Acupuncture a drug alternative for depression - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Acupuncture a drug alternative for depression

Cynthia Graf rarely misses an acupuncture treatment.

"I usually come in the mornings, and the rest of the day I'm all smiles," she says.

Practitioners will tell you that the Chinese have used acupuncture to life peoples' spirits for thousands of years. So, licensed acupuncturist Kenneth Chow wasn't surprised when he heard that researchers have discovered that acupuncture can trigger the release of "feel-good" chemicals in the brain.

"People in Asia commonly seek acupuncture prior to menopausal symptoms," Chow notes.

Depression is one of the symptoms many women experience with mid-life hormonal changes. In his own practice, Chow says he treats women going through menopause and has seen the effect acupuncture can have.

"They're just happier. Things don't bother them as much," he says.

Experts also see acupuncture as a good option for mothers-to-be who are depressed but don't want to take prescription anti-depressants.

"Not everyone responds to depression medicine," says Chow. "For those people, now acupuncture may be a good alternative."

In people with mild to moderate depression, researchers now say acupuncture can be just as effective at relieving symptoms as prescription drugs. Perhaps this ancient remedy could also be a modern medical marvel.

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