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acupuncture. can it raise serotonin?


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I would say, don't waste your money. There have been a lot of medical studies done, with no conclusive evidence other than it can sometimes work as a placebo.

I would guess that if you asked the doctor for sources that acupuncture can raise seratonin "significantly", he would produce dubious ones if any.

If he does produce reliable evidence (like studies published in peer-reviewed journals), I'd love to see them! I'd also be curious to know how much the seratonin levels can be elevated (as compared to particular seratonin-enhancing meds), and for how long they remain elevated after treatment.

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I *think* it's proven to be effective for pain management. I also had a friend who went through amphetamine withdrawal and said it helped a lot.

As for depression, I tried it once, felt great for a few hours then crashed.

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I tried it, and was sexually abused by the acupuncturist. I asked for treatment for depression and he stuck a bunch of needles in my back. I didn't notice any difference, but he said it would take several sessions to become effective. During the next treatment, he asked me to take off my shirt, and lit incense cones on my tits. Third treatment, he wanted me to unbutton my pants and gradually pull them lower and lower. He kept asking how my "sexual energy" has been - that was the only energy he inquired about. Apparently there is an acupuncture point somewhere in on your pubic bone, which he showed to me in a book, as though that makes it okay for him to mess around with me down there. He also grinded his crotch against my foot. (I got out of there before it got worse.) The acupuncture didn't seem to have any effect on my depression, but the sexual abuse certainly made me feel a whole lot worse.

Don't know what that says about the effects of acupuncture on depression. I did some research and found out that his acupuncture license is valid. I didn't have the guts to file a complaint, tho. As far as I know, he is still practicing in Tallahassee.

My brother has been studying acupuncture and Chinese medicine for years. As far as I can tell, his treatments are useless and he talks about it like some sort of ancient magic. But at least he doesn't sexually abuse people.

Sorry for being a downer.

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  • 8 years later...

Here is a research article on the topic. Acupuncture is shown to raise serotonin levels in mice. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16565594

Make sure you do your research and find a reputable practitioners. They should either have their masters (4 year degree) or doctorate (total of 6 years) in Traditional Chinese Medicine. 

I have found this medicine to be very helpful with anxiety and depression.

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  • 2 months later...

I've read that acupuncture, even willy-nilly acupuncture that didn't put the needles in the places where they are supposed to go (this was one of the control conditions in the study), has been proven to work wonders for pain, depression and anxiety. For that reason if they want to put a needle anywhere you don't want it to go, you can feel confident in saying "no" without it effecting your treatment.

I don't know how it works, I don't think it works how they think it works, but by all accounts it works.

I don't see why people always dismiss something as a "placebo" effect. If you are feeling happier, less pain and anxiety, who cares if someone labels that a placebo? Placebos can have real concrete and measurable effects. Placebos help people a lot more than no treatment. I don't know or care if the things that help me are placebos if they really are helping me, it just means they are unlocking something in my brain that allows it to heal itself. Of course placebos won't cure anything like herpes or diabetes, that's been proven, but there are lots of areas where placebos have been proven to really help people. I don't know if acupuncture is a placebo, who cares, it works!

Edited by Antecedent
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So, I get that sort-of acupuncture to treat scar tissue. Not that it affects the appearance of the scar (it doesn't) but the scar pulls in on itself and affects the tissues around it, which is a problem. It's not an acupressure point, but it tells my body "hey! Something's wrong here! Fix it!" and so my body sends resources to the scar and helps it resolve itself. I guess in a way it's sort of like a counter-irritant.

Anyway, I always figured (since my mood's been a bit better since this happened) that it likely had more to do with my (finally) having some downtime to read my book while I sit there with needles in me.

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I get acupuncture monthly and it really helps with anxiety and calms me down, as well as (Idk how to describe this except to say after I had it I was so much more calm, and was able to actually hold conversations with people).  I'm more of a people-person after I have it.  I am not always treated for anxiety though, so when I am I can definitely tell a difference in my mood.

Like someone said above, make sure to find a qualified acupuncturist.  I would ask about years s/he's been in the business, etc.  Maybe even on-line there is a website where you can read more about the acupuncturist.

Anyway, I know it works for me, but YMMV.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been thinking about trying acupuncture.  My family (non-pharma believers) would be over the moon if I did.  If nothing else, it would get me out of the house?  I do have some PTSD/body anxiety and might freak out.  Hmm...

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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3689180/

https://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=efficacy+of+acupuncture+in+treating+depression+and+anxiety&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwimmonvkdnMAhWDez4KHd93DSUQgQMIGzAA

^^This link brings up A LOT of articles about acupuncture treating depression and anxiety.  I didn't read them ... too many for me right now to read.  But I think it would benefit you to look at some of them.

I googled, "efficacy of acupuncture in treating depression and anxiety" ... click on the first link after googling what I did, and then click on that, and a lot more articles come up.  The 2nd link after that is the first link I just posted above.

 

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^^ Not sure if you are replying to me, but FWIW:

My neurologist (who does the acupuncture) ... what he does helps a lot.  Not all in one appt, but over time I can see a difference.  Not only emotionally but also physically.  He has only done the depression/mood aspect of it a handful of times, but it worked for me. 

It didn't get rid of all the psychological symptoms I have, but even when one appt temporarily gets rid of the depressed aspect, increases my social ability, and gets rid of anxiety (temporarily) for a couple weeks, that makes a huge difference and is so worth seeing him for that.

I see him once a month. 

Edited by melissaw72
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  • 2 weeks later...

I think yoga helps because it is a type of mindfulness, it's faster and easier to be very mindful while stretching than while lying down flat on your back perfectly still. And then stretching has massive physical benefits, and physical health is a separate thing to mental health but creates better mental health. I don't think anyone knows how or why acupuncture works, at least not in what I have read (but hopefully someone who has read more can say) but they have lots of brain scans of people meditating. So although they don't know why meditating works they can see how it works, activating every area of your brain at once.
 

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14 hours ago, Antecedent said:

I think yoga helps because it is a type of mindfulness, it's faster and easier to be very mindful while stretching than while lying down flat on your back perfectly still. And then stretching has massive physical benefits, and physical health is a separate thing to mental health but creates better mental health. I don't think anyone knows how or why acupuncture works, at least not in what I have read (but hopefully someone who has read more can say) but they have lots of brain scans of people meditating. So although they don't know why meditating works they can see how it works, activating every area of your brain at once.
 

My neurologist who does acupuncture on me completely understands how acupuncture works.  Any certified acupuncturist should know, too (although their mileage may vary).

I'm sure that yoga and mindfulness and meditation and stretching do help some people (I know they don't do crap for me though.  And I have tried all of them).  But physical health doesn't always create better mental health, at least with me.  I have been my best physically, without it helping any of my mental health in a positive way. 

Out of curiosity how do you know that the yoga, stretching, meditation, and mindfulness is " faster and easier to be very mindful while stretching than while lying down flat on your back perfectly still."  Have you ever tried acupuncture at all?

Acupuncture certainly does a better job for me.

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For me, Mindfulness is helpful for my anxiety and stress and helps me have less depressive days. But my question about exercise/yoga/stretching comes from the idea of them increasing endorphin's (short term) and improving your cardiovascular, pulmonary, and endocrine systems (long term). Regular exercise is said to promote better branching of blood vessels in the brain, helping mental function.

Since exercising regularly, I have discovered the endorphin's rush with cardio and fell more leveled cognitively overall. I was wondering if acupuncture helps similarly. I realize though this is of topic.

 

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