Treating Seasonal Affective Disorder with Acupuncture


Seasonal Affective Disorder(SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into winter, draining you of energy and causing you to feel moody. While the true cause for SAD is unknown, it is believed that decreased melatonin levels due to limited exposure to sunlight in the winter is a major factor. Genetics, hormones, and stress may also play a part in this disorder. What is known is that SAD affects over ten million people in the U.S. each year and is 4 times more likely in women than in men. Regular acupuncture treatments can help alleviate the symptoms of SAD by recharging your body systems.

Why Acupuncture?

Stimulating specific body points with acupuncture alleviates stress by releasing endorphins – a natural pain-killing chemical in the brain that also acts as a sedative. Acupuncture also improves circulation of blood through the body, which oxygenates tissues and metabolizes cortisol and other waste chemicals. The calming nature of acupuncture also decreases heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and relaxes the muscles. Its regulatory effects help bring cortisol levels back to baseline, and normalize stress hormone levels.

Certain individuals suffering from SAD have had relief in Yin tang. Yin tang is located between the eyebrows. Behind the pituitary gland lies the pineal gland, which responds to light and seasonal changes. By needling yin tang, the pineal gland can be stimulated and can decrease the feelings of tiredness and depression. A lot of our patients tell us that this acupuncture point between the eyebrows is one of the most calming and relaxing points in their treatment.

Our practitioners here have extensive experience dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder and are stateboard and nationally certified. In addition to getting proper treatments, we often advise our patients during this time of the year to slow down and get more rest. Even though we are able to continue to work and be more productive through technological advances such as having light and heat, it is nature’s intent for us to be less active than spring and summer when we experience warmer, longer days. Slowing down and getting sufficient rest helps restore our energy and balance our endocrine system. Therefore, there’s less of a chance for SAD to affect our mood, our productivity, and our health.
Whether it’s for preventing you from being affected by SAD or treating symptoms of SAD, we are here to help! Book your appointment today online or by calling 650-468-3636 for the Los Altos office or 650-468-3636 for the Belmont office.

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