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A major new piece of research has just been published entitled ‘Acupuncture & Counselling for Depression in Primary Care – A Randomised Controlled Trial’. The study was carried out by research scientists at York University, and this is the first major study to evaluate in detail the clinical impact of acupuncture and counselling for patients with ongoing depression.
I am pleased that the research found that at 3 months and 12 months separately both Acupuncture and Counselling scored better that usual medicine based care. My own opinion is that anti depressants can be right for stabilising some patients in the short term but long term alternative approaches put the person back in control of their own well being.
The full report can be found here. The British Acupuncture Council gives the following brief summary of the findings:
“The researchers at York university were prompted to carry out this study because until now it has been unclear to what extent acupuncture or counselling are effective in treating depression. The research method used consisted of a randomised controlled trial which selected 755 patients with depression, who were currently in the primary care system.
They were chosen for the trial on the basis of the score they achieved in a questionnaire used by clinicians to diagnose and assess the severity of depression, called the Beck Depression Inventory.
There were 3 groups, an acupuncture group, one for counselling and the third, that received their usual care. Whilst there were standardised protocols for the acupuncture and counselling sessions, ‘usual care’ was not standardised – being how the patient was treated in the system up to the start of the trial – for instance 68.7% of the patients were on anti depressant medication.
The outcome was assessed using another scoring questionnaire called the Patient Health Questionnaire – PHQ-9, and was carried out after 3 months and a follow up at 12 months. Compared to the usual care, acupuncture treatment resulted in a significant reduction in the PHQ-9 scores. The conclusion reached by the study was that acupuncture versus the usual care was associated with a significant reduction in the symptoms of depression.”
Do you experience feelings of overwhelming sadness and hopelessness which are stopping you from feeling easy in yourself? Depression can also manifest with physical effects such as sleep disturbance and loss of concentration. In terms of Chinese medicine every patient is unique and a treatment plan would be put together purely for you as an individual.
Please do contact me if you wish to discuss acupuncture treatment further.