Acupuncture and Psychology

acupuncture and psychology in south florida
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine are powerful tools in the successful treatment of many psychological conditions

Psychological disorders generally refer to patterns of behavior or psychological symptoms which affect different life facets and result in distress and impairment to the sufferer. According to the current diagnostic manual (DSM-5) published by the APA, a psychological disorder is a syndrome symptomized by significant disturbance in a sufferer’s cognitive ability, behavior, or emotion management which points to malfunctioning of the person’s psychological and biological processes brought about by mental functioning.

How are Psychological disorders diagnosed?

Psychologists have over the years grappled with the question of what really is a mental disorder. It isn’t easy to define what comprises a psychological disorder and definitions keep changing with time. Diagnosis and classification of a mental disorder is crucial for the mental health care givers as well as mental health patients. The World Health Organization publishes and updates the International Classification of Diseases which is used in determining if a given set of behaviors and symptoms satisfy the criteria to be diagnosed as a mental disorder. Another publication in frequent use by clinicians is the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Numerous people shun diagnosis as they are worried about being stigmatized, yet being diagnosed is a vital step in the search for proper treatment. Diagnosis helps psychiatrists and their clients shed more light to the condition and discover solutions.

Epidemiology of Psychological disorders

Numerous researches have established that psychological disorders are common, yet they’re underreported, underdiagnosed and undertreated. Indeed, more than a third of populations in many nations report inadequate criteria for diagnosis of either the mental disorders in at least one point in their lives. A report published in 2001 by the WHO (World Health Organization) showed that as many as 450 million persons across the world grapple with at least one kind of psychological disorder and that about a quarter of the world population meet the criteria of having a brain condition at one point during their lives.

Another research by the Global Burden of Disease indicated that psychological conditions are to blame for up to 25% of disabilities caused by health loss. This is 20 times bigger than health loss disabilities caused by cancer and 8-fold higher than that of coronary heart conditions. More recent researches have shown that mental disorders are more common than initially thought. For example, the National Comorbidity Survey and the American National Institute of Mental Health or NIMH approximate that more than a quarter of America’s adult population can be diagnosed with some form of psychological disorder at some point in a year. Estimates from the NIMH indicated that in 2014, close to 10 million adults aged above 18 in America suffered from serious mental conditions. Such serious disorders result in severe impairment that impedes on a person’s ability to carry out important life activities.

   Acupuncture and the Treatment of Psychological Disorders

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, we can help. We have been successfully treating many psychological conditions for over 10 years in the South Florida area

If you are suffering from depresson, anxiety, bipolar, or any other psychological condition we understand your frustration, torment, and plight to find answers and a solution.Maybe you have tried antidepressants or antianxiety medications and they are just not working for you or they are creating unwanted side effects. These conditions, and sometimes the medications used to treat these conditions, can radically reduce your quality of life and overall happiness.

The good news is that you have come to the right place. It is no coincidence that you have found us here today on the world wide web. We have effectively treated many psychological conditions naturally with acupuncture, nutrition and Chinese herbs and we are confident that we can treat yours too. We have helped many of our patients seeking an alternative to the western model of treating depression, anxiety and other emotional issues.

“Dr. Robert saved my life! …I just had a child and was suffering from anxiety and depression. I had tried many things but nothing was working. I had never tried acupuncture and was skeptical but decided to give it a try. I felt a difference after the very first treatment. He took me out of a place that I thought I would never or could ever get out of… He is an excellent acupuncturist that truly cares and goes above and beyond the call of duty. I am very grateful! THANK YOU!”  ~ Jessica A. – Margate, FL

South Florida acupuncturist Robert J. Herbst has a master’s degree in clinical psychology as well as his degree in oriental medicine and has a special understanding when it comes to the treatment of psychological / emotional disorders and addictions. He finds using acupuncture and Chinese herbs to be very powerful and effective, in many cases, as a complement to and sometimes as an alternative to psychiatric medicine.

Acupuncture for depression and anxiety (or any psychological condition) is a highly effective and oftern times fast acting treatment. By focusing on the root cause of the condition, and viewing the body as a whole system, any psychological condition has the potential to be corrected through Holistic Medicine, i.e. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs. So stop suffering today and call us for a free consultation at 954-586-2273. Our acupuncture wellness clinic is in Margate and just minutes from Coral Springs, Coconut Creek, Parkland, Boca Raton and Pompano Beach.

