“Kindness is a language the blind can see, and the deaf can hear.” -Mark Twain
For most, the holidays are a time of joy and celebration, but not for everyone. Typically, holiday-related mood and stress issues are temporary and resolve within a few days. Some, however, can have a long onset and build to the point of needing clinical attention for anxiety and depression.
In a National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) survey, 24% of people diagnosed with a mental illness found the holidays made their condition “a lot” worse and 40% “somewhat” worse.
Acupuncture has demonstrated its role as a vibrant part of our behavioral healthcare system and is now commonly being used in conjunction with conventional mental health therapies and medical treatment.
Mental health providers frequently recommend acupuncture as part of a comprehensive treatment protocol for acute and chronic behavioral health issues including PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
The Joint Commission, our nation’s largest healthcare accrediting body with nearly 21,000 healthcare organizations and programs in the United States, lists acupuncture as standard non-pharmacological treatment for behavioral health. Increasingly, hospitals and specialty clinics are offering acupuncture as part of their standard model of care.
Harvard Medical School and the Advanced Integrative Rehabilitation and Pain Center found a “high level evidence to support the use of acupuncture for treating major depressive disorder in pregnancy”.
Research at the University of Arizona concluded that “acupuncture can provide significant symptom relief in depression, at rates comparable to those of psychotherapy or pharmacotherapy.”
Other studies have shown acupuncture enhancing antidepressant therapy and improvement in the quality of life in depressed patients undergoing medical treatment.
A Yale University study on using acupuncture to treat pre-surgical anxiety found the benefits so profound that the researchers recommended that it be incorporated as standard pre-surgical treatment.
The best way to use acupuncture for mood related issues is to start treatment early. It usually takes fewer treatments to realize results, they should be spaced further apart as improvement warrants, and discontinued once symptoms are alleviated.
Finding joy and inner-peace over the holiday season is a reasonable and attainable goal.