Exercise and Depression

Exercise and depression: try taking a hike to lift your mood. Researchers at the University of Texas, investigating the link between exercise and depression, have found that thirty minutes of brisk walking lifts the mood of sufferers, giving them a greater sense of vigour and improved psychological well-being for up to an hour afterwards. Forty subjects aged 18 to 55 were referred to the study after diagnosis of major depressive disorder. Twenty were assigned to treadmill walking while the remainder were assigned to a quiet rest control group.

(Effects of Acute Exercise on Mood and Well-Being in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, December 2005.)

Depression during Pregnancy

A randomised controlled study of acupuncture for depression during pregnancy, and involving 61 women, concluded that eight weeks of depression-specific acupuncture treatment, was significantly more effective than either non-specific acupuncture or massage, in reducing the symptoms of depression.

(Acupuncture: A Promising Treatment for Depression during Pregnancy. Journal of Affective Disorders, 15 November 2004.)

Acupuncture for Depression and Anxiety

In a randomised controlled trial looking at acupuncture for depression and anxiety, involving 43 patients with minor depression and 13 with generalised anxiety, acupuncture compared with placebo treatment resulted in significant clinical improvement in depression as well as a marked reduction in anxiety symptoms.

(Acupuncture in patients with minor depressive episodes and generalized anxiety. Results of an experimental study. Fortschr Neurol Psychiatr, March 2000.)

Acupuncture for Major Depression

Acupuncture research from the US: acupuncture for major depression. The University of Arizona has conducted a randomised controlled trial of acupuncture for major depression in women. Eight weeks of depression-specific acupuncture treatment was given to 38 women. It resulted in a significantly greater reduction in depression than either non-specific acupuncture, or being on a waiting list. Following specific acupuncture treatment, 64% of the women experienced full remission of their symptoms.

(The efficacy of acupuncture in the treatment of major depression in women. University of Arizona, September 1998.)