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  • Dr. Shanna Hudgin

Why Acupuncture for Anxiety, Depression, and Stress?

Updated: Oct 11, 2021

Graphic of a person's face made of puzzle pieces with words describing mental health conditions (like anxiety, stress, insomnia, trauma, depression, etc.). Some of the pieces are detached (labeled "happy" and "health") and floating into space.

The stressors of this past year have been immense and absolutely justified. Waves of anger, worry, sadness, and loneliness have floated throughout us all during the challenging times - including ourselves, our parents, our kids, our neighbors. Feeling emotionally uneasy puts stress on your body. Stress on your body overtime creates a lack of support within your system and can present with physical symptoms for some people. Emotional stress is powerful - and it proves that our mind-body connection is stronger than what was once thought. When our mind isn’t sitting well it creates a subtle storm within us that brews until an external presentation shows or inhibits us from living with ease. Our body’s way of saying “Hey! Something is not right - please pay attention”.

Prescription medications used to solve these problems consist of hormone balancers or sedative agents including SSRIs, benzodiazepines, and antidepressants. Besides their side effects which include GI upset, headaches, mood changes, insomnia or drowsiness, sexual dysfunction, and prone to dependency, there is evidence indicating these medications are at best 50% effective for anxiety and depression disorders. In addition, antidepressants were originally designed to be taken in the short term, but that rarely is adhered to. This can lead to long term consumption of a medication that may not be improving symptoms while altering your body’s neurochemistry. Every person has the right to choose their health care, and it’s important to be adequately informed to evaluate the risk to benefit ratio to make the best decision for you and your family.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine serve as an alternative therapy to improve mental-emotional wellness. Acupuncture increases endorphins, the “feel good” hormones in your body. Other neurotransmitters influenced as a result of acupuncture include serotonin, endogenous opioids, and noradrenaline, which work with regulating mood and modulating discomfort. There’s also scientific evidence of Chinese herbal medicine being more effective long term for mental health conditions compared to lorazepam. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can calm hyperactivity and worry by promoting physical relaxation while working with your nervous system to regulate its excitability behavior. Balancing the “fight or flight” response from your sympathetic nervous system with the “rest and digest” function of the parasympathetic system to achieve a state of balance. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are both effective and safe for kids, teens, and adults alike. Serving as a true alternative for anyone who is looking for a more holistic, natural approach to combating mental health ailments.

You deserve to feel positive, worry less, and feel emotionally content. Contact the Zhen Center today to learn more about how acupuncture and Chinese medicine could help you return to mental balance. Click here to book an appointment or call 207-558-2416.


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