    Effective Treatments for many Psychological Conditions in FloridaSome major psychological disorders that acupuncture can successfully treat include:

  • Neurodevelopmental disorders – Diagnosis of neurodevelopment disorders is usually made between infancy and adolescence and include developmental delay, intellectual developmental disorder, autism, ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and communication disorders.
  • Personality disorders – Personality disorders normally cause maladaptive behaviors, feelings as well as malfunctioning thought patterns which can be detrimental to relationships and other facets of life. Personality disorders comprise of antisocial personality disorder, dependent personality disorder, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.
  • Depressive Disorders – are characterized by sadness severe and persistent enough to interfere with function and often by decreased interest or pleasure in activities. Exact cause is unknown but probably involves heredity, changes in neurotransmitter levels, altered neuroendocrine function, and psychosocial factors. (Merck Manual)
  • Anxiety disorders – Anxiety disorders are symptomized by extreme or undue unease, fear and anxiety. A patient generally anticipates the arising of a future threat. This threat may only be perceived or it can be real. Some common anxiety disorders include Panic Disorder, Separation Anxiety Disorder, OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, specific phobias, and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
  • Bipolar disorders – Bipolar is chiefly symptomized by major changes in mood, activity and energy levels. A person usually experiences elevated moods followed by depressing periods.
  • Dissociative disorders – Dissociative disorders like dissociative amnesia and depersonalization are characterized by disturbance in consciousness such as memory and identity.
  • Sleep disorders – Sleep-wake disorders cause disruption in sleep patterns which result in distress and impact on daytime functioning. These include parasomnias, nightmare disorders, insomnia, breathing-related sleep disorders and narcolepsy.
  • Substance related disorders – Substance related disorders are connected to abuse of alcohol and other substances like opiates and cocaine. Sufferers experience notable intoxication, delirium, anxiety and withdrawal.
  • Psychotic disorders – a group of disorders that affect the mind. Schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder are examples. People with this illness have changes in behavior and other symptoms, such as delusions and hallucinations, that last longer than 6 months. It usually affects them at work or school, as well as their relationships.
  • Stress related disorders – Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a trauma and stress related disorder that may develop after exposure to an event or ordeal in which death, severe physical harm or violence occurred or was threatened.

    Common types of Western Medical Treatment for Psychological Disorders

Everybody seeks happiness and works to shun any form of pain and suffering. As such, when people experience bouts of insomnia, depression, anxiety or other forms of psychological disorder, they rightly seek relief from these conditions. Drugs and talk therapies are the most common types of treatment for mental disorders administered by Western medicine. However, in many cases, drugs do not offer a permanent relief. Additionally, many patients are required to take these drugs for a lifetime. Also, the adverse side effects of mental disorder medications are known and well documented. Indeed, many patients and mental health providers always want to avoid these drugs due to the harmful side effects and the fact that they hardly offer permanent relief. Consequently, the need for an effective alternative treatment such as acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine becomes necessary.

    Acupuncture as a Viable Alternative Treatment for Psychological Disorders

Treatment for psychological conditions in South Florida
Dr. Robert Herbst has advanced degrees in clinical psychology and acupuncture and has over 10 + years of treating patients in South Florida.

Oriental medicine provides a different route to treating shen (Chinese for mind-spirit) disorders. For thousands of years, TCM and acupuncture have been used to successfully treat mental disorders. Acupuncture is known to induce a deeply tranquil state. This is greatly helpful to persons who feel tensed and stressed.

For persons on long-term medication due to mental disorders, acupuncture can be administered to effectively treat the conditions and help reduce or cease the consumption of pharmaceuticals. If you or a person you know has had a prolonged psychological condition and wants to eliminate or at least reduce drugs, acupuncture offers a safe means to minimize dosage.

Indeed, recent research results consistently show that acupuncture is an effective treatment for psychological disorders. A research carried out at the University of Arizona showed that acupuncture results in immediate and significant reduction of the symptoms of mental health conditions. After two months of receiving acupuncture for their respective psychological conditions, the patients involved reported permanent relief

    Acupuncture is a natural treatment for depression what works…

There are over 8 million Americans that suffer from depression. The numbers are staggering, and it is no surprise that it is the main cause of suicide claiming over 30,000 lives each year in the US. Approximately 20% of people will suffer a major episode of depression during their life.

Western antidepressant drugs such as Effexor, Paxil, Elavil, Zoflot, Prozac, Celexa, Lexapro, and Wellbutrin, can be helpful by focusing on maintaining the serotonin levels in the brain. But at what cost? Horrible side effects are prevalent among those that use these medications and usually you have to stay on them for extended periods of time, if not for the rest of your life. And it is also reported that it is very difficult to come off these medications with withdrawal effects being quite debilitating.

