Benzodiazepines such as Xanax and Valium treat anxiety and depression symptoms by slowing down the signalling of the nervous system leading to a calming, sedative effect. The potency of the drug allowed it to become prescribed for everything from panic attacks to sleep problems; benzodiazepines are now widely prescribed for alcohol withdrawal, muscle tension related to the central nervous system and epilepsy. But concerns about overuse, sustained use, dependence and side effects have fought their way to the fore as benzodiazepines have been linked with deaths from overdose. Other side effects include:
Interestingly, studies have shown that benzodiazepines can actually interfere with normal sleep patterns and long-term use has been associated with furthering symptoms of depression. As with all prescribed medications, it is important to realize that these are powerful drugs that come with a long list of side effects and a potential for dependency.
Studies are showing that regular acupuncture treatments are effective for treating depression and anxiety; as a further consideration, acupuncture is considered safe and does not have a long list of side effects. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture works by correcting blockages in the body's energy pathways. Along the way it releases natural painkilling chemicals in the brain and rebalances the central nervous system. Studies have shown that acupuncture is comparable with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for treating depression and anxiety. Acupuncture is further effective as part of a plan for reducing dependency on prescription drugs such as benzodiazepines. As part of a holistic healthcare method that combines CBT, control over diet, and therapeutic exercise, acupuncture can contribute to the calming, sedative effect that people come to crave with your medication.
Your body has a unique balance and acupuncture focuses on identifying the malefactors that are disrupting this equilibirum. At Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture, we are interested in providing our patients with the most up-to-date natural treatments for stress, anxiety and depression. If you are interested in managing your depression or anxiety with non-prescription methods, give our office in Park Slope a call to start the conversation today.