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Bellmore Acupuncture for Depression

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The traditional therapy that originated in China which involves the insertion of some fine, threadlike needles into certain specific points on the human body is called acupuncture. The term acupuncture comes from the Latin words, acus, meaning needle and pungere, meaning prick. It has been an integral part of Chinese traditional medicines like acupuncture in Bellmore since the ancient times, and is believed to date back to the Stone Age. However, scientific researches to find out the efficiency of this therapy began in the later half of the 20th century. The conclusions of these researches have been quite controversial.

According to Chinese traditional medical therapy, the acupuncture points are located on meridians, which channel the flow of the vital energy, known as chi or qi. Acupuncture therapy has been approved by World Health Organization for more than twenty conditions, including depression, but in several others, it is cautious in its approach about the use of acupuncture, implying that only suggestive and not conclusive evidences have been found.

Depression is a mental or emotional condition can be a disease or a syndrome. There can be many factors that lead to depressive conditions, some of which include deficiency, malnutrition, hormones, heredity, stress and illness. Sometimes, it can also be an adaptation to particular situations like certain diseases, where depression induces inclination to take rest and thereby helps in recovery. On the other hand, depression can lead to distressful conditions, which impair the normal social, occupational and other important functions of an individual.

Depression is frequently treated with anti-depressant drugs. But many believe that the traditional Chinese therapy of acupuncture might be helpful in alleviating the root causes of depression. The therapy presumably activates the central nervous system (CNS), which in turn releases certain chemicals for promoting the natural healing power of the body.

Some researchers have pointed out that acupuncture may induce the release of neurotransmitters and neurohormones that can change the chemistry of the brain. The philosophy behind acupuncture is that the imbalance between the body and mind is the main cause of many diseases including depression. So, the therapy is based on restoring this essential balance between body and mind.

In acupuncture, the target areas of inserting the filiform needles are twelve main nerve pathways or tracts, known as meridians and eight minor or less important nerve pathways. Almost 2000 pressure points are supposed to be present along the major and the minor nerve pathways. All these points are thought to be the channels through which energy is transmitted to the different regions of the body. So, different illnesses or disorders require the use of different specific points.

Acupuncture therapy aims at empowering the body to deal with stress and anxiety by regulating the flow of the vital energy qi through the energy channels. Many health care providers recommend it along with the use of regular drugs for depression, while others think that it is suitable only for mild to moderate depression. Besides, its efficacy is found to be enhanced, if used along with psychological therapy and herbal treatments. However, more conclusive studies are required to prescribe it as an authentic alternative to anti-depressant drugs in the treatment of depression.

Written by Valerie

September 30th, 2010 at 8:15 am