Depression is both a cause and result of chronic illness. Most chronically ill people are depressed, but it is not always possible to determine whether they became ill because they were depressed or became depressed because they were ill. Not all depressed people consider themselves sick.

There are basically two types of depression — exogenous and endogenous. Exogenous depression results from factors in the external environment. Endogenous depression is caused by factors within the person’s body and may be independent of his or her life situation.

Acupuncture can relieve feelings of depression, anxiety and insomnia, giving a person a sense of well-being and self-confidence. It is an effective substitute for sleeping pills, tranquilizers and anti-depressant medication. Many of these drugs have serious side effects when used to replace deficiencies of biochemical serotonin and dopamine in depressed patients.

Acupuncture promotes normalization of body metabolism and stimulates the patient’s body to produce optimal amounts of the biochemicals it needs for good health. As the heavy, sad feeling of depression is relieved, a person feels more self-confident in his or her ability to cope with unpleasant aspects of life and make necessary changes.

Acupuncture is a safe and effective way to relieve depression. It will not, of course, change the circumstances of a person’s life, but it will produce a feeling of well-being and relieve the insomnia that frequently accompanies depression. Since acupuncture does not have the side effects of anti-depressant drugs, electric shock or hormones, it is much safer and usually at least as effective. Acupuncture treatment for depression can be given along with treatment for any other symptoms.

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