Acupuncture helps Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Acupuncture helps post-traumatic stress disorder. A study of Chinese earthquake victims suggests that electroacupuncture is more effective than anti-depressants for treating the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Researchers identified 138 people who were suffering symptoms as a result of experiencing a magnitude 8.0 earthquake on the Richter scale, in May 2008. They randomly allocated people to receive either electroacupuncture treatment or anti-depressant medication (paroxetine). After treatment, both groups reported reduced symptoms, but the improvements in the electroacupuncture group were significantly greater, at all time points in follow-up to six months.

(Clinical Studies on Treatment of Earthquake-Caused Posttraumatic Stress Disorder using Electroacupuncture. Evidence-Based Complementary & Alter Medicine (Hindawi), 2012.)

Acupuncture for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and acceptability of acupuncture for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Participants were randomly allocated to one of three groups: acupuncture, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), or a waiting list as control. Patients were assessed at the start and end of treatment, and again at a follow-up appointment after three months. Acupuncture was shown to provide large treatment benefits, similar to CBT, with improvements for both maintained three months later. The authors conclude that acupuncture may be efficacious for reducing symptoms of PTSD, depression and anxiety. They say the research design used in this study, which compares real-world treatment options, has considerable potential for informing clinical decision making.

(Acupuncture for posttraumatic stress disorder – A randomized controlled pilot trial. Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease, June 2007.)

Acupuncture Treatment of Anxiety

Research from the University of Westminster: Acupuncture treatment of anxiety. A systematic review of the evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture treatment of anxiety, has been published by London’s University of Westminster. In all, twelve controlled trials were found, and all had positive findings. The authors conclude the results are promising, and recommend further research.

(Acupuncture for anxiety and anxiety disorders – a systematic literature review. Acupuncture in Medicine, June 2007.)

Acupuncture and the Immune System in Anxiety

In a study which looked at acupuncture and the immune system, acupuncture was found to counteract impairments of the immune system associated with anxiety. Thirty-four women aged 30 to 60 and suffering from anxiety, received ten acupuncture sessions, leading to complete remission in all cases. Interestingly though, blood samples showed that a variety of immune system functions eg. natural killer cell activity and phagocytosis, were improved following treatment.

(Effect of acupuncture treatment on the immune function impairment found in anxious women. American Journal of Chinese Medicine 2007;35)

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.)