Many people nowadays are seeking alternatives to medications for mood issues such as anxiety and depression. Acupuncture is a promising option for those who are looking to treat mood issues without the side effects of medications. Acupuncture originated in China thousands of years ago and is based on the principle that mental health disorders are caused by a blockage of energy, called qi.

Qi is supposed to flow smoothly and flawlessly through the body when the body is functioning properly. However, when the body has blockages, qi cannot flow smoothly, and this leads to physical, mental and emotional pain and imbalances because the energy essentially gets backed up.

In Chinese medicine, each organ has a paired emotion, and when the energy to the organ is blocked the result is emotional imbalances.

Imbalances create:
  • Liver qi imbalances result in anger, irritability and frustration.
  • Spleen qi imbalances cause excessive worrying and overthinking.
  • Kidney qi imbalances lead to fear.
  • Lung qi imbalances reflect as grief and sadness.
  • Heart qi imbalances show as mental restlessness and lack of enthusiasm.

Blockages to these organ pathways result in various diseases and disorders. Of course, you could have a blockage to one pathway or multiple at the same time resulting in several emotional problems.

When you visit your acupuncturist for treatment, they will ask you questions about your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health to determine which pathways are blocked. The points selected will work to unblock the congestion of backed up qi. This results in the release of endorphins, or happy chemicals, in the body. Acupuncture helps to control the body’s reaction to stress and improve body functions such as immunity, digestion, emotions and pain. It helps the body relax by taking it out of our natural “fight or flight” response.

Depression and Anxiety

Unfortunately, depression and anxiety are two emotional disorders that have been steadily rising in today’s world. However, the good news is that acupuncture is a great option for those who do not want to take medication. Acupuncture helps with depression symptoms such as lack of motivation and interest in activities, fatigue, trouble concentrating and over or under eating. It also helps minimize common symptoms of anxiety such as nervousness, increased heartbeat, sweating, excessive worrying and trouble breathing. Treatments help to shift the body back to a relaxed and balanced state by soothing the nervous system and releasing the body’s natural happy chemicals.

An acupuncture session is quite relaxing. Once the needles are in, you’ll lay on the table with pleasant low lighting and soothing music. If you’re looking for an alternative treatment to medications, acupuncture is a great option!

By Dr. Nirali Patel

You can read this article in our Summer 2020 issue