Acupuncture for Depression

Maybe your therapist has mentioned to you that acupuncture for depression is worth a try. Or, maybe like me, you have had good results with it in treating other ailments.It is only logical to think that a natural acupuncture side effect might be the alleviation of depression.

Does it work?

AcupunctureA recent study from the University of Louisville, Kentucky (J. Nervous Medical Disorders June 2007, 195, 504-13) evaluated acupuncture treatment of people with post-traumatic stress disorder syndrome who were suffering from depression and anxiety.

It said that acupuncture for depression may be an effective treatment option for PTSD, but that larger trials with more controls were necessary to extend the findings.

Another review of 8 other trials in the Journal of Affective Disorders (Vol. 111, 2008, p. 125-134) stated that acupuncture could significantly reduce the severity of depression. It also recommended that more clinical trials with better reliable designs should be done to confirm its effectiveness.

How Does Acupuncture Work?

According to Chinese traditional medicine, the body has extensive pathways of energy called meridians. Each meridian corresponds to one organ or a group of organs.

Acupuncture practitioners believe that disease is created by blockage of the pathways. Through the insertion of ultra-thin needles into specific body areas which correspond to the meridians, the flow of energy will be increased resulting in unblocking, balancing and healing.

By invading and pricking the skin, a message is sent to the brain resulting in the release of morphine-like chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins will then block the message of pain that you are feeling. Other natural chemicals are also stimulated which aid the healing process and the balance of energy.

Have I tried it?

Yes, I have had acupuncture many times for sports injuries but I have not tried acupuncture for depression.

Twenty years ago I attributed it to curing my tennis elbow when all other approaches had failed. I believe that it broke the cycle of superficial repair and tearing just long enough for the elbow healing to get beyond a crucial healing point. Since then, on many occasions, I have tried it for other injuries where it wasn’t as effective.

Will it work for you?It is worth a try as many people have had good success with it. Just think, acupuncture therapy has lasted for over 4,000 years.

Acupuncture, in general, is very close to being a part of mainstream medicine. Most insurance companies cover it as a therapy and licensed physiotherapists use it extensively. The sensation of needles piercing your skin is, for most people, not a painful one.

However, acupuncture for depression will take longer to be recognized. More extensive studies are required.


Is depression the result of recurrent panic and anxiety attacks, or does it happen the other way round? Does the threat of getting another panic attack produce depression and irrational fear in some people?

Either way, there is hope for those who wish to cope with panic attack depression – without taking medication.

Is acupuncture safe?

Some people may ask could infection be an acupuncture side effect and is acupuncture safe. If you encounter a practitioner who is re-using needles, you are definitely in the wrong place. Needles are available today in a sterilized form and come individually wrapped. Sterilization of the area of the body to be targeted is also routine procedure.

Reputable clinics will have qualified and registered practitioners.

Physical illness and injuries can produce feelings of depression. If you were to alleviate these symptoms, it could have a positive effect on your mental state.

Acupuncture and other natural approaches will help to influence the body positively and, by extension, the mind also.

Let’s cleanse the body to clear the mind: The Body-Mind Connection.

  • Weight Loss: Many people use acupuncture for weight loss
  • Body Detoxification: Acupuncture will also fit in nicely with a body detox program.