Acupuncture is traditionally used for stress, depression and anxiety. Mood disorders in Chinese medicine are the result of imbalances in the body. By rectifying these imbalances through acupuncture, the body and mind are brought back into sync, restoring mental health and wellbeing. Acupuncture can also be used effectively in combination with a number of conventional western treatments of mental health including medication and therapy.

What is Stress?

Stress is a feeling of strain and pressure. Small amounts of stress may be desired, beneficial, and even healthy. Positive stress helps improve athletic performance and it also plays a factor in motivation, adaptation, and reaction to the environment. However, excessive amounts of stress may lead to bodily harm. Stress can increase the risk of strokes, heart attacks, ulcers, and mental illnesses such as depression.

The events that provoke stress are called stressors. The human body responds to stressors by activating the nervous system and specific hormones. The hypothalamus signals the adrenal glands to produce more of the hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, and release them into the bloodstream.

What is Depression?

Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings and sense of well-being. People with depressed mood can feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, ashamed or restless. They may lose interest in activities that were once pleasurable, experience overeating or loss of appetite, poor concentration, hard to remember details or make decisions, and may contemplate, attempt or commit suicide. Insomnia, excessive sleeping, fatigue, aches, pains, digestive problems or reduced energy may also be present.

Depression is one of the most common mental health problems. In Australia, about one in five people will experience depression at some stage of their lives.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of fear, worry, and uneasiness, usually generalized and unfocused as an overreaction to a situation that is only subjectively seen as menacing. It is often accompanied by muscular tension, restlessness, fatigue and poor concentration.

Anxiety is also a common mental health disorder and is believed to affect about 15% of adults.

What is Stress?

Stress is a feeling of strain and pressure. Small amounts of stress may be desired, beneficial, and even healthy. Positive stress helps improve athletic performance and it also plays a factor in motivation, adaptation, and reaction to the environment. However, excessive amounts of stress may lead to bodily harm. Stress can increase the risk of strokes, heart attacks, ulcers, and mental illnesses such as depression.

The events that provoke stress are called stressors. The human body responds to stressors by activating the nervous system and specific hormones. The hypothalamus signals the adrenal glands to produce more of the hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, and release them into the bloodstream.

What is Depression?

Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings and sense of well-being. People with depressed mood can feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, ashamed or restless. They may lose interest in activities that were once pleasurable, experience overeating or loss of appetite, poor concentration, hard to remember details or make decisions, and may contemplate, attempt or commit suicide. Insomnia, excessive sleeping, fatigue, aches, pains, digestive problems or reduced energy may also be present.

Depression is one of the most common mental health problems. In Australia, about one in five people will experience depression at some stage of their lives.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of fear, worry, and uneasiness, usually generalized and unfocused as an overreaction to a situation that is only subjectively seen as menacing. It is often accompanied by muscular tension, restlessness, fatigue and poor concentration.

Anxiety is also a common mental health disorder and is believed to affect about 15% of adults.

Symptoms related to Stress, Depression and Anxiety

The current lifestyle of ever increasing pressure and a quicker pace of life are making stress, depression and anxiety more and more common. If you have any of these conditions and do not manage them properly, your health will be affected and other problems may arise. Symptoms related to stress, anxiety and depression can vary from person to person. The common symptoms include:

  • Persistent, excessive or unrealistic worries
  • Negative thoughts
  • A phobia about everyday objects and social situations
  • Panic attacks
  • Irritability
  • Appetite or weight changes
  • Low energy
  • Poor concentration
  • Body aches and pains
  • Diarrhoea or constipation
  • Accompanied with other stress related conditions such as headaches/migraines, insomnia, high blood pressure and heart diseases

Treat Stress, Depression and Anxiety with Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine

In Chinese medicine theory, mood disorders are the result of disharmony or imbalance in the body. And treating mental illness is a matter of recognising the patterns of disharmony and restoring balance of the body. In western medical terms acupuncture increases the production of serotonin and endorphins, and also reduces stress and pain through neurological stimulation.

