Can Acupuncture Really Change Your Mood?
When my patients finish treatments at my clinic, they often express how RELAXED they feel after the session. So what is really going on to make that happen? Can acupuncture REALLY affect our emotions? The short answer is YES. There are numerous studies proving how acupuncture can successfully improve symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD. As a matter of fact, one of the landmark studies confirming the profound success of acupuncture for PTSD was done by the Army at Walter Reed Medical Center in 2014.
Other studies have been shown how real acupuncture can be measurably better than sham (fake) acupuncture in lowering stress. So how does acupuncture improve mood? The answer lies in their influence on neurotransmitters….those chemicals in our brain and body that control our mood and emotions. Specifically, acupuncture has been shown to change levels of b-endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, and GABA. These neurotransmitters are chemicals in our brain and body that are involved in pain control, stress response, pleasure response, and feelings of calm and relaxation. Most emotional disorders including depression and addiction are blamed on an imbalance of these neurotransmitters. Since acupuncture has direct access in altering these levels, it’s easier to understand how acupuncture can have a profound influence on our emotional state and mental health. To put it simply, patients feel “better” after acupuncture treatments. This mood improvement can be dramatic and can last several days to weeks after treatment. The change in behavior and mental outlook also opens the door to wide array of other lifestyle habits and practices that ultimately lead to a healthier (and ultimately) happier view on life.