Dismal weather has turned this year's promised summer sizzler into a summer fizzler. The miserable conditions have caused many people to suffer from SAD Syndrome (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Normally this condition is common during the winter months of December, January and February, but with the lack of sunshine this year more and more people are becoming depressed.
Currently there are an estimated two million people a year in the UK suffering from depression*. Research shows that with one in 20 of us visiting our GP because of the condition, it is definitely a modern day epidemic. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends acupuncture as a proven treatment for depression. Many people are unaware that acupuncture has a long history of use in the treatment of psychiatric disorders in China. It is now increasingly being used both on its own and in conjunction with other therapies, such as psychotherapy and antidepressants, in the UK.
Chinese Medicine acknowledges that emotional factors play a part in health and that emotional life cannot be separated from the physical. Acupuncturists talk about seven main emotions: joy, worry/overthinking, anger, sadness, grief, fear and fright. It is human nature to experience these feelings - the real problem occurs when we experience them to an excessive degree or don't experience them at all. For example, a person can get stuck in anger due to harbouring resentment over many years, which in turn may manifest in physical or emotional conditions such as anxiety, depression, or insomnia. Neil Quinton, acupuncturist and British Acupuncture Council member explains how it can help: "My experience has shown that acupuncture has a lot to offer people suffering from all kinds of depression. It really can be an effective alternative treatment for the condition. I have seen many patients change their lives and move on from a very difficult period - it's as though acupuncture acts as a catalyst for change. Because it regulates the body's functioning and with the interconnectedness of mind and body, patients always find that as they feel better their physical complaints improve too. "Acupuncture treatment offers patients the chance to see the relationship between their mind and body - how they eat, drink, and exercise impacts on their mental health. It is a great way of empowering patients to care better for themselves in the future."
-ENDS- To find out more about how acupuncture can help depression, including the latest research, read our factsheet. As with all health care treatments, it's important to find a registered and qualified practitioner. To find a practitioner in your area call the British Acupuncture Council on 020 8735 0400 or visit www.acupuncture.org.uk BAcC practitioners are available for interview, expert comment and case histories. For further press information please contact 020 8735 0400 *www.depressionalliance.co.uk 'depression' 2004 * Martin Dean, How Acupuncture Can Help Depression and Anxiety
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