Acupuncture Helps Depression in Both Pregnant and Post-Partum Women
Acupuncturists are frequently called upon to treat post-partum depression in our patients and the results are usually quite dramatically positive with clients rapidly experiencing mood improvement. Many studies have been published which corroborate our experiences with patients and you can read an overview of a few of them here.
The researchers contrasted integrative complementary medicine with a conventional drug therapy approach to care. Both approaches achieved similar positive patient outcomes. However, the acupuncture plus psychological intervention regime caused no adverse effects whereas the medication regime of care caused several adverse effects.
Time Magazine covered some interesting research looking into the mechanism by which acupuncture treats anxiety, stress and depression. The scientists noted that,
Rats who got acupuncture showed fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression than stressed-out rats who didn't get treatment. [and that] Acupuncture may work by targeting the same pathways that stress travels along, according to a new study in rats from Georgetown University Medical Center and published in the journal Endocrinology.
“There was nothing in the literature about acupuncture for PTSD and chronic stress,” [the researcher said] says, so she decided to study it. To find out if acupuncture was affecting chronic stress, Eshkevari and a team of researchers looked at what happened in a key pathway in dealing with stress for both humans and rats: the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA). It’s the same pathway targeted by some anti-anxiety drugs and antidepressants, Eshkevari says, and the HPA is involved in the production of the stress hormone cortisol.