Treat Depression with Acupuncture

Effective Solutions for Depression

Can Acupuncture Be an Effective Treatment Solution for Depression?

YES! There is a growing body studies and clinical evidence that proves how effective acupuncture can be for treating depression. Acupuncture’s popularity for treating depression is being fuelled by a combination of both its effectiveness and its lack of side unwanted and harmful side effects.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), acupuncture has been proved – through controlled clinic trials – to be an effective treatment for depression.

Mood disorders for all ages are bordering on epidemic proportions throughout the world. Our modern lifestyle has changed our inherent balance primarily through technology. We no longer rest when the sun goes down or eat food that is whole and void of chemicals. Everywhere we look today, people are living at a high speed pace with little thought of their internal environment until they crash.

Most people run to their doctor demanding a quick fix. Drugs are no panacea. Almost a third of patients do not respond to antidepressants and the ones that do, find the drugs less effective over time coupled by unpleasant side effects. A collective accumulation of internal and external developments leads to a depressed state. It makes more sense to find natural, non drug ways to correct the imbalance of neurotransmitters like serotonin and other key elements involved with depression.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese healing therapy that aims to balance the flow ofenergy in the body by inserting very fine needles into certain points along the body’s energy pathways called Meridians. This form of therapy is a holistic approach treating each patient uniquely as “a whole” while assessing the underlying cause. In contrast, allopathic (western) medicine is based on treating symptoms with pharmacology (drugs/pills), not diagnosing the person as a whole – just the symptom.

Why Acupuncture at Renew You?

Renew You Clinic’s Acupuncture Practitioner, Lily Wu, has 25 years of solid experience. She was an Acupuncture Doctor in China for 13 years in a formal clinical hospital setting and 12 more years here in Canada. She has an extraordinary amount of both practical and clinical experience with acupuncture and Chinese medicine  which makes her quite a find for those seeking a highly qualified acupuncturist in the Hamilton or Stoney Creek area. And she gets great results for her clients.

Is Acupuncture Safe?

Acupuncture provides a safe and effective mode of treatment for depression that has withstood the test of time, alleviating pain and suffering for well over 4000 years. Acupuncture Doctors use sterilized, individually wrapped, single use, disposable needles. The needles used for acupuncture should not cause pain. There may be a sensation of heat where the needle is inserted which usually lasts only a few seconds.

Clinical Studies

The interest in using acupuncture to treat depression in this area of study and application is greatly expanding. A few examples include a study from the University of Louisville, Kentucky (J. Nervous Medical Disorders, June 2007,195, 504-13) where acupuncture was evaluated for the treatment of individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder syndrome whom were suffering from depression and anxiety. The study showed that acupuncture for depression may be an effective treatment option for PTSD. Another similar study stated that acupuncture could significantly reduce the severity of depression and recommended more clinical trials. (J. Affective Disorders, Vol, 111, 2008, p. 125-134.

Acupuncture for Depression during Pregnancy in a randomized controlled trial

A total of 150 pregnant women who met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition) criteria for major depressive disorder were randomized to receive either acupuncture specific for depression or one of two active controls: control acupuncture or massage. Treatments lasted 8 weeks (12 sessions). All treatments were standardized. The primary outcome was the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, administered by raters at baseline and after 4 and 8 weeks of treatment. Continuous data were analyzed using mixed effects models and by intent to treat.

RESULTS: Fifty-two women were randomized to acupuncture specific for depression, 49 to control acupuncture, and 49 to massage. Women who received acupuncture specific for depression experienced a greater rate of decrease in symptom severity compared with the combined controls confidence interval or control acupuncture alone. They also had significantly greater response rate (63.0%) than the combined controls (44.3%) number needed to treat, 5.3; 95% CI 2.8–75.0) and control acupuncture alone (37.5%; P<.05:)

CONCLUSION: The short acupuncture protocol demonstrated symptom reduction and a response rate comparable to those observed in standard depression treatments of similar length and could be a viable treatment option for depression during pregnancy.

(Manber, Rachel PhD; Schnyer, Rosa N. DAOM, LAc; Lyell, Deirdre MD; Chambers, Andrea S. PhD; Caughey, Aaron B. MD, PhD; Druzin, Maurice MD; Carlyle, Erin MS; Celio, Christine MS; Gress, Jenna L. BA; Huang, Mary I. MS; Kalista, Tasha MA; Martin-Okada, Robin BS; Allen, John J. B. PhD) CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION:,, NCT00186654.LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: I© 2010 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Acupuncture Treatment of Major Depression in Women

An early study of controlled, double-blinded study of acupuncture’s effectiveness for depression reported in scientific literature compared the treatment of three groups. The subjects were adult women diagnosed with mild to moderate depression. They received treatment twice a week for one month and once a week for the second month – totalling 12 sessions. Upon completion, 70% of women experienced at least a 50% reduction of symptoms, which are comparable results to the success rate of medication and psychotherapy. Researchers showed interest in investigating the benefits of maintenance treatment and for the treatment of more severe chronic depression, especially those who cannot tolerate medication. (National Institute of Health (HIN) Office of Alternative Medicine. Results published September 1998 issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the American Psychological Society, as “The Efficacy of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Major Depression in Women.” John J.B. Allen, Rosa N. Schnyer, and Sabrina K. Hit).

Acupuncture for Depression associated with addictions

Auricular (ear) acupuncture has successfully eased patient’s withdrawal symptoms from alcohol and other addictive drugs since the early seventies. During this time, Dr. H. L. Wen, a Hong Kong neurosurgeon accidentally discovered the usefulness of acupuncture in treating the symptoms of opium and heroin drug addictions. This mode of treatment has been duplicated in Europe and America where along with furthering the healing process; the excretion of the toxic substances is enhanced resulting in the patient feeling better, faster.


Acupuncture is both a viable and popular alternative to effectively help you with depression and anxiety – without unwanted side effects.

If you have not ever had acupuncture, our frequently asked questions page is very helpful; Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)>>

For more information about how acupuncture can help you, please contact the clinic. Call today!

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