Acupuncture have shown in randomized, controlled, double-blinded studies to be effective in the treatment of *depression, stress and anxiety. A study done at the University of Arizona showed that over 50% of the participants that received acupuncture over 2 months for 12 sessions no longer met the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for depression after the study.
In general most patients feel a sense of calm and well-being after treatments. For severe cases of depression patients would need regular treatments, as in the study above, for a while until there has been a marked improvement in the condition. Due to the side-effects and addictive nature of anti-depressants, acupuncture should be considered a viable alternative to medication. Acupuncture can also help alleviate withdrawal symptoms experienced when coming of anti-depressants. However, a sudden stopping in the medication is not advised but rather a gradual tapering of as advised buy a doctor accompanied by acupuncture to help the patient stay calm.
*Allen, J. J. B. (2000). Depression and acupuncture: a controlled clinical trial. Psychiatric Times Online, 22, 3.
Tian, C. H. (2002). Acupuncture treatment for depression. New England Journal of Traditional Medicine, 1, 4-7.
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