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Acupuncture research

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Modern research on the effects of acupuncture on anxiety, stress, and depression.

Most people find acupuncture to be very relaxing. To many people, the relaxing effect is similar to what they experience with meditation. Because of this relaxation effect, acupuncture has been used to treat stress and stress-related disorders for centuries.

In recent years, modern medical research has begun to catch up and prove what acupuncturists have long known.

● A series of studies of acupuncture done at Georgetown University was published in 2013 showing how acupuncture reduces hormones released in response to stress (HPA axis hormones for you nerds).

● Another study found that acupuncture was helpful in reducing anxiety as reported by the patient and as measured by heart rate variability (lower heart rates and blood pressure).

● Depression is quite common in people who suffer from chronic pain. A 2017 study published in the UK showed that acupuncture was better than the standard care for chronic pain including neck pain, low back pain, osteoarthritis of the knee, headaches, and migraines. The study further points out that acupuncture is both clinically and cost-effective in the treatment of depression.

● Some patients seek out acupuncture because of the side effects they are experiencing from antidepressant medications. A study published in 2013 showed that acupuncture was useful in treating sexual dysfunction, a common side-effect of the drugs used to treat depression (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and serotonin noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors).

● Another study published in 2013 notes that acupuncture works equally as well as fluoxetine (aka Prozac) for “depressive disorder.” The study indicated that acupuncture reduced the production of GDNF and fluoxetine did not. Since GDNF is linked to the development of depressive disorder, it appears that acupuncture works closer to the source of the problem than does fluoxetine.

● And, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians website: “One therapy that has received considerable attention for the treatment of chronic pain is acupuncture. In an update of patient data meta-analysis published in the May edition of the Journal of Pain (www.jpain.org), researchers with the Acupuncture Trialists’ Collaboration concluded that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic pain, that the effects of acupuncture persist over time, and that the benefits of acupuncture cannot be explained away solely by the placebo effect.”

Learn everything that you need to know about acupuncture by navigating other pages on our website.

– What is Acupuncture?
– Acupuncture Benefits
– Non-Needle Alternatives
– Pulse Diagnostic

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Mike writes for Nature’s Pathways magazine about topics such as latest technologies and treatments, mindset, exercise, sleep, and nutrition.

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