Acupuncture helpful in relieving pain of depression

The average depression score among the group receiving acupuncture dropped from 30, a severe rating, before treatment, to 15, a mild rating, following the series of acupuncture treatments.

by Kim Blankenship — 

A recent study conducted in Sydney, Australia, has shown that acupuncture can help lift the mood of severely depressed people. Marked improvement was noted in a group of people taking medication for depression who were also treated with acupuncture for a two-month period.

Researchers worked with a group of 40 patients with severe depression, all of whom were taking standard SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressants, such as Zoloft and Prozac at the time. Half the patients were allocated to receive a series of 12 acupuncture treatments over an eight-week period.

Interim results reported in June 2008 showed that the average depression score among the group receiving acupuncture dropped from 30, a severe rating, before treatment, to 15, a mild rating, following the series of acupuncture treatments. Those in the non-treatment group remained static at 30.

Kirk Wilson, a researcher at the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine at the University of Technology in Sydney, found the results to indicate “a pretty remarkable improvement.” He said, “We’re using acupuncture to regulate the energy flow, release pressure and allow everything to flow freely.”

Wilson further stated, “What we’ve managed to show is that acupuncture can be a powerful aid to use alongside antidepressants to help these people.”

Professor Michael Baigent, clinical adviser to beyondblue, an Australian government-backed organization devoted to combating depression, noted that exercise, medication, psychological therapy and the treatment of related medical conditions are of vital importance in addressing depression. Meditation and curbing the use of alcohol are also beneficial, and there is reasonable evidence supporting the use of omega-3 fatty acids as well.

 

Kim Blankenship is a licensed acupuncturist at Jade Spirit Community Acupuncture, 3520 E. Indian School Road, Suite A, in Phoenix. 602-957-3675 or www.jadespirit.info.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 27, Number 5, October/November 2008.

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