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  • Marlo Rapp

Acupuncture for Depression and Anxiety

Updated: Nov 30, 2022

Depression Roughly 17.5 million adults and 1.9 million children in the United States suffer from depression. Adults with depression have a 64% greater chance of developing coronary artery disease. The highest levels of depression are in people between 18 and 25 years of age, with women being more likely than men to be affected. It is estimated that less than half of people suffering from depression receive treatment.

Symptoms of depression include:

  • Feelings of sadness, emptiness, and hopelessness

  • Loss of interest in hobbies and activities

  • Low energy

  • Lack of motivation

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Decreased sexual interest

  • Increased irritability, restlessness, anger, aggressiveness, and anxiety

  • Headaches

  • Digestive issues

  • Thoughts of suicide


Approximately 40 million adults and 4.4 million children in the United States have an anxiety disorder. Women are almost twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Many people suffering from an anxiety disorder also have other physical or mental illnesses. Only 1/3 of people with anxiety actually receive treatment.

Symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Excessive worrying

  • Feelings of agitation

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Increased irritability

  • Restlessness

  • Easily fatigued

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Panic attacks

  • Muscle tension

  • Irrational feelings of fear

  • Avoiding social situations

One of the main treatments for anxiety and depression are pharmaceutical drugs, which often come with harsh side effects, including:

  • Nausea

  • Increased appetite and weight gain

  • Feeling emotionally numb

  • Loss of sexual desire

  • Erectile dysfunction

  • Joint pain

  • Muscle pain

  • Headaches

  • Fatigue

  • Insomnia

  • Blurred vision

  • Dry mouth

  • Constipation

  • Digestive issues

  • Confusion

  • Seizures

  • Dizziness

  • Slurred Speech

  • Memory problems

  • Trouble concentrating

  • Poor balance or coordination

For many, the side effects are so bad that the medications are even worth taking. More and more people are looking for other, more natural ways to manage their feelings of depression and anxiety. One promising modality is acupuncture.


"Acupuncture is recognized by the World Health Organization as an effective depression therapy. Some studies have shown acupuncture noticeably lessens symptoms of depression. Acupuncture may be a treatment option for you if antidepressant medications haven’t helped." - The World Health Organization (WHO)

“Evidence for the use of acupuncture... to treat anxiety disorders is becoming stronger.” - The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA)

One scientific study found electroacupuncture to be as effective at easing symptoms of depression as prozac. Another study found that patients who received acupuncture experienced a decrease in depression, with their self-reported scales dropping from 16 to 9 out of 27. Another study found that electroacupuncture had a protective effect against the body’s stress response. One study examining major depressive disorder in pregnant women noted significant improvements when subjects were given acupuncture. Additionally, research has also found that acupuncture may also help treat side effects from medications. Multiple other research studies have found that acupuncture had as significant an impact on treating anxiety as conventional treatments - and with little to no side effects.

Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin, hair-like needles in the body to restore balance and promote the body’s natural healing capabilities. One way that acupuncture works is by stimulating the release of endorphins, also known as the human body’s natural pain-killing chemicals. Acupuncture has also been found to impact neurotransmitters and hormones, the autonomic nervous system, and blood hormone levels, significantly decreasing levels of peptides that induce anxiety and stress.

Many patients report feeling improvements in mood and energy, decreased feelings of stress, and an overall sense of peace and well-being from their acupuncture sessions. Experience the possibilities for yourself -> contact us now to book your Hot Springs acupuncture appointment!

Four Seasons Acupuncture in Hot Springs Arkansas

Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, cupping, injection therapy, moxibustion, tuina, nutritional therapy, TCM, and more!

We are located in Hot Springs, Arkansas, just minutes from Red Oak, AR, Price, AR, Lake Hamilton, AR, Pleasant Hill, AR, and Malvern, AR.

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