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Acupuncture for Depression and Anxiety

Many people asked me “Does acupuncture help with depression and anxiety?”
The answer is yes, Traditional Chinese Medicine, including acupuncture is a very powerful way to help emotional problems, especially depression and anxiety.
According to the Western medical model, clinical depression is based on experiencing at least five of the following symptoms for a two-week period, or longer:


  • Depressed mood for a majority of the day,
  • Significant decrease in interest of previously pleasurable activities,
  • Significant weight gain or weight loss that was unintended,
  • Insomnia, inability to sleep or excessive desire to sleep,
  • Fatigue or loss of energy, including feelings of being worthless (includes feelings of excessive guilt),
  • Psycho-motor agitation or retardation (pacing, wringing one’s hands, etc.),
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate,
  • Suicidal thoughts or thoughts of death, or attempted suicide.


Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which includes the use of herbal medicine and dietary therapy, has been practiced for thousands of years. Emotional presentations cannot be separated from the physical body, and vice-versa, according to Chinese medicine. Therefore, treating the physical body directly impacts the emotional symptoms.
The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine, written over 2300 years ago, discussed the etiology of depression. Mental or emotional problems such as depression, anxiety and insomnia are the result of an imbalance or blockage in one or more of the internal organs and their corresponding meridians (energy pathways).
Deficient or excessive emotions will affect specific organs. Not to be interpreted too literally, the following chart simplifies these relationships.


Emotion: Organs and meridians affected:
Anger Liver
Joy Heart
Worry Lungs and Spleen
(excessive worry, obsessive thoughts)
Sadness Lungs and Heart
Fear Kidneys
Shock(Trauma) Kidneys and heart

In contrast to being prescribed a medicine to “relieve” symptoms, an acupuncturist will complete a comprehensive medical evaluation and diagnosis which may contain patterns such as: Liver Qi stagnation; Spleen Qi deficiency; Kidney essence deficiency; Lung-Heart meridian disharmony; Kidney-Heart meridian disharmony. Treatments to address these patterns would include: smooth Liver Qi; Tonify or strengthen Spleen Qi, etc. The most effective treatments include the use of acupuncture, herbal formulas and dietary modifications.

To find out more and book an appointment call Helen at 021-2428143 or 083-1305106