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Q: What are some more ways to naturally treat depression?

Posted October 02, 2013 in Advice Column, Urbandale

A: There are about eight million Americans afflicted with depression, so you don’t have to feel you’re alone. Because of this, many people are dealing with both physical and psychological symptoms that are detrimental to their daily functioning. Depression may even get worse if left untreated. Along with nutrition (talked about in detail in Depression Part I), acupuncture is a powerful treatment that can also help.

If you’re looking for a holistic approach, acupuncture can be a very effective alternative to treat depression, anxiety, stress-induced fatigue and mood swings with long-term benefits. Acupuncture treats the root cause of internal imbalance caused by exposure to external stress. If a person is depressed, the body results in deficient or stagnant energy which creates an imbalance of yin and yang.

Acupuncture seeks to address the body, mind, emotions and spirit. Typically when patients have an emotional complaint, there will also be physical and spiritual disharmony as well. Acupuncture consists of inserting fine needles along various points in the body to stimulate the body’s flow of energy and functionality known as Qi. It’s been shown that acupuncture helps stimulate the release of certain mood-regulating brain chemicals (serotonin).

Acupuncture is pleasant, relaxing and energizing, creating harmony within ourselves. Treatments should feel like being in a deep meditation while your body moves back into balance. Patients can experience relief in three to six visits. Best of all, there are no side effects from acupuncture treatments.

Information submitted by Dr. Heather Yost, DACCP, Yost Family Chiropractic, 3993 100th St., Urbandale,

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