women are twice as likely as men to become depressed partly due to hormone changes occurring pre-menstrually, at menopause, during pregnancy or after childbirth. Depression is estimated to cost the UK £7.5 billion a year in medication, benefits and lost working days. The World Health Organisation predicts that by 2020 depression will be second only to chronic heart disease as an international health burden.
Although everyone occasionally experiences low mood, these feelings usually pass after a couple of days. When a person has clinical depression, these problems can become chronic or recurrent, interfering with daily life. Depression causes symptoms such as low mood, loss of interest in enjoyable activities, anxiety, irritability low self-esteem, disturbed sleep or appetite, weight change, tiredness, lack of motivation, concentration or libido, physical pain, and suicidal thoughts.
Depression is likely to result from a combination of genetic, biochemical, environmental, and psychological factors. It may be triggered by stressful events, such as bereavement, illness, relationship problems or financial difficulties.
Duncan Ford, an acupuncturist and British Acupuncture Council member says “In general, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body’s homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional wellbeing.”
“Studies indicate that acupuncture can have a specific positive effect on depression by altering the brain’s mood chemistry, increasing production of serotonin and endorphins. Acupuncture may also benefit depression by acting through other neurochemical pathways, including those involving dopamine, noradrenaline, cortisol and neuropeptide.”
Acupuncture is a tried and tested system of traditional medicine, which has been used in China and other eastern cultures for thousands of years to restore, promote and maintain good health. Its benefits are now widely acknowledged all over the world and in the past decade traditional acupuncture has begun to feature more prominently in mainstream healthcare in the UK.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recognises that acupuncture can help resolve specific symptoms or conditions. Traditional acupuncture can also be used as a preventive measure to strengthen the constitution and promote general wellbeing. See this BMJ article about how acupuncture helps in treating persistent depression.
Acupuncture treatments are available at the practice with Duncan Ford or Julie Devlin. Call 01780 480889 for an appointment.