It has been suggested that acupuncture may achieve treatment effects by modulating the corticostriatal reward/motivation circuitry (within the brain). This area of the brain is often indicated in managing patients with major depressive disorder. (1)
Now, in 2008, Zhang et al. did a meta-analysis on high-quality, randomized, controlled trials. This concluded that acupuncture is safe and effective in treating major depressive disorder and post-stroke depression. (2)
A meta-analysis in 2015 suggested that the combination of an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, a common antidepressant) + acupuncture had greater therapeutic efficacy than the SSRI therapy alone. (3)
A systematic review in 2017 concluded that acupuncture may act as an alternative therapy to medication for treating depression-related insomnia and could also enhance the benefits of medication, when used together (4).
Just this past November (2018), as systematic review and meta-analysis concluded that acupuncture (along with bright light therapy and massage) may reduce antenatal (during pregnancy, before delivery) depression, but also noted that there needs to be larger, higher-quality trials that include postnatal follow-up, along with maternal and neonatal outcomes. (5) More on postpartum mood support to come!
This just scratches the surface of what acupuncture can do for depression, and higher-quality trails are still needed (and interestingly enough, quite a few are in progress!) to further understand clinical management of depression with acupuncture.
References: PMID: 28802467, (1) PMID: 27693978, (2) PMID: 19632725, (3) PMID: 25704563, (4) PMID: 28286776, (5) PMID: 30423471.
Androgens are often referred to as ‘male sex hormones,’ but they’re present in both men and women. When it comes to women, we hear the most about testosterone, DHEA-S and DHT.
Birth control is NOT the only option for painful (dysmenorrhea) and/or heavy periods (menorrhagia). And before jumping on a medication or supplement your HCP should always look into potential causes of extreme cramping – ie. endometriosis, fibroids, etc.
Prostaglandins are a major factor in menstrual cramps – once a month (when Aunt Flow comes to town) they cause uterine muscles to contract in order to release the uterine lining (endometrium). Prostaglandins aren’t bad (they are important for blood clots, inducing labour, etc.), but if certain prostaglandins are high in your cycle – this can predispose to more painful menstrual cramping.
I’m excited to share that in an effort to increase accessibility to naturopathic care, I am offering virtual consults to individuals who live in rural areas of Manitoba.
Perimenopause: the hormonal shift, occurring over months-years, which transitions you into menopause. ‘Peri’ means “around” or “near”, so - you get the point.
Chronically stressed out? I won’t lie, me too.
But yikes, that eventually catches up to you. Cortisol (aka our stress hormone) is important for our functioning (and our ability to adapt to stress) – but too much or too little can be problematic.
Do you know how to deal with chronically elevated cortisol?
I’m willing to bet you’ve heard the term ‘PCOS’ before.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). The first thing I want to emphasize: it’s a syndrome – not all signs and symptoms show up in every individual with PCOS.
So, how do you know if you have PCOS?
Time and time again, infertility problems are often primarily thought of as a female issue. Male infertility is talked about significantly less, and in my own clinical and personal experience, more commonly overlooked. Men considering their own fertility may feel isolated, and even undervalued in their own contribution to the process. So, let’s talk about it.
I’m often asked “what do you do?”
Here’s some insight into how it works.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). What are they?
What are some interventions that Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) will use to support women dealing with these symptoms?
Let’s talk about my four favourite botanicals: Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata), Nettle (Urticaria dioica), Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) and Green Tea (Camellia sinensis).
I’ll talk about why I love that particular herb, what I use it for, how I use it and any other therapeutic uses.