Two of the most common mental health conditions that acupuncture is used to treat are depression and anxiety. In Chinese medicine, depression is understood as a problem with the circulation of qi (life energy) around the body. A stagnation or imbalance of qi can be corrected through stimulating the source points connected to the liver (and to a lesser extend the heart and spleen), which is the main organ responsible for the free flow of qi. While anxiety is thought to stem from and disharmony between the heart and kidney. The heart (fire) overpowers the kidney (water) and rises to the mind, leading to anxiety and its associated symptoms. Therefore, treatment involves a focus on restoring balance between these two organs.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, a holistic method, integrates the body and mind and balances emotional distress naturally, safely and more successfully because it:

  • Promotes the body’s natural healing abilities
  • Is a holistic medicine, has never separated the mind and body and comprehensively treats both the physical and mental symptoms of conditions
  • Enhances the health of patient with conditions caused by drug side effects, cancer, endocrine abnormalities, etc.
  • Helps patients by reducing or eliminating the need for medication and its inherent side effects and thereby lowering the cost of treatment
  • Emphasises prevention and health maintenance. A healthy diet, exercise and stress reduction techniques can be very helpful in maintaining mental and physical health

Symptoms related to Stress, Depression and Anxiety

The current lifestyle of ever increasing pressure and a quicker pace of life are making stress, depression and anxiety more and more common. If you have any of these conditions and do not manage them properly, your health will be affected and other problems may arise. Symptoms related to stress, anxiety and depression can vary from person to person. The common symptoms include:

  • Persistent, excessive or unrealistic worries
  • Negative thoughts
  • A phobia about everyday objects and social situations
  • Panic attacks
  • Irritability
  • Appetite or weight changes
  • Low energy
  • Poor concentration
  • Body aches and pains
  • Diarrhoea or constipation
  • Accompanied with other stress related conditions such as headaches/migraines, insomnia, high blood pressure and heart diseases

Treat Stress, Depression and Anxiety with Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine

In Chinese medicine theory, mood disorders are the result of disharmony or imbalance in the body. And treating mental illness is a matter of recognising the patterns of disharmony and restoring balance of the body. In western medical terms acupuncture increases the production of serotonin and endorphins, and also reduces stress and pain through neurological stimulation.

Two of the most common mental health conditions that acupuncture is used to treat are depression and anxiety. In Chinese medicine, depression is understood as a problem with the circulation of qi (life energy) around the body. A stagnation or imbalance of qi can be corrected through stimulating the source points connected to the liver (and to a lesser extend the heart and spleen), which is the main organ responsible for the free flow of qi. While anxiety is thought to stem from and disharmony between the heart and kidney. The heart (fire) overpowers the kidney (water) and rises to the mind, leading to anxiety and its associated symptoms. Therefore, treatment involves a focus on restoring balance between these two organs.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, a holistic method, integrates the body and mind and balances emotional distress naturally, safely and more successfully because it:

  • Promotes the body’s natural healing abilities
  • Is a holistic medicine, has never separated the mind and body and comprehensively treats both the physical and mental symptoms of conditions
  • Enhances the health of patient with conditions caused by drug side effects, cancer, endocrine abnormalities, etc.
  • Helps patients by reducing or eliminating the need for medication and its inherent side effects and thereby lowering the cost of treatment
  • Emphasises prevention and health maintenance. A healthy diet, exercise and stress reduction techniques can be very helpful in maintaining mental and physical health

Dr. Rayman Wu

Acupuncturist & Chinese Herbalist



Dr. Rayman Wu is a fully qualified acupuncturist and Chinese medicine practitioner. He is registered with the AHPRA, and he is an accredited member of the Australian Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Association (AACMA) as well as accredited member of the Federation of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Societies of Australia (FCMA).