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Ghost Points for Depression

While many patients initially visit my office for pain concerns, they are delighted to discover that acupuncture can be quite helpful with hormonal, digestive, and immune system issues. Acupuncture is also quite helpful as an adjunct treatment for both depression and anxiety.

I can’t tell you how many times my patients say: “Oh, you can treat that!”

While herbs like St John’s wort, Passionflower, and Lavender can be quite helpful with depression, some may interact with medications. So, I use acupuncture to address the issue and the lesser-known Ghost Points are especially helpful in complicated cases.

The 13 ghost points are divided into four trinities and one extra point. Each trinity represents a different stage of mental illness, from anxiety and restlessness to mania and psychosis. The extra point (yin tang) is used to treat severe cases of mental illness and to help patients return to normal life.

A Few Ghost Points and What They Treat

P7 (Pericardium 7). We don’t usually treat the heart directly. Instead, we treat the pericardium (the fibrous sac around the heart). This acupuncture point is the protector of the heart. As such it is good point for emotional sadness related to a breakup and loss.

Lu 11 (Lung 11.) At the corner of the thumb nail. Use this point for when a vow, contract, or an important agreement is broken. Some examples include broken agreements or failed business partnerships.

Du 26. For intergenerational trauma.

Yin Tang This extra point is also known as the third eye. It is used for calm and spirit. And for reconnecting to higher self, intuition, enlightening the mind, seeking knowledge and wisdom.

Bonus (non-ghost point)

Ki 27 (Kidney 27). A lesser known but important use for Kidney 27 is to reduce fear. In acupuncture, each system is associated with an emotion. The emotion associated with the Kidney system is fear. Often fear will manifest as anxiety, so Ki 27 is one of my go-to point for undifferentiated fear.

Clinical Research: Acupuncture for Depression

A 2022 study looked at the effects of fluoxetine (Prozac) vs fluoxetine and acupuncture combined for the treatment of depression. The study results suggest that acupuncture and ghost points combined with fluoxetine are more effective than fluoxetine alone for the treatment of patients with mild to moderate depression.1

How Acupuncture Affects the Brain

Acupuncture is an effective auxiliary method for the treatment of clinical depression. It mainly stimulates the nerve-related signaling pathway by adjusting neurotransmitter redistribution via the integration of the central nervous system, thus facilitating brain function through self-regulation of the human body.2


Whether using traditional or Ghost points for acupuncture, depression can be readily treated by using a combination of Western and Eastern modalities. If you are struggling with depression and anxiety and are looking for a safe and effective adjunct to traditional therapies, please contact us to schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation.

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