Currently, 1 out of every 10 people reports symptoms of depression, and nearly half of these are considered cases of major depressive disorder.  Previous studies have demonstrated acupuncture’s ability to relieve mild depression and to help those who only have mild improvement from medication, but recent research shows that acupuncture can be a stand-alone treatment for people with major depression.  One study looked at acupuncture alone as a treatment for major depression, and showed significant improvement with both once- and twice-weekly treatments.  These findings are significant for patients wanting to avoid the side-effects of anti-depressant drugs, or concerned about needing long term pharmaceutical treatment.  A second study examined acupuncture in combination with fluoxetine (prozac), a common medication for depression. In this study, acupuncture and drug-therapy together led to greater improvement than drug-therapy alone.  For depressed patients, acupuncture is a great tool to help on the difficult path of recovery.

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