Small clinical trials of treating depression with acupuncture therapy are finding that the ancient treatment may be a safe and effective alternative to pharmacological remedies.
According to a study funded by the National Institute of Health's Office of Alternative Medicine conducted at the University of Arizona and published in the journal "American Psychological Society," roughly 75 percent of women with symptoms of depression who were treated with individually tailored acupuncture sessions had relief from their symptoms after eight weeks. The study's findings suggest that acupuncture therapy may be as helpful as drug therapy and psychotherapy are in alleviating symptoms of depression.
How does it work? Researchers found that depression-specific acupuncture triggers the release of certain chemicals in the brain, specifically norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine -- three neurotransmitters that alter our mood.
Did You Know?
According to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine, as published in the March 2010 issue of "Obstetrics & Gynecology," women who are pregnant, suffering from symptoms of depression and adverse to being treated with antidepressants should consider acupuncture therapy. In their study, 63 percent of pregnant women who were treated with depression-specific acupuncture reported relief from symptoms.