Acupuncture, Depression and Coronary Heart Disease
A new study shows how acupuncture can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease for those patients suffering from depression.
What Is Depression? [courtesy of psychiatry.org]
Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think, and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease your ability to function at work and at home.
Depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can include:
Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
Loss of energy or increased fatigue
Increase in purposeless physical activity or slowed movements or speech (these actions must be severe enough to be observable by others)
Feeling worthless or guilty
Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
Thoughts of death or suicide
Patients with depression have a higher risk of coronary heart disease. Depression is also debilitating comorbidity of heart failure. There have been a couple of possible mechanisms to explain the link between depression and CHD. Depression is associated with the abnormal secretion of neurotransmitters, including serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.
How does acupuncture for depression work?
In traditional Chinese medicine, it is believed that the body has a flow of energy or qi that regulates your health. If the flow is disrupted, you will feel ill. Applying needles to specific acupuncture points, called meridians, rebalances your energy flow and improves your health.
The acupuncturist will insert needles into certain points of your body that are thought to connect to the negative emotions that you are having.
The needles are thought to fix blocked energy or imbalances in your body, which will also influence your mind. This process is something you would receive once a week or several times a week depending on your individual situation.
After your acupuncturist has inserted needles in the identified locations, you would lie still on a table in a peaceful setting.
Read more about the studies here:
Acupuncture Treatment Reduced the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Patients with Depression: A Propensity-Score Matched Cohort Study