Anxiety and depression afflict large population. Despite the evidence-based effectiveness of antidepressants, relapse rates for both anxiety and depression are high. Anti-depressant tablets have some unpleasant side effects. Eventually, many patients turn to complementary and alternative medicines such as acupuncture. In my practice, acupuncture is popular among my patients and the number of patients, particularly women, seeking acupuncture treatment for emotional disorders is increasing.
According to Chinese Medicine, anxiety and depression is the result of complex interactions. Women tend to be easily affected by depression and anxiety due to the fact that women have Liver depression and the menstrual cycle.
Depression and Anxiety can be classified as Qi Deficiency (Lung and/or Kidney), Blood Deficiency (usually Liver and Spleen), Blood Stagnation (Liver), Cold Invasion causing Qi and Blood Stagnation, as well as Jing and Yuan Qi Deficiency.
In my practice, I need treat every patient who suffers from depression and anxiety as an individual to make diagnosis of each individual patient, differentiate their symptoms, set up a treatment plan. For each different patient, I will choose different set of acupoints just like different patients need distinct prescription of herbal formula. Along with a strategy that may also include other recommendations, including exercise, herbal therapy and lifestyle modifications. In the whole process, individualized acupuncture treatment plans are vital to the success of the recovery of patients.