My sister suffers from depression. Can acupuncture help?

My sister suffers from depression. Can acupuncture help?

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Tanya Edwards, M.D.
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Tanya Edwards, M.D.

A family physician, Dr. Tanya Edwards is passionate about using nutrition for the prevention and treatment of chronic illness.  She... Read more

I regularly recommend acupuncture to treat depression, as well as anxiety. Acupuncture originates from traditional Chinese medicine and is based on the belief that the body has a balance and flow of energy called chi. If your chi is not in balance, you can have problems with a variety of illnesses. Practitioners of acupuncture believe that depression and anxiety can be triggered by an imbalance of chi. A study involving patients who underwent PET scans of their brain following an acupuncture treatment showed significant increase in output of the feel-good hormone serotonin. Clinical trials have shown acupuncture to be as effective as antidepressants without negative side effects.In addition to acupuncture, your sister should also have her vitamin D levels tested. I believe that the goal for optimum health is to get levels between 50 to 80 ng/ml. Fish oil and magnesium supplements have also been shown to improve overall mood (many Americans are deficient in both of these as well). She can ask her doctor for recommendations on how many milligrams she should be taking daily of both.

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