Use acupuncture to help alleviate symptoms of bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder, also commonly referred to as manic-depressive disorder, is a condition characterized by repeated episodes of changes in mood and activity level. During manic episodes, a person may feel a diminished need for sleep and daytime hyper-activity with rapid speech and elevated moods. This may last from two weeks to five months. These symptoms are followed by longer periods of depression with poor energy, social withdrawal, difficulty concentrating, appetite changes and weight fluctuations. Traditional treatment requires one or more medications, usually lithium, an antidepressant, and sometimes antipsychotics. If symptoms are very severe, hospitalization will sometimes be necessary until stable again.

Acupuncture is recommended on a weekly basis to help provide a stabilizing effect on the neurochemistry of the brain. Small sterile needles are inserted into the ear and other parts of the body while lying down for about 20 to 30 minutes. Studies show that this has a calming effect on the neurochemistry of the brain. Different locations of needle insertion are used if a person is having a depressive swing; in this case a treatment is done to lift the mood and increase the energy. Consistent weekly treatments will, over time, result in much less fluctuation of mood and much less severe symptoms should any mood changes occur.


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  • continue your medications as prescribed
  • get regular exercise
  • take a high quality omega 3/omega 6 fish oil product
  • manage stress
  • eat a healthy diet

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  • change your medication dose
  • skimp on sleep
  • go on drastic diets or fasts

[publishpress_authors_data]'s recommendation to ExpertBeacon readers: Do

Do continue your medications as prescribed

Once you have experienced many less symptoms with weekly acupuncture, you may discuss with your physician whether it is appropriate to gently reduce your medication doses or not. Some patients may still require lifetime medication, even though they are experiencing very stable moods.

Do get regular exercise

Studies show that thirty minutes of exercise, five times weekly can have a moderating and balancing effect on mood swings. This is especially true for those more prone to depression. Exercise is also important for weight management, since some of the bipolar medications can cause weight gain.

Do take a high quality omega 3/omega 6 fish oil product

Clinical trials show promising benefits after just 90 days of consistent intake. It is believed that the neurotransmitters of the brain function better with healthy oils, and in fact, can definitely lessen the severity of mood swings. Fish oil can also help with the “foggy brain” that is sometimes caused by prescriptive antidepressants.

Do manage stress

Meditation has proven benefits to help manage stress and mood swings. Find a class in your local community; it takes just a few weeks to begin seeing the benefits. Fresh air and spending time in nature can also calm and lift the spirits. Make a list of the kinds of activities that help you feel refreshed or renewed and then choose one or more every week.

Do eat a healthy diet

Brain chemistry can stay healthier and more balanced with proper nutrients. A diet rich in fresh vegetables and whole grains, with modest amounts of fish and chicken, such as the Mediterranean diet, will help you feel physically better.

[publishpress_authors_data]'s professional advice to ExpertBeacon readers: Don't

Do not change your medication dose

Always check with your doctor before changing or stopping your prescribed medication, even if you are feeling much better. Stopping or changing medication abruptly can have adverse side effects and possible withdrawal symptoms.

Do not skimp on sleep

Research actually shows that bipolar patients, especially those prone to mania, feel much better with extra sleep. It is not just the rest, but also the extended time of darkness which calms down the neuroreceptors of the brain.

Do not go on drastic diets or fasts

Drastic changes to your diet or fasting can stress the chemistry of the body and actually trigger mood swings. Stick with a healthy diet, including the recommended daily servings vegetables, fruits, and proteins. If you are trying to lose weight, consult with your physician about healthy ways to lose weight.


Acupuncture has been proven in clinical trials to help with moderating the neurochemistry of the brain. Long-term benefits include greatly reduced frequency and severity of mood swings. Acupuncture can also help reduce many of the side-effects of some of the commonly prescribed medications for bipolar disorder.

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