Acupuncture reduces major depression

Background: Major depressive disorder is identified as a mood disorder characterized by episodically recurring and potentially life-threatening negative symptoms. It is currently important for study, as it involves high morbidity, mortality and prevalence, as well as unsatisfactory treatment results.

Aim: Establish an outpatient model from an integrative approach promoting the diversified development of traditional Chinese and Western medicine cooperation, leading to a holistic intervention for patients with depression.

Experimental procedure: Fifteen participants with moderate to severe depression were followed up for eight weeks in the Acupuncture Department of the China Medical University Hospital in Taichung, Taiwan, under a collaborative outpatient model that combined Western psychiatry and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Interdisciplinary Intervention included manual acupuncture twice a week (16 sessions), tai chi, yoga meditation, and nutritional assessment. Symptomatology was measured with primary outcomes (self-reporting via questionnaires) and secondary outcomes (heart rate variability [HRV] and blood samples to measure inflammation via high-sensitivity C-reactive protein [hs-CRP]).

Results: The response rate was 80% (12/15 participants), with a statistically and clinically significant decrease in depression severity according to the 21-question Hamilton depression rating scale (HDRS21) (p < 0.001), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) (p < 0.003), and quality of life (QoL) questionnaires (p < 0.002). We found body constitution heterogeneity in the participants with major depressive disorder (MDD), predominantly blood stagnation and Qi stagnation (in 70% of participants).

Conclusion: An interdisciplinary outpatient treatment method of complementary therapies can be applied successfully with pharmacological treatment in clinical practice to reduce depression symptomatology.


Acupuncture Times Logo

Hi there!

Sign up to receive the latest research in acupuncture, cupping, moxibustion, Chinese herbal medicine and more, once a week.

About Attilio

Doctor of Chinese medicine, acupuncture expert and author of My Fertility Guide and My Pregnancy Guide.

Check Also

Pub Med

Electroacupuncture at Feishu (UB 13) and Zusanli (ST 36) improves COPD

Numerous randomised controlled trials have suggested the positive effects of acupuncture on chronic obstructive pulmonary …