Depression is a label that covers a multitude of sins. The biggest danger is that some one is told they are “depressed”, gets put on medication with all the side effects that go with them and that’s it for the rest of their lives!! Nothing has been done to look at possible causes of the patient’s state of mind .So the patient stays on anti-depressants for the rest of their lives, the doctor has done his bit and the drug company has a regular income- everybody is happy!
One definition of depression is:”a state of low mood and an aversion to activities”, meaning you feel like shit and don’t want to do anything.
Background of people who are “depressed”.
The social. economic and emotional background has a bearing on our mental state. Are there money worries, stress from work, emotional/relationship issues, what is the health like. Is the diet highly refined, processed and junky? Is there a high intake of alcohol nicotine, caffeine and/or recreational drugs? Is lifestyle sedentary with little exercise, and even people who exercise do no flexibility work or stretching.The pattern of living just described is normally accompanied by a lack of healthy food in the diet as well. The above double whammy result in a gradual degradation and running down of our body’s reserves and health problems ensures. Another consideration is family history of “depression”. Notice how I left this one last, whereas conventional medicine will consider this first and ignore the lifestyle factors. Why do conventional medicine ignore life style factors? This is because conventional health practitioners themselves have as much knowledge of holistic health as the patients who they see, and you can’t teach someone to do something that you don’t know yourself.
The majority , if not all chronic health problems are caused by lifestyle. Only changes of life style will reverse these problems, not drugs.
Depression in pregnancy
The above background factors mentioned will of course be relevant in an ante-natal woman. Even if all the background factors are optimal (including the fact that the baby is wanted), the intense hormonal changes in pregnancy can cause changes in moods and physical exhaustion. In this day and age, I am sure expectant mothers will research themselves and try to be as healthy as possible while they are pregnant. Gentle exercises , especially yoga and Tai Chi ; and good healthy eating will ensure that the body is physically, emotionally and mentally well.
How can acupuncture help depression in pregnancy?
Assuming that the expectant mother is doing all the above but still feels very depressed, how can acupuncture help?
Acupuncture or stimulation of acu-points will balance the energetics of the body, this can be replaced by Shiatsu or Tuina, which are oriental bodywork systems which will balance the body without use of needles.Think of the treatment as a reprogramming system. From a western view,Acupuncture works by creating physiological homoeostasis and optimising the body’s biochemistry. This of course means the nutrition of the expectant mother must be good, otherwise there is nothing good to optimise! This can be helped with a good pre-natal supplement, i would recommend, Biocare, or Solgar. There are a small minority of people who have horrendous pregnancy even though they are doing all the right things. But for most people, if they carried out the practises described, the problems will resolve.
To sum up
Make your life style wonderful. Eat well . Do the “right” systems of exercise. Be happy. If you see a therapist, find one that will empower you, not just treat you.