Depression affects a significant proportion of our population at any one time. Acceptable treatment plans usually involve medication like anti-depressants and access to talking therapies. Some people are reluctant to medicate, and there are also concerns about long-term use of anti-depressants and their effect on our body and cognitive function. But what if there was another way that proved to be natural and effective?
There have been a number of studies, which have looked at the efficacy of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture compared to regularly prescribed anti-depressants. The results of the studies are very promising. In particular one that was published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine identified a study that compared the effects of electro-acupuncture with one of the world’s most commonly prescribed anti-depressants, Prozac which is also known as Fluoextine.
In this study, one group was treated for depression over a six-week period with 5 weekly sessions of electro-acupuncture, while the other group was treated for the same period of time with Prozac. At the end of the 6-week period the biological and cognitive results were similar including a restoration of GDNF (a protein which has a lower presence in those suffering from depressive illness) to normal levels.
However, of greater significance was the fact that in the Electro-Acupuncture group results were seen faster and overall a higher level of improvement of symptoms was indicated in this group. So it would seem that Acupuncture is just as effective (if not slightly more so) than one of the most popular anti-depressants around.
There are difficulties with creating an optimum environment for conducting such studies, but research like this indicates that Acupuncture provides an effective Alternative and Complementary Medicine for those looking for help for depression. If you would like to speak to someone about how Acupuncture can help you with depression.
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Source: Scientific American – Can Acupuncture Treat Depression?
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