Traditional Chinese Medicine – a kind approach for mental ill health
Mental ill health is one of the foremost reasons for people in the UK to consult traditional acupuncturists.
Mental health problems have been forecast to rise significantly as a result of the current coronavirus pandemic and many acupuncture patients, not just those who originally presented with mental health issues but also those suffering physical pain, are finding it difficult to cope without their treatment. Some, feeling at the end of their tether, contacted the British Acupuncture Council (desperate for clinics to reopen, which we did in July) as well as their own practitioner:
‘I’m not doing well, I’ve gone downhill since lockdown and not being able to access acupuncture – please book me in as soon as possible. Thank you.’
Acupuncture is an effective treatment for depression, as demonstrated by the high quality randomised controlled trial at the University of York with 750 patients. Lead researcher professor Hugh MacPherson said:
‘In the largest study of its kind, we have now provided a solid evidence base to show that not only can acupuncture and counselling bring patients out of an episode of depression, but it can keep the condition at bay for up to a year on average.’
For anxiety and PTSD there are also encouraging results, although further high-quality trials are needed for confirmation. We are working with the charity Anxiety UK to provide an acupuncture service for their members and to measure the treatment outcomes. So far the results are good but greater numbers of participants are needed.
Traumatic stress and even PTSD may be long-term consequences of the current crisis for healthcare workers and acupuncturists are volunteering to provide support to NHS staff. In 2017 some of our members set up a free service for local people traumatised by the Grenfell Tower fire: https://www.worldmedicine.org.uk/grenfell/.
The watchword for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is kindness. During the past few weeks there have been many wonderful examples of kindnesses, both great and small. But kindness to others goes hand in hand with being kind to your-self, which is not always so easy.
If you are keen to feel the benefits of acupuncture why not book a consultation and treatment and see for yourself how I can help you?