Acupuncture and depression have been closely linked for many years. In fact, the use of acupuncture to treat depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders is becoming increasingly popular because of research supporting its efficacy. Here are 5 reasons why you should consider acupuncture as part of your treatment for depression:

#1: It’s Customizable – No “One Size Fits All”

A recent article published in the Medical Acupuncture journal pointed to the fact that part of the reason acupuncture is so effective in treating depression is that practitioners are able to customize treatment, selecting the best acupuncture points based on the symptoms of the patient, as well as his or her level of disharmony and imbalance.

#2: Acupuncture is Complementary

In addition to customizability, some experts are now finding that adding acupuncture to the scope of treatment might provide faster and more effective results than just using drugs alone to treat the problem. This makes it a complementary treatment, which means it supports the efficacy of the drugs used instead of the patient having to rely purely on one treatment or the other.

An example of this was research conducted at York University with patients who were using drugs and therapy or drugs and acupuncture or medication alone to treat their depression. They found that those receiving either acupuncture or therapy reported a higher level of improvement that lasted up to six months. The level of improvement in patients just taking medication was lower.

#3: Research is Promising

In 2008, Intervention Review looked at seven different studies and trials comprising over 500 patients using acupuncture to treat depression. This was an important systemic review because it allowed researchers to compare outcomes and weigh differences among patients, severity of depression, and whether depression returned after treatment stopped or the results were long-lasting.

The results? The researchers, although they were unconvinced of the efficacy of acupuncture, noted that medication did not seem more effective than acupuncture treatments when it came to results – which technically signals that acupuncture could provide relief in certain cases.

#4: It’s Safe and Has No Side Effects

It’s important to note that acupuncture is considered safe and produces almost no side effects in most cases. This means it could be easily added to current treatment without having to give up medication, therapy or any other form of traditional action being used to address mood disorders.

#5: Experts Support the Use of Acupuncture for Depression

While the current research has not been enough to change the status quo, many researchers and proponents of natural medicine do back acupuncture as an effective complementary treatment for depression.

For example, a small study (19 participants) published in the Complementary Therapies in Medicine journal looked into the use of acupuncture to treat patients with mild to moderate levels of depression.

During the study, participants received either traditional acupuncture (where specific points connected to mood and the brain were targeted) or sham acupuncture (where needles were either applied superficially or applied to random points across the body)

By the end of 12 sessions, participants receiving acupuncture reported improvements in quality of life, depressive symptoms and level/intensity of depression. While the trial was very small, the researchers pointed out that it was conducted under strict supervision and following all proper protocols – making it a great guide to help design and conduct larger randomized controlled trials in the future.



0 Comments on “5 Reasons to Consider Acupuncture for Depression