Acupuncture and TCM for the treatment of Insomnia & Depression


Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine have a long history of treating depression and insomnia.

Treating Depression and Insomnia

Depression is one of the most common mental disorders. It can have many complicated influencing factors, such as loss of interest and sleep disorders including insomnia. Approximately 70% of patients with depression have symptoms of insomnia. In fact, insomnia is one of the diagnostic criteria for depression. One of the manifestations of severe depression is waking up two hours, or more, earlier than normal.

Insomnia is commonly defined as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Traditional Chinese Medicine will frequently look at what time you are waking up, and associate it to a specific organ system. Depending on what organ system is affected will determine what acupuncture points will be used to address the insomnia. An acupuncturist will address the whole body, and will work towards creating a balanced system. Patients that commonly come in for insomnia or depression frequently see changes in other symptoms too.

Generally, the first line of defense for depression are antidepressant medications called: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAS), and monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MOIs). However, these medications can come with a number of undesirable side effects such as weight gain, sedation, dry mouth, nausea, blurred vision, constipation, and tachycardia.

Studies Reaffirm Acupuncture Therapy for Insomnia and Depression

In a meta-analysis done in 2017 over 18 studies. 11 articles were randomized-controlled clinical trials (RCTs) compared with Western medicine, 5 were RCTs of acupuncture combined with medication compared with sole medication; 2 were studies of acupuncture compared with sham or placebo acupuncture control. There were 1678 participants (908 women, 641 men, and 120 unknown gender, age 18-75yrs old). The results of the meta-analysis were promising, and showed that acupuncture could be a successful alternative therapy to medication for treating depression-related insomnia.

Unlike Western medication, acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine are relatively low risk. By looking at the whole-body acupuncture cannot only address insomnia and depression, but also a wide variety of other symptoms.

Why lose any more sleep? Find your nearest licensed acupuncturist, and make your acupuncture treatment for insomnia and depression today!

At Calandra Center for Health and Wellness, located in Chicago and Arlington Heights, we offer a wide variety of options for the treatment of insomnia and depression including acupuncture, herbs, Reiki, Access Consciousness Bars, and other energy medicine.


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