Depression is a common mental health problem that affects people of all genders, ages, and backgrounds. It is estimated that two thirds of adults will at some point experience depression severe enough to interfere with their normal activities.

Women are twice as likely as men to become depressed partly due to hormonal changes associated with menstruation, menopause, pregnancy or post-partum.

Depression causes symptoms such as low mood, loss of interest in enjoyable activities, anxiety, irritability, low self-esteem, disturbed sleep, altered appetite, weight fluctuation, tiredness, lack of motivation, concentration or libido, physical pain, and suicidal thoughts.

How acupuncture can help depression

Acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemicals. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body’s homeostatic mechanisms, promoting physical and emotional wellbeing.

Studies demonstrate that acupuncture can have a positive effect on depression by altering the brain’s mood, increasing production of chemicals such as serotonin and endorphins.

Stimulation of certain acupuncture points has been shown to affect areas of the brain that are known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the part of the brain which is responsible for anxiety and worry.

Acupuncture can be safely combined with conventional medical treatments such as anti-depressants, helping to reduce their side effects and enhance their beneficial effects.

Acupuncture treatment can also help to improve physical symptoms such as chronic pain which is a common contributory factor of depression. In addition to offering acupuncture Additionally, acupuncturists may offer dietary/ lifestyle advice that can be beneficial in counteracting depression. It is may also be extremely beneficial tin itself for a patient struggling with depression to see a supportive therapist on a regular basis.

For more information about how acupuncture works in controlled trials please visit or view the depression fact sheet at


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