Acupuncture and it’s role with depression, a chronic and debilitating state of mind, is making headlines once again.
“For people who have depression, who have tried various medical options, who are still not getting the benefit they want, they should try acupuncture or counseling as options that are now known to be clinically effective,” said Hugh MacPherson, the study’s lead author from the University of York in the UK.
For their study, he and his colleagues recruited 755 people with moderate or severe depression. The researchers split participants into three groups: 302 were randomly assigned to receive 12 weekly acupuncture sessions, another 302 received weekly counseling sessions and 151 received usual care only.
About 70 percent of people had taken antidepressants in the three months before the study and about half reported taking pain medications. People did not have to stop taking their medicine to participate in the study.
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.
Participants who received acupuncture or counseling saw larger improvements over three months than those who had neither treatment. Those benefits remained for an additional three months after the treatments stopped.”
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Christina Martin is the founder of Tao to Wellness. She is an Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist and Teacher and has been in practice for fifteen years. She holds a Master’s Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine and is a fellow of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine. Christina entered Acupuncture school without ever having an Acupuncture treatment. She simply felt it was her calling.