Acupuncture can treat depression when combined with other treatments
Acupuncture treats major depression by enhancing the effect of SSRIs (serotonin reuptake inhibitors). Two research papers has shown that acupuncture combined with SSRIs is more effective than using SSRIs alone. Research has found that acupuncture potentially reduces the “delay before the onset of the therapeutic action of SSRIs.” The research also found that acupuncture was safe and had no adverse side effects. Furthermore the research found that acupuncture may allow for “the reduction of the dose of antidepressants”
Research found that acupuncture at the following points CV12 (Zhongwan) and Si Guan (LI4 an LIV3 – known as the four gates) significantly reduces depression and found that this acupuncture point combination has a “similar therapeutic effect to oral administration of Fluoxetine Hydrochloride (Prozac) and it is a safe method for depression without adverse reactions.”
In addition two research papers show that acupuncture can relieve insomnia caused by depression. Another randomized control trial showed that patients having acupuncture and counselling for depression showed a significant reduction in depression after three month when compared to usual care alone.
Wang, Tianjun, Lingling Wang, Wenjian Tao, and Li Chen. Acupuncture combined with an antidepressant for patients with depression in hospital: a pragmatic randomised controlled trial. Acupuncture in Medicine (2014): acupmed-2013.
Qu SS, Huang Y, Zhang ZJ, et al. A 6-week randomized controlled trial with 4-week follow-up of acupuncture combined with paroxetine in patients with major depressive disorder. J Psychiat Res 2013;47:726–32. 13 Zhang ZJ, Ng R, Man SC, et al. Dense cranial
Wen, Xiuyun, Qian Wu, Jingshu Du, and Wenbin Fu. Effect of compatibility of Lie Que (LU7) and Zhao Hai (KI6) on insomnia caused by depression: a randomized controlled trial. Biomedical Engineering and Environmental Engineering 145 (2014): 227.
Xie YC1, Li YH. Observation on therapeutic effect of acupuncture at Zhongwan (CV 12) and Si-guan points combined with reinforcing-reducing manipulation of respiration for treatment of depression. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu (2009) Jul;29(7):521-4.
MacPherson H, Richmond S, Bland, Brealey S, Gabe R, et al. Acupuncture and Counselling for Depression in Primary Care: A randomised Controlled Trial. PLoS Medicine, 2013; 10(9): e1001518