Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression, is common at this time of year and into the winter months during the darker days. SAD can manifest with feelings of depression, low mood or “the blues,” low motivation, tiredness or low energy, irritability and agitation, increased appetite and oversleeping.
Acupuncture is helpful for SAD, just as it is for depression in general. Acupuncture helps to balance the body’s natural chemicals such as serotonin and melatonin, regulating mood, energy, alertness and sleepiness. Patients we’ve treated for SAD have reported better mood, motivation and energy levels. Depending on the severity of SAD symptoms we recommend the following treatment frequency: 3 treatments a week for severe, 2 a week for moderate, 1 per week for mild. Frequency might also vary based on the time of year, amount of light and how it’s affecting you (frequent treatments may be more beneficial or necessary closer to the winter solstice).