It should be no surprise to learn that stress could be considered the underlying cause of all physical and mental disorders and that suicide due to depression is a major cause of mortality. While psychotherapy and psychiatric medications have so far constituted the main tools of conventional medicine, many who suffer these psychological disorders are dissatisfied with ambiguous results or unpleasant side-effects.
Stress Reduction Techniques
Natural medicine has a long and successful history of relieving stress-related symptoms. Traditional techniques such as mindfulness meditation and self-hypnosis are taught to patients in our Stress Reduction Program. In addition, biofeedback training, which is supported by medical research (Fehring, 1983), is utilized to monitor physiological responses in order to enhance the learning of relaxation as a positive response to replace the negative habit of stress or anxiety.
At the same time, our Naturopathic physicians can prescribe from our dispensary traditional, research-based botanical and nutritional medications, homeopathic remedies and essential oils that have been proven to be safe and effective alternatives to drug medications in controlling anxiety, panic episodes, post-traumatic stress, depression and sleep disturbance.
Acupuncture Remarkably Effective
These methods are combined in our integrative clinic with acupuncture, which has been known for centuries to be the best solution for acute or chronic pain. At the same time, acupuncture has been shown to be remarkably effective in treating anxiety and depression, which affects up to 45 percent of pain patients. Acupuncture effects are accomplished through the stimulation of the brain to release chemical factors similar to anti-depression and anti-anxiety drugs without the side-effects.
A randomized blind clinical trial found anxiety and depression caused by premenstrual mood disorder were significantly reduced by acupuncture treatment, based on scores on standard rating scales (Carvalho F et al, 2013). A review of three years of research studies on cancer-related symptoms of anxiety, depression and sleep disturbance found acupuncture to be a safe and effective alternative to pharmaceutical medications that have potentially dangerous side-effects (Haddad NE and Palesh O, 2014).
An animal study found that acupuncture successfully modulated stress or anxiety by activating a signaling pathway of certain proteins produced in the hippocampus, a brain area affecting mood. This effect was considered comparable to that of an anti-depression medication such as Prozac, but without pharmacological side-effects (Oh et al, 2018).
Cranial Electric Stimulation for Stress
As part of this combined approach to the treatment of stress-related symptoms, our clinic has added the newly-developed method of Cranial Electric Stimulation (CES). An article recently published in a psychiatric journal reviewed scores on the standard Hamilton Scale that reflected improvement in symptoms of anxiety, depression and sleep disturbance, as a result of a mild electrical stimulation applied to the ear lobes, affecting the vagus nerve transmission to brain areas governing mood (Kong et al, 1983).
For further information on our Stress Reduction Program or to schedule an initial Naturopathic medical consultation, please contact New Health Medical Center.