American researchers have found that a course of acupuncture can significantly and persistently reduce stress among university students and staff. They looked at 111 individuals with high self-reported stress levels, who worked or studied at a large urban university in the south-western United States. Participants were recruited via GPs, flyers and the university health department website. They were randomly allocated to receive either acupuncture or sham acupuncture once a week for 12 weeks. While both groups showed a substantial initial decrease in perceived stress scores, 3 months after treatment the true acupuncture group showed a significantly greater treatment effect (40% decrease on pre-treatment stress score) than the sham group (24% decrease).
(Effectiveness of Acupuncture Therapy on Stress in a Large Urban College Population. Journal of Acupuncture & Meridian Studies, June 2017.)