Acupuncture for Postpartum Depression
Postpartum Depression symptoms can manifest in many subtle and overt ways. It can vary between lethargic sadness to extreme anxiety creating highs and lows similar to bi-polar disorder. Sleeplessness, although inevitable with a newborn, can become problematic causing a disdain for the baby. There is also the struggle with eating too little or too much depending on how the woman reacts to this mental and physical upheaval. More serious bouts with postpartum depression can create feelings of despair, harming the baby, hearing voices and suicidal thoughts.
Conventional medicine approaches this condition with a similar protocol given to clinically depressed patients using anti-depressants, anti-anxiety and sleeping aid medications. Sometimes hormonal therapy may also be used which requires finite dosage guess work. Integrative Med Solutions approaches postpartum depression with acupuncture and naturopathic medicine. This approach attempts to allow the scattered energy from the birthing experience to naturally realign without the use or potential side effects of conventional medicine.
Acupuncture: Calming the Hormonal Storm
A 2004 Stanford University study concluded that, “Acupuncture holds promise for the treatment of depression during pregnancy.” Licensed acupuncturist, Dr. Lisanti will utilize a variety of specific meridians (pathways) throughout the body that apply to your individual postpartum depression challenges. A classical Chinese medicine considers this condition to be an abrupt loss of yin energy as well as blood. This drop in essential nutritional support can wholly affect the body and mind including overall spirit. Some common points to dissipate stuck qi (pronounced: chee which is life energy) are GV20 (governing vessel) located in the center of the top skull; PC6 (pericardium) inside the forearm just above the wrist or HT7 (heart) located on the pinky side inner wrist.
Nutraceutical Supplementation: Strengthening Brain Chemistry
IMS can assist homeostasis by prescribing carefully thought out dosages of vitamins, minerals, amino-acids and more. Dr. Lisanti may suggest these and other nutraceutical remedies. Note: Taking these and other natural remedies without the supervision of a naturopathic doctor can cause contraindications.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids – low levels of this essential acid have been associated with prolonged depression.
- B-Vitamins – These vitamins are known to aid proper hormone levels.
- Iron – If deficient in this mineral it is highly likely that mood will be negatively affected.
- 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) – An amino acid that increases serotonin (feel good brain chemical) synthesis.
- Phosphatidylserine (PS) – Derived from the amino acid serine, this supplement has been associated with lowering symptoms of depression by as much as 60%.
Botanical Medicine: Natural Plant Remedies
Another approach that IMS may offer is the use of herb and plant remedies. This allows the body to forego potential side effects from conventional medicine and instead embrace a more natural healing protocol. These remedies include: St. John’s Wort, Siberian ginseng, Schizandra berries and milk thistle. Classical Chinese herbs that may be administered are: Ye Jiao Teng, Dang Gui, Shu Di Huang and Bai Shao.
At IMS, Dr. Lisanti will use many of the above mentioned resources as well as others such as clinical hypnosis, homeopathy and counseling to allow you to walk back on to the path of better health. At Integrative Med Solutions, we will design an acupuncture and naturopathic treatment program that works for you. In many cases, insurance covers portions of the acupuncture treatment. Allow us to support you to achieve optimal health. To make an appointment or find out more about how acupuncture and naturopathic medicine can benefit you, please call our office at 914.337.2980 or click here to schedule an online appointment.
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