Mental health is an ongoing concern for both men and women. Men and women are affected by mental health at roughly the same rates as women but the differences are that men are less likely to get treatment for them.
Some statistics for mental health in the United States from Mental Health America:
- 1 in 5 adults experience a mental health crisis each year
- Males die by suicide 4x as much as females
- 1 in 5 males will develop alcohol abuse issues
Men often develop different symptoms than women who are depressed. Men who are depressed may often exhibit anger or aggressive actions and they might not always recognize the anger or aggression as depression symptoms.
Men are also much less likely to discuss their feelings and emotions, which can frequently lead to further depression and even thoughts of suicide.
Read more about “Can Acupuncture Help with Depression?” by PsychCentral.
How Western Medicine Treats Mental Health
After a diagnosis by a healthcare professional, medications and therapy are the most prevalent treatments. Antidepressant medications can be very beneficial for patients in mental health crises. Unfortunately, many of the antidepressant medications also have some unwanted side effects and interactions with other medications. In some cases, these medications can aggravate the mental health conditions they are supposed to be helping with. That is one huge advantage that acupuncture and herbal medicine has, fewer side effects.
How Acupuncture Can Help Mental Health
Our nervous systems can be divided into 2 opposing roles or functions. Our Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) is in charge of excitatory reactions to the environment. The SNS will send messages to the body and it will respond in multiple ways. Our Parasympathetic Nervous System is responsible for relaxation reactions. These reactions are calming in nature and can include endorphins, enkephalins and serotonin and dopamine. Numerous studies have shown that acupuncture treatments can stimulate production of our parasympathetic response(1) Many of the Western medications that treat mental health are targeting these areas of the brain but have many difficult side effects.
Each time patient’s get an acupuncture treatment, their brains are getting a reset that can be very powerful at promoting mental health.
What The Treatment For Mental Health Is Like?
After a throghout intake where our providers review a patient’s health history and concerns, we make a diagnosis using the principles of Chinese medicine. Or evidence based treatment will be performed, back by research, clinical experience and thousands of years of history. Acupuncture needles may be inserted at various acupuncture points throughout the body. If a patient is ever uncomfortable we remove the needle. Needles are retained for 25-40 minutes, which is usually a very relaxing time for the patient, who often falls asleep. After the acupuncture treatment, our providers may make recommendations for herbal medicine, exercise, diet, or lifestyle changes. A complete review of your treatment plan along with recommendations for return care is provided after your visit.