A resounding “yes.” Acupuncture is indeed a powerful treatment for depression and anxiety.
New research published today concludes that electro-acupuncture is effective in increasing the antidepressant effects of fluoxetine for the treatment of moderate and severe depression. You can read an articles about it here and here.
Acupuncture seeks to address body, mind, emotions and spirit. The goal is to create harmony within ourselves and between ourselves and the world. It is understood that “intellect” and “feeling” reside in all the cells of the body.
While western medicine generally treats depression by throwing anti-depressants at the problem regardless of the specific symptoms presented by the patient, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) does not have a one-size-fits all approach to diagnosing and treating depression. Instead, we aim to diagnose and treat the specific symptoms that are unique to the individual. If a person is depressed, Chinese medicine understands this as the result of either deficient energy, stagnant energy, or imbalance of yin and yang.
For example, depending on the patient I may treat lung points for unresolved grief, heart points to treat the absence of joy, liver points to treat anger or depression and kidney points to treat fear or shock. I almost always do points that increase and move energy and settle the spirit. I also apply auricular (ear) and scalp acupuncture to balance the brain neurotransmitters and create a sense of well being.