Reprinted from Science World Report
A recent study suggests that acupuncture can be beneficial for patients that may be suffering from moderate to severe depression.
Lead study author Hugh Macpherson from the University of York in the United Kingdom looked at 755 individuals who were diagnosed with moderate to severe depression. This group of participants were then divided into three groups: Three hundred and two individuals that received weekly acupunctures sessions, 302 participants who received weekly counseling sessions and 151 participants who received usual care only, all throughout the span of 12 weeks.
Before the first week of sessions, researchers determined the depression level of those involved, finding that the average depression score was 16 based on a scale of 0 to 27 (with higher scores meaning more severe depression and lower scores meaning less.)
At the 12-week testing period, the researchers reevaluated the depression levels of each group. For those that received acupuncture treatments, their scores were lowered to a 9 and fell into the category of "mild depression." Those that underwent counseling also experienced a lower score of 11. Yet those that received traditional care treatments had a score that fell to 13 on average, which is still rated in the "moderate depression" category.
The participants were followed over a three-month period during which they received the various types of treatments. As those that received acupuncture and counseling fared better than those who received usual care, researchers believe that acupuncture may provide the same therapeutic benefits as counseling.
Many medical statistics back up the assumption that tradtional treatments involving depression may not be enough.
In fact, Consumer Reports estimates that roughly 30 to 45 paercent of people fail to actually respond to treatment with an antidepressant. However, 55 to 70 percent on average gain at least a 50 percent improvement (or decress in depression) of their symptoms.
"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 is now known to be clinically effective," Macpherson said, via Reuters.
Acupuncture, a therapeutic practice that originated in china thousands of years ago, works through the insertion of very thin, small needles into a patient's skin at specific points in the body that reach certain depths. Many use the treatment for pain relief and alleviation from nausea caused by chemotherapy and other disorders that may help relieve stress through treatments. However, continuous studies are still investigating all the health benefits of this therapy.
Have you ever used acupuncture to relief stress, pain or depression? How well did it work for you?
More information regarding the study can be found via the online journal PLOS Medicine.
Tony Burris, L.Ac., is a 17-year practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and is an expert in safe and effective acupuncture therapy and herbal remedies. He is the only practitioner in the United States that offers a “Painless Acupuncture- Or Your Money Back!” Guarantee. Tony helps frustrated and injured athletes and chronic pain sufferers discover a unique therapy system that often provides long-lasting or even permanent pain relief. His patients include members of the San Diego Chargers, Washington Redskins, Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions. Tony also treats members of the Seattle Mariners, Olympic medalists, mixed martial artists and NCAA competitors. Visit Tony’s other blog at The Taoist Club of Boise or visit his website.