Acupuncture for Mental Health

The impact of Covid-19 on mental health cannot be underestimated. Lockdowns, and associated lack of personal contact, have exacerbated issues like loneliness, depression and anxiety. It is good to see these issues now being more openly discussed, reducing the level of stigma often associated with mental health conditions.

A survey found last year that the combined effect of the pandemic and associated restrictions had significantly increased psychological distress in one-in-five Irish people. I have seen many people in my clinic presenting with personal difficulties and health concerns in the last 2 years, which were very much linked with the trauma of living through a pandemic. I recently completed a HSE Mental Health First Aid course which has further equipped me to have a supportive conversation with a person in distress and to signpost appropriately to professional help.

So talk to someone like a health professional, counsellor or trusted friend, if your anxiety is overwhelming or preventing you from easing back inot post-pandemic life.

Diet can have a huge impact on mental health. According to top Irish nutritionist Emer walsh, who is also based at The Crane Clinic, ‘gut health and mental health are intrinsically linked”.

Acupucture can help an array of mental health issues – anxiety, stress, depression, insomnia and addictions and my patients have had huge benefits with these conditions in my experience over the past 15 years. Acupuncture works by creating balance along the energy meridians of the body. When these meridians become blocked due to the stagnation of Qi (life force), then disease or ill-health occurs, in body or mind.

The fine needles are inserted into specific areas to help unblock the stagnation, re-balance the nervous system and restore health. People report that they are much more relaxed and are sleeping better. Treatment lasts approximately 1 hour in a relaxed clinicial setting. I also use a combination of heat lamps, cupping therapy, Celluma LED therapy, auricular acupuncture as part of a treatment. Herbs may be prescribed too.

This article by Mairead Dee was published in Galway Advertiser, February 24 2022.

Mairead Dee is a qualified Acupuncturist and Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner based at The Crane Clinic.