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Acupuncture for those Holiday Blues

ACNJ Blog

Wellness insights from Acupuncture Center of NJ, providing holistic complementary mind-body-heart-healing since 1986, in Morristown, NJ!

Acupuncture for those Holiday Blues

Peter Kadar

The holiday season is upon us, holiday jingles and twinkling lights rush into our eyes everywhere we go. But for some of us, it's a tough time: depression and added stress can ruin our holidays and damage our health.  Here is a good antidote!  According to a recently published study, acupuncture can offer an effective and natural way to help relieve holiday blues and help you manage many common depression and anxiety symptoms. Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 3.26.34 PM

A study published by researchers of the University of York showed that patients suffering from depression may benefit more from acupuncture, counseling and with their usual care, compared with usual care alone.  755 patients in the study suffered moderate to severe depression from primary care practices in the north of England.  After three months of treatment, the patients were required to complete a health survey, detailing what depressive thoughts or feelings they had over the study period.

The survey outcome showed that patients who received acupuncture, counseling, plus their usual care regime, showed a significant reduction in average depression scores.  Researchers concluded that acupuncture should be considered as an additional treatment for depressed individuals to achieve better clinical effects.

Indeed, acupuncture recognizes the mind and body interacting as one, meaning that emotions have physiological effect on the body.  

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There are a variety of causes of anxiety and depression; all have different treatments. A person’s personality, behavior or thinking style can cause them to be more susceptible to anxiety or depression. Research has proven they also can be hereditary. Biochemical factors such as a chemical imbalance in the brain also have been proven to cause anxiety and/or depression.

Depression is considered to be a weakness, imbalance or blockage with circulating Qi around your body, according to traditional Chinese beliefs. The main organ responsible for circulating Qi is recognized as the liver with the heart and spleen playing supporting roles. The most common acupuncture treatment used to increase the flow of Qi is known as The Four Gates. This involves stimulating source points on both hands between the thumb and index finger and both feet between the big toe and second toe.

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Traditional Chinese Medicine relates anxiety to an imbalance of the heart and kidney. Fire represents the heart and joy according to the five elements. The diagnosis is that too much heat in the heart will imbalance the interaction with the kidney (represented as water and fear). This will result in the water organ failing to contain the fire organ rising up to the mind, leading to anxiety. Acupuncture on points around the heart, kidney, spleen meridians and ears are used to treat anxiety.

So if you are struggling with holiday blues, and live near our acupuncture center in Morristown, NJ, I invite you to give us a call and find out how acupuncture can help you.  Consider it a very special gift to yourself this holiday season!

Helen ChenContact us for an appointment with Helen or our other caring practitioners.

 Post by Helen Chen, L. Ac., M.S.T.O.M.