Depression is twice as likely to occur in women as it is in men of the same age groups. Why? Women have a set of complex factors that can all contribute to depression. Mood changes and feelings of depression occur with hormonal changes paired with biological factors, inherited family traits, life circumstances and field of experiences.
There are several important factors that also contribute to depression in women that traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture can help with. Here are some of the most common reasons for depression in women and how acupuncture can play a role in the healing process.
Young girls are at risk of developing depression during their puberty stages due to fluctuating hormonal levels. Mood swings, irritability and feelings of depression can begin at this time as they adjust to identity, conflicts with parents and social relationships and increased pressure at school and in other activities.
Females with PMS symptoms cite their experience includes bloating, headaches, anxiety, irritability, and often minor depression. However, many women have severe and disabling symptoms of PMS known as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). This is a type of depression that requires treatment as it can have a debilitating emotional impact on a woman’s wellbeing.
It’s not exactly known why PMS symptoms occur and their reasons for their intensity. It’s believed that cyclical changes between rises in estrogen and progesterone along with other hormones can cause a disruption in brain chemistry components like serotonin, that directly affect a person’s mood. However, in combination, other social and biological factors can also come into effect.
Traditional Chinese Medicine’s Perspective
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), symptoms of depression and anxiety in women are a result of complex interactions between a large spectrum of factors. According to TCM researchers featured in a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study on acupuncture and mental health, depression can be twice as common in women due to the relationship between the Liver and the menstrual cycle – which causes a weakness or Qi Deficiency in the Lungs or Kidney, Blood Deficiency in the Liver and Spleen, and Blood Stagnation in the Liver among other deficiencies. Distinct groups of acu-points, herbal therapy and lifestyle modifications can play a profound role in helping with depression.
To summarize, acupuncture can help in the following:
- It can ease the effects of fluctuating hormones by calming the nervous system that tends to set off the fight-or-flight response when things are not completely settled.
- It can be a preventative measure for a young woman to learn about lifestyle choices, strategies and herbal remedies to help her feel in control of her mental health.
- It can be tailored to a specific set of symptoms to bring awareness to the source of the depression.
The goal of Traditional Chinese Medicine is to treat the body as a whole which includes treating not only the symptoms, but by treating the body, the mind and overall state of being. Acupuncture sessions will ensure that your internal system is in a healthy balance, and has proven to have a positive effect on depressed patients. If you suffer from any form of depression, mild to major, consider visiting our clinic for acupuncture therapy. We will create a treatment plan suited to your needs and get you on a path to healing!