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Acupuncture for Mental Health: Does it Work?

woman receiving acupuncture

What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the practice of using very thin filaments to penetrate the skin and create an inflammatory response via the movement of the practitioner’s hands or light electrical stimulation. This form of practice dates back thousands of years, originating in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Applying acupuncture to certain points of the body is believed to improve the flow of energy (“Qi”) throughout, in order to help with pain, relaxation, and overall health. However, did you know that acupuncture may have the ability to aid your mental health treatment, as well?

Acupuncture for Stress and Anxiety

It is important to note that mental health treatments are not one-size-fits-all scenarios. People require different forms of treatment, therapy, and more, and at different intensities, doses, and the like. Providing supplemental treatments like acupuncture can help improve emotional regulation, mood, and boost feelings of wellbeing. How? Acupuncture helps by relieving that built-up stress and anxiety through restoring the flow of energy mentioned earlier. In Chinese Medicine theory, emotions and mental functions are viewed as components of the body’s vital energy – Qi – and blood. Correcting the movement of Qi and blood in the body’s meridians brings balance back to the mind, body, and spirit.

Individuals who are experiencing symptoms of stress or anxiety disorders can potentially benefit from the supplemental treatment of acupuncture. Some of these conditions include:

  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Acute Stress Disorder

Acupuncture for Depression

Along with helping those who deal with anxiety and stress disorders, acupuncture may be able to help individuals living with depressive disorders as well. This, in turn, could offer an alternative approach to traditional depression treatments– specifically, those who may have reached a point in their treatment where their depression is resistant to said treatment.

Acupuncture works to relieve depressive symptoms by stimulating the areas of the head and body responsible for the production of emotion-managing hormones. Some of these hormones include serotonin, dopamine, testosterone, estrogen, norepinephrine, among others. By assisting in the release of these hormones and neurotransmitters, emotional regulation and positive feelings may be restored.

How Dr. Sadek Can Help

Changing someone’s life for the better is one of the most rewarding things we do here at Greenberg Regenerative Medicine. 

If acupuncture is a treatment that you seek with us, it is important to come prepared with the necessary information. Prior to your consultation, you will want to share your medical history, including your sleep habits, normal activity level, diet, mental health, and past or existing conditions. Sharing your history regarding chronic pain treatment, if you had it, is also important. 

For acupuncture particularly, this information will help Dr. Sadek find any imbalances in your body. Based on the exam, he will proceed to select the appropriate points to insert the filaments. This treatment will not only cater to what’s bothering you, but to any other underlying conditions that could be affecting your mental and physical health. As always, Dr. Sadek takes a holistic approach to examining your entire body.

You will then lie down or sit on a table, where the filaments will be inserted into various points, or meridians, on your body. Traditional Chinese medicine identifies these 14 meridians as energy channels in your body. Dr. Sadek may put on quiet music to help you relax, and will check in frequently to ensure your comfort. A minimal electric stimulation may also be applied for the treatment. A typical acupuncture session can be 15 to 30 minutes depending on your treatment. For more information, set up an acupuncture consultation with Dr. Sadek today.

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In order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community, any patient that enters the building will be screened for the virus by having their temperature taken and filling out a questionnaire from Main Line Health. Once inside the office, patients will be asked to wash their hands immediately and may receive another temperature check. All patients will be able to maintain a safe social distance from others, as only one patient is seen per hour. The Greenberg Regenerative staff wears their masks at all times, and also ensures that all safety protocols and guidelines per Main Line Health and the CDC are being followed. Additionally, Dr. Greenberg is fully vaccinated, which further reduces possible COVID-19 transmission. At the end of the appointment, patients have the option to take a Greenberg Regenerative Medicine hand sanitizer to allow them to remain safe and healthy.