Acupunctuur bij depressie

There are various ways to treat depression, both from Western and Traditional Chinese Medicine perspectives. Acupuncture can be a natural way to treat depression or complement another treatment. How does it work? Read on to find out.

What are the symptoms of depression?

Depression is characterized by loss of interest, feelings of gloom, less pleasure in life, and not feeling good in your skin for an extended period. Fatigue, lack of appetite, and loss of concentration can also be manifestations of depression. It's often challenging to pinpoint a single cause, as multiple factors usually interact and amplify each other. People often stray from their path and feel detached from their true selves.

What are the causes of depression?

Genetics, environmental factors, and disruption in neurotransmitters and hormone levels, such as cortisol, can cause depression. However, it is sometimes unclear whether these disruptions in neurotransmitters and hormone levels are a cause or a result. For some people, the absence of sunlight in the winter can trigger depression.

Depression can also result from traumas, sometimes even before birth or in early childhood. A trauma can lead to a behavioral pattern that ultimately makes a person sick. Therefore, it is crucial to get to the core and break such a pattern.

In addition, long-term overload, stress, chronic sadness, fatigue, pain, overstimulation, and specific medication use can also cause depression. Acupuncture can also provide support in cases of postnatal depression caused by pregnancy/delivery.

Read our blog about acupuncture for stress-related complaints here.

How does Western medicine view depression?

When someone experiences these symptoms, a visit to the general practitioner is often the first step. If further examination reveals depression, psychological support and medication are offered. Lifestyle adjustments can also bring about positive improvements. Think of talking about feelings, plenty of exercises, and healthy eating.

Unfortunately, psychologists sometimes have long waiting lists. During this waiting period, acupuncture could be started in advance to promote balance.

How does Traditional Chinese Medicine view depression?

Chinese medicine does not differentiate between body and spirit. The body, energy, and spirit must be one. Depression is a muted spirit, the spirit is not radiating and flowing. Chinese medicine sees the person as a whole between Heaven and Earth, not just as a collection of neurotransmitters with certain values.

When we feel healthy and comfortable in our skin, everything flows. We are in a flow, as we say. We can switch quickly and express our emotions. When we are in balance, we quickly switch back from feeling our emotions to a neutral state of "being." From the perspective of Chinese Medicine, our psyche is seen as a whole of different types of energy. Each emotion has a different form of energy. Do you feel incredibly happy? Then you feel an upward energy. Do you feel very gloomy? Then you feel the energy literally pressing down.

If we can easily express our emotions and let go, we feel in balance. You feel good and easily show your true inner self. You radiate and feel the energy flow. It often goes wrong the moment you no longer show your emotions freely. Your life energy does not flow freely, and this can affect your entire wellbeing.

In Chinese Medicine, emotions are seen as significant causes of imbalance. It can also be the other way around; if your body is out of balance, your emotions can also become unbalanced.

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Taoism

Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on Taoism. In Taoism, every person on earth has a path to follow. Each person also has a piece of Universe (Heaven) within them and, therefore, a tremendous potential to draw from. The moment you are born determines who you are. That piece of inner self (piece of Heaven) is always with you (connected to your heart Shen/Heart), and you can always fall back on it.

Life is about falling and rising. Some events have a significant impact on your life. Compare it to a meteor impact. It is very important to process these traumas, learn from them, and leave them behind. You can't erase them, but you can give them a place. Because of things that have happened, you can develop certain behavioral patterns that are ultimately not good for you and can even lead to disease. Because the truth is deep within us, it is essential to get there.

It is important to peel off the layers of the onion and get to the core of the problem. Within lies the diamond that you are and can always shine if you allow it. Acupuncture can help you remove blockages and get to the core. It often happens that someone cries after placing the needles, hitting the right chord. Relief occurs.

How do we approach acupuncture for depression?

Often, when people come to us, they have already taken the first important step. They have decided they want to get better, and then the healing has already begun. The first impression when someone comes to us is very important. We ask several questions to bring someone to the core of the problem. Often, someone knows deep down inside what the cause is. We determine at what level the problem resides. In TCM, we can work at different levels: Body - Mind (Emotion) - Shen (Spirit). Once we know where we are going to work, we start the treatment.

Read our detailed blog post here on how acupuncture works

Here are a few examples:

Body: broken arm (physical pain)
Mind: broken heart (loss of a loved one)
Shen: no longer on your own path (far removed from your deeper self)
In depression, there are often blockages that you have erected to protect yourself. But because of these blockages, you cannot live freely, and your organs cannot perform their tasks well. Acupuncture works like an antivirus program that removes the bug from the software, making everything work again, and you can think more clearly. Acupuncture ensures that all organs get the necessary energy again and can perform their tasks optimally, making the body feel light again and the mind clear up.

How does acupuncture work as a supplement to other therapies or drugs for depression?

Acupuncture can also work supportively alongside other therapies, such as psychotherapy and medication. They can be a valuable complement to each other. Certain acupuncture points are connected to specific places in the brain. They can help reduce nervousness and promote relaxation.

What are people's experiences in practice?

The initial result is often relaxation and better sleep. People who sleep better have more energy. The body is less busy fighting symptoms. People can think more clearly. The spirit can speak again.

In the beginning, weekly treatments are often needed. When someone feels better, the treatments are spaced out. Maintenance is also essential. After all, the energy must remain balanced. Maintenance treatments can range from once a month to once a season.

Want to know more about treating depression with acupuncture?

Contact us or make an appointment online directly at one of our locations in Breukelen, Hoofddorp, Nieuw-Vennep, Rijswijk / Delft, Voorburg or Wassenaar.