(WTNH)- A new report shows skyrocketing rates of college students struggling with depression and anxiety and many parents are seeking natural alternatives to antidepressant medications which can have serious side effects in teens.

Founder of Connecticut Family Acupuncture, Matt Maneggia, came to Good Morning Connecticut to show and explain about getting acupuncture.

Maneggia said research shows that around 50 percent of patients treated with medication for anxiety have an “inadequate response,” meaning that their symptoms are not relieved to a clinically significant level or that the patient experiences adverse side effects. Unlike anti-depressant medications that can take weeks to work, acupuncture can offer relief after as little as one session.

Acupuncture naturally inhibits the sympathetic nervous system, (the fight-or-flight aspect of the nervous system), and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, increasing the body’s ability to rest and relax. When the body is under stress, an area of the brain called the hypothalamus releases a bunch of neurochemicals like cortisol into the body. Acupuncture can calm this response and also increases the release of dopamine, serotonin and endorphins, the body’s own “feel-good” chemicals.

Maneggia said acupuncture does two things. It causes your body to produce a lot of anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving substances and it opens up blood flow to deliver those substances where they need to go.