While acupuncture is commonly used to treat physical ailments it can also be effective in improving mental health. Who would have thought that inserting thin needles into various points on the body could resolve issues such as anxiety and depression, reduce stress, and regulate the hormones that control mood?
Here are seven ways acupuncture for mental health can help, all scientifically proven in various studies:
1. Regulation of neurotransmitters
Neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine play a crucial role in regulating mood, emotions, and overall mental well-being. By balancing these neurotransmitters, acupuncture can help alleviate symptoms of depression, and anxiety.
2. Stress reduction
The parasympathetic nervous system, is responsible for the body’s relaxation response. By activating this system it helps reduce a person’s stress levels and promotes a sense of calm and relaxation. Typical sessions involve lying down in a quiet environment with soothing music and dim lighting. The setting promotes relaxation and mindfulness, allowing individuals to focus on their thoughts and emotions. The combination of acupuncture and a calming environment can help reduce anxiety and promote a sense of well-being. By helping to regulate hormone levels in the body, including cortisol (the stress hormone), acupuncture for mental health can improve conditions exacerbated by stress, such as anxiety and insomnia.
3. Enhancing sleep quality
Many mental health conditions are associated with sleep disturbances, such as insomnia or disrupted sleep patterns. Acupuncture for mental health has been found to improve sleep quality by increasing the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles. Better sleep has been shown to have a positive impact on a person’s state of mind as their natural circadian rhythm is restored.
4. Increased blood flow
By unblocking the flow of energy, referred to by the Chinese as the Qi (Chi) acupuncture stimulates blood flow to various parts of the body, including the brain. This increased blood flow can enhance oxygen and nutrient delivery, promoting optimal brain function, improving alertness, and making it easier for people to cope.
5. Release of endorphins
Endorphins are natural painkillers and mood enhancers produced by the body that help reduce pain and promote feelings of happiness. By increasing the happiness hormone acupuncture can alleviate symptoms of depression.
6. Addiction support
As an adjunct therapy for substance abuse treatment, acupuncture for mental health can help reduce cravings, manage withdrawal symptoms, and support overall recovery.
7. Balancing energy flow
When there is an imbalance or blockage in the flow of Qi, it can lead to physical and mental health issues. By inserting needles into specific points, acupuncture can restore the balance of Qi and give the patient a chance to reset themselves.
For those with severe mental health issues, acupuncture should not be considered a standalone treatment, but rather used in conjunction with therapies such as counselling or medication, as recommended by a healthcare professional.
Why not give your acupuncture doctor a call today to find out how overcoming ongoing mental health issues is possible?