Could acupuncture be a complementary tool for depression?

Acupuncture is an ancient practice used for over 2,500 years. It's a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which has been gaining in popularity due to growing evidence supporting its benefits for a wide variety of conditions such as pain relief, stress, anxiety, weight-loss through to overall wellness. 

In TCM it's believed there is a flow of energy called Qi, which runs up and down meridians, or energy channels through the body. Blockages in this flow of energy is believed to result in illness. Acupuncture and acupressure is about removing blockages and helping restore this vital flow of Qi, helping to balance energy and connect the body, mind and spirit. 

One of the ways it does this is by tapping into the nervous system. Research by Ji-Sheng Han, 2004 shows that the nervous system plays a vital role in mediating an analgesic effect by releasing endorphins. Endorphins are a bit like a natural painkiller for the body, which is why its been shown to be an effective treatment for pain, headaches and even depression. 

Depression is one of the most prevalent psychiatric disorders affecting around 121 million people worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) highlighted that the prevalence of anxiety disorders is continued to grow, affecting women twice as often as men (Sniezek, 2013). 

In TCM its believed that anxiety and depression in women is a result of complex factors explained in part by the relationship between the liver and the menstrual cycle, qi deficiency and blood stagnation amongst other elements, which can then effect the 'Shen' or mind (Manver et. al, 2010). 

In one peer reviewed study of six people, it showed evidence supporting the benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of major depressive disorders (Sniezek, 2013).  

Where do 'ear seeds' come in? Ear seeds are a type of no-needle acupuncture providing gentle and sustained acupressure to specific points on the ear or body. They help in providing stress reduction, increased resilience and a sense of grounding and clam. Ear seeds are an easy at-home practice that can help as a natural stress management tool, in conjunction with other therapies such as acupuncture and allied health services. 

If you are new to ear seeding, there are two points we recommend to get started with - shen men and point zero. Studies have shown these two points help to restore a sense of calm.


Ear seeds for stress and anxiety

1. Shen Men - (the mind point) is connected to the nervous system and cerebral cortex, this point is considered a 'master point' to calm the mind, body and spirit. 

2. Point Zero - a centering and grounding point aiding with relaxation and stress.

click here to view our Seeded Ear Seed collections.

Planting the seeds to your wellness x 

Pearl ear seeds

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