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Using acupuncture to treat depression by West G. (Registered Acupuncturist)

Do you know Using acupuncture to treat depression is becoming a norm now. Numerous

research found that acupuncture’s efficacy is almost same as fluoxetine (Prozac) or other

antidepressants. If you take antidepressant daily, you might know that fluoxetine is a type of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). It stimulates the brain to secrete more serotonin.

Serotonin is a type of hormone which responds in flight-or fight and plays a vital role in

homeostasis. Basically, serotonin makes you feel relaxed, calm and gives your body an ability to cope with difficulties and stress. However, taking chemical made fluoxetine hydrochloride for long term can be addictive, and overdose can cause palpitation, liver damage or even acute seizure.

In TCM, depression is caused by different factors and they are treated accordingly.

Fundamentally, depression and mood disorder are caused by Liver qi stagnation. Liver’s

function is to guide the fluency of qi flow in the body. Pathogenesis of liver functions which cause the stagnation in the body. It can lead to different complications such as inability to make decisions, loss of interest, Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) etc. By inserting acupuncture needles along the liver meridian can relieve stagnation and guide qi flow freely.

If you are worried about long term taking antidepressant might be harmful to your body or you just want to reduce the medication, within a few sessions of TCM treatments or acupuncture, you might experience the natural way of releasing serotonin.

Written by West Gan, BGS,RAc


Hua Sun, MD,1,* Hui Zhao, PhD,2,* Chi Ma, PhD,2 Fei Bao, MD,1 Jie Zhang, MD,3 Dao-hai

Wang, MD,1 Yun-xiang Zhang, MD,1 and Wei He, MD 2, Effects of Electroacupuncture on

Depression and the Production of Glial Cell Line–Derived Neurotrophic Factor Compared with

Fluoxetine: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study

NHS, Side effects of antidepressants

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