The Power of Acupuncture for Depression and Anxiety

The Power of Acupuncture for Depression and Anxiety

April is the cruelest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain.

Winter kept us warm, covering

Earth in forgetful snow, feeding

A little life with dried tubers.

Burial of the Dead, T.S. Eliot

April is Mental Health Awareness Month. So Let’s Talk About The Power of Acupuncture in Combating Depression and Anxiety

It is a cruel irony that as nature explodes with the increasing light, the weight of depression can push us down. Both my parents died in April, and for years I would be overcome with irritability “seemingly” out of nowhere. And that is when I understood how this poem was T.S Eliot’s lived experience. 

We support how the stigma of openly discussing your struggle is easing. Simone Biles took a breather to regroup during the Olympics. Senator John Fetterman recently sought necessary treatment for depression following his stroke. Serena Williams has spoken openly about her experience with postpartum depression. When public figures open up about this, so does the global conversation. 

For years, anxiety and depression have been at the forefront of why people seek acupuncture from us. I want to share with you how we approach this at Six Fishes. 

Chinese Medicine is Integral Medicine.

Integral Medicine means you are whole: together with other parts or factors; not omittable or removable. This includes your body and your spirit. 

Saying that Chinese Medicine treats the body-mind connection doesn’t do justice to our Medicine. We don’t need to make these connections: we are born interconnected. 

Our earliest texts, over 2000 years old, clearly outline treatments for anxiety, depression, and experiences that are very much like PTSD. 

Acupuncture is so effective for treating trauma that even the military uses acupuncture for pain and trauma. 

After Hurricane Katrina, an organization sprang up: Acupuncture without Borders to treat people, in chairs, on tarps, anywhere, and how to help them cope. It’s now a global organization creating pop-up clinics in Nepal, Mexico, Haiti, and more. Most recently in Ukraine. 

Chinese Medicine is Human Medicine

So when you come for treatment, we’re treating the whole of you. 

We see physical pain on a continuum with emotional suffering. So it doesn’t matter which came first: we’re treating the whole of you and your lived experiences. 

While we can’t solve the challenges you are experiencing, Acupuncture and Herbal formulas can be profoundly impactful for depression and anxiety. We help you to tolerate discomfort with grace. 

We can help you feel stronger and more resilient. 

Six Reasons to Try Acupuncture for Depression and Anxiety

  1. It works – Through a meta-analysis found on the Cochrane database, scanning numerous research studies on acupuncture and depression, acupuncture is shown to significantly reduce the severity of depression.
  2. It’s an alternative to toxic medications – Acupuncture has virtually no adverse side effects. When used as a part of a holistic approach to treating depression, it can help you heal depression naturally.
  3. It releases endorphins – Endorphins are feel-good hormones in the body. Acupuncture stimulates a response that triggers the release of endorphins.
  4. It’s a safe option during pregnancy. If you’re expecting a child, you might want to reduce or eliminate your intake of medications to prevent adverse side effects for the child.
  5. It can reduce inflammation, and there There is a growing body of evidence that chronic inflammation contributes to depression.
  6. It is restful. Being rested is a source of power; in her powerful manifesto, Rest Is Resistance, Tricia Hersey made an important case for the importance of rest to maintain resilience in the face of stress. Chronic stress is toxic. We wrote about this during the black lives matter riots in Philly in 2020. Most patients fall asleep during the session.

We’d love to see you in April to support your emotional wellness. We’d love to see you in the other 11 months too.

Cara Frank, L.OM., is an acupuncturist, herbalist, businesswoman, and author. She was raised in a health food store in Brooklyn, NY. When she was 8, she cartwheeled 5 miles from Greenwich Village through Soho and Chinatown and across the Brooklyn Bridge. For 40 years, Cara has had the same crazy passion for Chinese medicine. At 17, she had her first acupuncture treatment. At 20, she enrolled in acupuncture school. In 1998 she went to China to study, where she fell deeply in love with East Asian Herbs. Since then, she has devoted her life to studying and teaching the topic. 

Cara founded Six Fishes Healing Arts in Philadelphia, where she maintains a busy acupuncture practice and acts as the head fish of a warm and lively office. She is the president of China Herb Company and, in 2021, launched China Herb Seminars. Cara has published articles in international journals and is the author of TCM Case Studies: Eye Ear Nose and Throat Disorders.