Acupuncture eases depression

If you are in New Zealand, you may have read the article on titled “Needles ease depression“. The article cites a small Australian study, which shows that acupuncture can effectively relieve severe depression. A quick web search has shown that the results of this particular study, even though quite dramatic, are still preliminary. The study is not completed yet.

I did a bit more digging in medical databases online and found another study published earlier this year in Journal of affective disorders. This study is a meta analysis (which is quite a lot higher up on the evidence based medicine hierarchy ladder).

The researchers reviewed and summarised results of eight randomised controlled trials. They confirmed that acupuncture significantly reduced the severity of depression, which was indicated by decreased scores of Hamilton rating scale for depression (HAMD) or Beck Depression Inventory (BDI).

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  • G. Michael Reynolds

    Whereas I’m glad to see positive results wherever we find them, I am continually frustrated by the arrogance of Western society that we insist this oldest and most profound medicine conform to our “modern” standards. It’s kind of like meeting Socrates and saying “Oh yeah? Well if you’re so smart, what do I have in my pocket?” If one wants to see what Chinese Medicine can do, one needs to adopt the humility to “go out to meet it,” as with most things. Western science’s habit of starting from the very colonial position of “I am the authority here. Meet my expectations.” makes it nearly impossible to have any meaningful dialogue with.

  • David


    Just done a post on latest review paper about depression and acupuncture. Including a link to your site if people are interested in taking it further…. see

  • I wonder if depression can be completely removed? And does it need to be done in tandem with therapy or counseling?