Thursday, May 31, 2007

Stick it to Depression with acupuncture

Although acupuncture shows a great deal of success in the treatment for depression, this traditional Chinese medicine is often scoffed at by Western medicine.

Here’s where the East meets the West;
The National Institutes of Health’s Office of Alternative Medicine funded a scientific study in 1998 to see if acupuncture is effective in relieving depression.

In this 16-week trial, 34 seriously depressed women were divided into three groups. The first group received the depression-specific acupuncture. The second group received a dummy treatment with needles in nonspecific places. The third group went on a wait list for eight weeks before receiving the.

The two groups receiving the real acupuncture treatment experienced a 43 percent reduction in their symptoms compared with a 22 percent reduction for the dummy group. More than half no longer met the criteria for clinical depression.

Five people dropped out of the study. Interestingly, the dropout rate was much lower than for studies using antidepressant medications.

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