Forget Anti-Depressants – Fight Back With Acupuncture
Depression affects the wellness and wellbeing of millions of people around the globe, many of whom turn to anti-depressants for relief. New research, however, is showing that acupuncture may be a safe and extremely effective alternative to psychiatric drugs for those who are suffering from anxiety or depression.
This was carried out by studying functional MRI scans, to find out what effect acupuncture has on the brain, and the chemicals that it secretes such as serotonin and dopamine.
Anti-depressants are widely used, and in fact are amongst the most widely prescribed drugs in the United States. A recent study even showed that their use doubled between 1996 and the year 2005. Unfortunately, there are many common side effects to anti-depressants, and they can be quite severe. Some antidepressants can even worsen the symptoms of depression and cause an increased risk of the patient committing suicide. Recent studies have raised questions about the efficacy of certain drugs, with some studies even claiming that they are no more helpful than a placebo, and others showing that they are actually less effective than talking therapy.
Acupuncture is most effective in patients who have milder depression, which is also the same group that tend to find anti-depressants less effective. Doctors are now increasingly looking to acupuncture for its ability to help heal these depressive and anxiety disorders.
Acupuncture is when long, thin needles are placed in the body in specific locations, which are meant to help improve various different medical conditions.
One study was carried out on 151 patients suffering from depression, and they were assigned either to a course of acupuncture therapy or sham acupuncture therapy (where needles were inserted but not into the correct places) and no other intervention. There were 12 acupuncture sessions (real or sham) and the researchers found that those who had any type of acupuncture (traditional or sham) showed an impressive improvement in their symptoms of depression.