I read an article on Reuters a while on acupuncture and depression. Here is a link to the original article: Acupuncture as good as counseling for depression: study. This article is based on this research paper: Acupuncture and Counselling for Depression in Primary Care: A Randomised Controlled Trial in PLOS Medicine (a leading open-access medical journal, providing an influential venue for outstanding research and commentary on the major challenges to human health worldwide).
“At the outset, participants had an average depression score of 16 on a scale from 0 to 27, with higher
scores symbolizing more severe depression. A 16 is considered moderately severe depression.
After three months, people assigned to the acupuncture group had an average score of about 9 – on the higher end of the mild depression category. Scores fell to 11 among members of the counseling group and about 13 in the usual care group, both considered moderate depression.”
After 12 months, the score for all three groups are very similar. This might need to take into the consideration that “time” itself may help many mental issues including depression. Hence, here is my take away from reading this research. Acupuncture is able to improve the condition of depression quickly in a short period of time, so if nothing else works, it might be a good idea to give acupuncture a try to get that extra boost to make you feel better.
My first patient of my acupuncturist life is a depression patient. Maybe it is beginner’s luck, she never needs to take any antidepressant drug since her first treatment, and with some followup treatments, she has been feeling good and happy since then (3 years so far). This and many other depression cases that go through my treatment rooms make me a true believer that acupuncture can help people with emotional distress, especially depression. Of course acupuncture does not solve all the issues that initially cause depression, but it usually is able to provide the patients the energy, peace, and motivation they need to move forward.