The causes and types of depression vary from major depression to chronic depression, atypical depression, bipolar depression, just to name a few. The National Institute of Mental Health defines major depressive disorder as being characterized by a combination of symptoms that interfere with work, sleep study, eating, and loss of interest in once-pleasurable activities.  With a major depression (clinical) lasting more than a few days these normal activities can prevent one from functioning normally.  Clinical depression may occur once in a lifetime, or can be a recurring theme throughout their life.  Diagnosis of a major depression requires that symptoms be present daily (or most of the day) for at least two weeks.  These symptoms must also cause significant distress or impairment in functioning (barring direct effects of any medications).

The Western biomedical community for the most part utilizes various pharmaceuticals, and diagnosis is based upon what type of drug is going to be used in each case.  Traditional Chinese medicine takes the entire person into consideration, and with the use of acupuncture and herbal medicine, helps to mobilize any stagnant energy and build up and deficiency that might be cause to this problem.  No harmful drugs that can cause dependency, and rarely resolve the underlying problem is utilized.  By balancing out the system from an energetic perspective, balance and mood elevation is restored.

Please read the study done below concerning the effect of acupuncture on depression.

Elyse Josephs, L.Ac., Dipl.OM

Effects of electroacupuncture on behavior, plasma COR and expressions of PKA and PKC in hippocampus of the depression model rat

[Article in Chinese]
Lu F, Zhu HM, Xie JJ, Zhou HH, Chen YL, Hu JY.Medical College, Xiamen University, Fujian, and Xiamen City Hospital of TCM, China.

OBJECTIVE: To probe into the mechanism of acupuncture for treatment of depression. METHODS: Thirty-two healthy SD male rats were randomly divided into a normal group, a model group, an electroacupuncture (EA) group and a Maprotiline group. The depression rat model was made in the latter three groups, and from the second day of the experiment EA was given at Baihui (GV 20), “Yintang” (EX-HN 1), “Zusanli” (ST 36) and “Fenglong” (ST 40) in the EA group, once every other day; the rats in the Maprotiline group were treated with oral administration of Maprotiline hydrochroride, once each day. After treatment of 3 weeks, changes of behaviors, plasma cortisol (COR) level and expressions of protein kinase A (PKA) and protein kinase C (PKC) in hippocampus were observed in the rats. RESULTS: In the depression model rats, the body weight increased slowly, and horizontal and vertical activities and consumption of sugar liquid significantly decreased; plasma cortisol content significantly increased; expressions of PKA and PKC in the hippocampus significantly reduced. In the rats of EA group, the score of behaviors, the consumption of sugar liquid and the increase of body weight were not significantly different to those in the model group, but the plasma cortisol level significantly decreased and closed to the normal level, and positive expressions of PKA and PKC in the hippocampus could be effectively reversed. In the Maprotiline group, the consumption of sugar liquid significantly increased and plasma cortisol level significantly decreased, and expressions of PKA and PKC in the hippocampus increased as compared with those in the model group. CONCLUSION: The depression model rat has dysfunction of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPAA) and EA can regulate functions of HPAA. The mechanism is possibly carried out by regulating functions of relative enzymes in the signal transduction pathway in hippocampal cells.

PMID: 18447224 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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