Exploring New Uses: Acupuncture for Depression, Sleep Apnea

AMC Acupuncture for depressionFor individuals experiencing depression, acupuncture can stabilize moods and combat stress-induced fatigue. Acupuncture also can be utilized as a primary or complementary therapy for the treatment of sleep apnea and many other sleep disorders. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and its symptoms are associated with depression, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Snorting, gasping or stopping breathing while asleep was associated with nearly all depression symptoms, including feeling hopeless and feeling like a failure,” says lead author Anne Wheaton, Ph.D. “We expected persons with sleep-disordered breathing to report trouble sleeping or sleeping too much, or feeling tired and having little energy, but not the other symptoms.”

The study, appearing in the journal SLEEP, is the first nationally representative sampling to examine this relationship, surveying 9,714 adults. Wheaton, an epidemiologist with the CDC, said the likelihood of depression increased with the reported frequency of snoring and/or instances when breathing stopped in the study.

Acupuncture treats sleep apnea and other sleep disorders by re-harmonizing the sleep-wake cycle, and it has a calming effect on the nervous system. Acupuncture also increases production of serotonin, a chemical in the brain that aids sleep. Acupuncture for the treatment of sleep disorders, and thus acupuncture for depression, results in:

  • Better sleeping patterns
  • Improved digestion
  • Deeper breathing
  • Reduced stress

Acupuncture goes beyond sleep medications to address related disorders that may interfere with the ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Stress, sciatica, digestive disorders, depression, and acute and chronic pain disorders are some of the ailments and conditions that acupuncture can treat.

Acupuncture & Massage College’s Community Clinic offers acupuncture, massage therapy, and herbal medicine for the treatment of a wide range of health conditions as well as for overall wellness. To schedule an appointment call (305) 595-9500. For information about AMC’s Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy programs ask for Joe Calareso, Admissions Director.


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