[Apr 2021 Newsletter] Depression & Anxiety: Really, How Are You?
A deep dive into mental illnesses and how acupuncture can help.
AcuBay Clinic, April 2021
Dr. Young Kim
Dr. Regan Choi
With COVID-19 cases on the low and over 200 million people getting vaccinated, we still need to look back on those who have been struggling mentally as a result of the pandemic. With Mental Health Awareness Month coming up in May, we want to cover how acupuncture can help.
The top two mental illnesses are depression and anxiety. Let’s dive into what they are first:
The National Institute of Mental Health explains depression as a mood disorder that causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. The common symptoms of depression include:
Persistent sad, anxious, or ‘empty’ mood.
Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism.
Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities.
Decreased energy or fatigue.
Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping.
For anxiety, the National Institute of Mental Health explains it as constantly feeling worried or in fear for several months to a point where it interferes with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships. The common symptoms of anxiety include:
Being easily fatigued.
Having difficulty concentrating; mind going blank.
Having muscle tension.
Difficulty controlling feelings of worry.
Having sleep problems, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, restlessness, or unsatisfying sleep.
*Please take into consideration that the severity, duration, and types of symptoms vary by person.
How have the numbers changed for depression and anxiety ever since COVID-19?
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the difference between the percentage of adults reporting depression or anxiety from January - June 2019 to December 2020 is dramatically huge:
The Mental Health America released data showing that "more than half a million people have reported signs of anxiety and/or depression, with September 2020 reporting the highest rate of severity since the start of the pandemic. Anxiety screens were up by 634% from January 2020 and depression screens were up 873%".
"70% of people reported that loneliness or isolation was the top contributing factor to mental health issues". The pandemic affected all our lives due to the frequent lockdowns, strict regulations, and not being able to do what was ‘normal’ back then. Not being able to socialize normally and solely depending on a digital screen to communicate with others took a toll on a lot of people and the statistics prove that the percentages are concerning.
There are numerous ways to treat mental illnesses and acupuncture can be one of them! You may ask, how do needles help with treating emotional and mental issues?
The answer is acupuncturists insert needles in certain areas where negative emotions are located and also help release endorphins. "When needles are inserted into sensory nerves just below the skin’s surface, the body stimulates a response in the immune system, which increases circulation to that area of the body and triggers the release of endorphins". After the needles are inserted, patients are left to rest or take a short nap while listening to calming music while laying down. Depending on how effective it is on the person, the frequency is different by person but getting treated at least once a week for four weeks is recommended.
Acupuncture is also a better alternative to toxic medications where there are rarely any side effects and can help you heal naturally. This means that it is a great option for pregnant women who do not wish to take medication that can further complicate the health of herself and her baby.
"A study done in 2013 proved that electroacupuncture, a type of acupuncture that uses a mild electric current transmitted through needles, was just as effective as fluoxetine (Prozac) in easing depression symptoms".
We have treated multiple patients who wanted to treat their depression and/or anxiety. Here are some of our favorite reviews:
AcuBay Clinic was recommended to me by a friend who sees them regularly. I've been feeling quite stressed and anxious for the last little while. Dr. Kim and Dr. Choi's treatment really helped me a lot. Fabulous, super clean clinic. (I feel safe in this clinic, they are well maintained with all that protocols of COVID) Both of them are very knowledgeable and always explain everything in such detail. I really enjoy my treatments with them and feel amazing afterwards. Thank you, AcuBay Clinic!
Dr. Choi and Dr. Kim are top-notch! I came in with some pain and depression issues. They took me right away and were very upfront about treatment. I after a few sessions I am feeling much better! Also, this is a small practice and I really enjoy the personal feel it has to it. I highly recommend coming here!
After suffering from anxiety and undetected depression for some time, I knew I needed to rebalance myself. I wanted to try everything I could before taking medication which seemed to be the only answer when speaking to anyone in the western medical profession. AcuBay Clinic was recommended and I knew that their practice which incorporates not just TCM, would rebalance me in readiness to tackle the next phase of my life and to be a calmer more grounded person. After the first session, the feeling and weight of that elephant sitting on my chest had disappeared. I felt calmer and less on the edge of my emotions, without the constant feeling of bursting into tears. My husband also noticed the instant change in me and the positive benefits it had. So that he also started acupuncture sessions by the time I had my next session. I've been seeing Dr. Kim and Dr. Choi for almost a year now and notice how much they have helped me feel like me again. I can't recommend AcuBay Clinic enough.
More questions? Feel free to contact us if you have any questions on treating mental health issues with acupuncture. Your health is our top priority.
Campbell: 1925 S Winchester Blvd #205, Campbell, CA 95008
Morgan Hill: 15585 Monterey Rd Suite E, Morgan Hill, CA 95037
Abbott, Alison. “COVID’s Mental-Health Toll: How Scientists Are Tracking a Surge in Depression.” Nature, vol. 590, no. 7845, 3 Feb. 2021, pp. 194–195, www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00175-z, 10.1038/d41586-021-00175-z. Accessed 1 May 2021.
“Can Acupuncture Help Relieve Depression?” Verywell Mind, 2021, www.verywellmind.com/understanding-acupuncture-for-depression-4770157. Accessed 1 May 2021.
Holland, Kimberly. “Acupuncture for Depression: Does It Really Work? And 12 Other FAQs.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 14 May 2018, www.healthline.com/health/depression/acupuncture-for-depression#complementary. Accessed 1 May 2021.
Katya Turner. “7 Reasons to Try Acupuncture for Depression and Anxiety - Alleviant Heath Centers.” Alleviant Heath Centers, 20 Jan. 2020, alleviant.com/7-reasons-to-try-acupuncture-for-depression-and-anxiety/#:~:text=Acupuncture%20is%20not%20a%20cure,symptoms%20of%20depression%20and%20anxiety.&text=Acupuncture%20is%20not%20a%20cure,symptoms%20of%20depression%20and%20anxiety.. Accessed 1 May 2021.
“NIMH» Anxiety Disorders.” Nih.gov, May 2021, www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml. Accessed 1 May 2021.
“NIMH» Depression.” Nih.gov, May 2021, www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml. Accessed 1 May 2021.
“Number of People Reporting Anxiety and Depression Nationwide since Start of Pandemic Hits All-Time High in September, Hitting Young People Hardest.” Mental Health America, 20 Oct. 2020, www.mhanational.org/number-people-reporting-anxiety-and-depression-nationwide-start-pandemic-hits-all-time-high. Accessed 1 May 2021.