Can Acupuncture Cure SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)?
As the days grow shorter and there is less sunlight to enjoy, many people suffer from a case of winter blues. In fact, around one-third of people in the UK suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Furthermore, women are 40% more likely to suffer from the winter blues, SAD or ‘winter depression’
What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
SAD can manifest itself in many different ways. For some, the winter months can lower their overall mood, and they do not feel as positive as they do in the summer. For others, the winter blues bring fatigue, where it is a struggle to muster up any energy or to feel like you’ve had enough sleep for the day ahead. In severe cases, SAD can cause low self-esteem, anxiety and depression.
Some of the other symptoms include;
- Fluctuating weight
- Loss of interest in your hobbies
- Feeling hopeless or agitated
- Problems with concentration and focus
- Lack of energy and drive
This highlights how important the seasons and the weather are to our well-being and how we should try to adapt our bodies and our minds so that we can embrace each season.
How To Beat SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
1. Maximise light
It is essential to make the most of the sunshine, even though it may be infrequent. Try to adopt a morning walk into your routine. If that’s impossible, look for ways to increase your exposure to light during the day. A dawn simulator can be an excellent alarm clock, while a SAD light box can provide the brightness of the sunshine in the comfort of your own home.
It is important to look for ways to incorporate as much natural light as possible into your routine so that it can help to regulate your circadian (sleep) cycle. It may help to clean the windows and cut back and trees or hedges that block the light.
In numerous studies, acupuncture has been proven to be as effective as conventional drugs for SAD and depression. Of course, acupuncture is a natural therapy while drugs can cause adverse side effects. While both treatments can be completed alongside each other, acupuncture can be an excellent alternative to someone who would prefer not to take medication for their symptoms.
Acupuncture works to beat SAD by stimulating the nervous system which sends neurochemical messengers throughout the body. This can help to increase the production of endorphins and serotonin which are known as the body’s happy chemicals.
What’s more, acupuncture helps the body to naturally heal itself by ensuring energy can flow smoothly throughout the body, without any blocks. Your acupuncturist can also help to identify and treat any areas of pain, stress or anxiety in the body. In turn, this can help to improve your mood and make you feel more relaxed.
3. Make plans
Sticking to a routine can be incredibly helpful for beating Seasonal Affective Disorder. Try to regulate what time you go to bed and wake up to set a solid sleep routine that can help to beat tiredness associated with the winter. Making plans with friends and loved ones can help to lift your spirits and get rid of the feeling of hopelessness.
Finally, exercise is a great way to increase the happy chemicals in the body. Even though you may not feel like going out in the cold, you will feel the benefit from exercise, even if it is just for a quick stroll.
Are You Suffering From SAD?
If you are affected by the winter blues, then acupuncture can help. I offer acupuncture in Baginton, Kenilworth and for clients across Warwickshire. If you’d like to see a difference with acupuncture, then get in touch at email@example.com to arrange your first consultation and detox session.