Acupuncture, combined with Chinese herbs for depression and sound nutrition, can be a very effective alternative treatment for depression, anxiety, stress-induced fatigue and mood swings, resulting in long-term benefits. Acupuncture for depression focuses on the root cause of the disease, the imbalance or disharmony usually caused by stress and genetic factors that leave you predisposed to depression. Stress, if left untreated, can cause qi or energy “blockages”.

In western medical terms, this stress effects neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and GABA, and the result is a decrease in the concentration of their levels. This can manfest in the body as anxiety, poor sleep, fatigue, and eventually, depression. When the proper diagnosis is made, and the cause of your condition is pinpointed, the results you can achieve with acupuncture and Chinese herbs can be astonishing. Acupuncture for depression really works! Read the section on how we diagnose and treat disease to get a better understanding of how Traditional Chinese Medicine works.

    Clinical Study on the effectiveness of acupuncture on depression…

acupuncture and psychological conditions in south florida
Depression, anxiety and other psychological conditions can feel overwhelming. We want you to know there’s help. Acupuncture has powerful restorative effects on the body and mind

Psychologist John Allen, from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and Acupuncturist Rosa Schnyer, conducted the very first pilot controlled study on treating depression symptoms with acupuncture in the Western scientific world. In a double blind randomized study, 34 depressed female patients who met the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria were assigned to one of three treatment groups for eight weeks.

The first group received acupuncture treatment specifically tailored to their depression symptoms. The second group received a general acupuncture treatment not specific to depression, and the third group was placed on a waiting list for acupuncture treatment, but received no treatment. The study found that those in the tailored acupuncture treatment experienced a significant reduction in symptoms, compared to those in the non-specific treatment. Moreover, over 50% of the participants no longer met the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for depression after the study.

The study findings suggest that using acupuncture alone could be as effective as other types of treatments for relieving depression symptoms typically used in Western medicine, such as psychotherapy and drugs. These results are promising!

Read about acupuncture and depression from a patient’s perspective

   Acupuncture found to be effective for anxiety…

In Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM, generalized anxiety disorder is understood not as a brain dysfunction, but more as an inner organ disharmony. TCM theory holds that each of the Zang Organs – Spleen, Liver, Heart, Lung, Kidneys – plays a role in emotional health.

Emotions and the organ systems health are intimately connected. Zang organs can develop imbalances due to various reasons including poor diet, environmental factors, questionable lifestyle, and genetic factors. By understanding these connections, we can see how anxiety or panic disorder might be due to an imbalance in one or more of the organ systems.

The Heart Zang organ is said to store the Shen or spirit. In all anxiety cases the Shen is disturbed. While a generalized anxiety disorder always affects the Shen, either primarily or secondarily, calming and harmonizing the Shen will be the fundamental treatment. TCM classifies the cause of the disorders according to the extent to which individual Zang Organs demonstrate signs and symptoms of disturbance or disharmony and the extent to which their Qi is affected. They include:

  • Spleen Disharmony symptoms include worry, dwelling, or focusing too much on a particular topic.
  • Heart Disharmony symptoms include lack of enthusiasm and vitality, mental restlessness, depression, insomnia, and despair.
  • Liver Disharmony symptoms include anger, resentment, frustration, irritability and bitterness.
  • Lung Disharmony symptoms include grief, sadness, and detachment.
  • Kidney Disharmony symptoms include fear, insecurity, aloofness, isolation, and weak willpower.

Acupuncture therapy is an ancient Chinese treatment method. Traditional Chinese medicine believes that health is dependent on Qi – which. when in good health, moves in a smooth and balanced way through a chain of fourteen main channels (meridians). By inserting needles into the points which belong to different meridians, we stimulate body’s energy (Qi) to start the healing process and assist it to restore its natural balance. Learn more about acupuncture and anxiety

Acupuncture for psychological conditions really works!

We have the skill, experience and compassion to effectively treat your psychological condition and we want to help. Most of our patients find relief rather quickly. Call us at 954-586-2273 to schedule your free consultation so we can show you how acupuncture works. Get started today, get relief today!



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  • World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys. Jama, 291(21), 2581-2590.
  • World Health Organization. (2001). The World Health Report 2001: Mental health: new understanding, new hope. World Health Organization.
  • World Health Organization. Dept. of Mental Health, & Substance Abuse. (2005). Mental health atlas 2005. World Health Organization.