Acupuncture for Anxiety and Depression – 5 Awesome Ways It Can Help
Acupuncture for anxiety?! Can putting a bunch of pins in my body really do anything?
You’ve heard it can treat back pain and neck pain, and some of these little nagging problems. But can it treat something as severe as anxiety or depression?
In this article, I want to share with you a few studies supporting how acupuncture can work for anxiety and depression, and can work on even deeper levels.
Acupuncture For Anxiety – Can It Really Help You!?
Cool Research on Acupuncture for Anxiety and Depression
In this first particular study, 12 controlled trials were done, out of which 10 were randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Four of them focused on acupuncture in generalized anxiety disorder, or anxiety neurosis.
In this case, none of the studies were particularly focused on acupuncture for panic disorders, phobias, or OCD. This was generalized anxiety, or overall anxiety.
The conclusion was that acupuncture, specifically auricular acupuncture, was more effective than acupuncture at sham points, and maybe as effective as drug therapy in this situation. 1 1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17641561 ×
In another series of meta-analysis, researchers took 514 articles, and reduced them down based on their methodological quality to 11 articles. In this second study, subjects showed positive and statistically significant effects from using acupuncture for treating anxiety. 2 2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27355312 ×
A third study done here was used for treating anxiety and major depressive disorder in pregnant women. There were two groups here.
The first group was receiving IVF, and the second group of women was enrolled in a substance abuse program.
In the study done on women with major depressive disorder, researchers found a significantly greater response in pregnant patients with major depressive disorder receiving depression specific acupuncture versus non-specific acupuncture. 3 3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3689180 ×
In terms of the overall rate of remission, or for how long they kept these results, researchers found significantly greater rates of remission at 10 weeks in patients who received depression specific acupuncture versus non-specific acupuncture at random points.
Finally, the researchers concluded that the strongest evidence lies within the population of pregnant women. One highest quality study with a relatively large sample size of 150 provided evidence to support acupuncture as a mono therapy for pregnant women with major depressive disorder, or as a standalone therapy.
Long story short – obviously, any practitioner who’s been seeing patients for a while knows that you can treat anxiety with acupuncture! This is a little bit behind the biomedical view of how acupuncture works for anxiety.
Remember – I highlight these studies to share a bit of biomedical research, of course, the Chinese medicine explanation for anxiety is very different!
Acupuncture Lets You See the Bigger Picture Behind Anxiety or Depression
I like to highlight a lot of the case studies here and a lot of the research just so that people know that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture are increasingly well supported by science.
But just like with Chinese medicine, and anxiety in particular, we almost always look for other constellations of symptoms and other signs in regard to what’s going on in the person’s body.
So, if you were a person coming in for an acupuncture appointment, or for herbal therapy, the practitioner would not only do a conventional intake, look at your pulse or tongue, take a case history, and maybe do physical palpation on your body to see what’s going on. Also, they would look at the overall picture of your health.
So there’s very often a whole other cluster of symptoms going on, and at the same time, this entire picture paints something very useful in the Chinese medicine landscape.
In other words, this whole picture, the cluster of symptoms, is what gives a much more accurate picture of what’s going on with a person’s health rather than just saying, “I have anxiety. Where can you put the needles?”
Have you ever had acupuncture or received treatment for anxiety with herbs? What were your results? Write your comments below.