More and more studies are confirming acupuncture to be a safer alternative to psychiatric medications for the treatment of anxiety and depression in Linwood.
MRI studies reveal acupuncture to have a significant impact over brain neurochemicals, such as serotonin and dopamine. This is the conclusion reached by Jamie Starkey, a Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Integrative Medicine acupuncturist. He added that those chemicals are the happy chemicals that activate feelings that make you feel good.
The wide use of harmful antidepressants
In the United States, some of the most widely used prescription medications are antidepressants. In a study done University of Pennsylvania and University of Columbia researchers and printed in the Archives of General Psychiatry, the use of these drugs rose by 200% between the years 1996 and 2005.
The side effects of pharmaceutical drugs such as antidepressants are oftentimes serious. In fact, a lot of antidepressants may even exacerbate the symptoms of depression and even heighten the likelihood of suicide for the sufferer. Moreover, new studies have even questioned the general efficacy of these drugs. One such study which was published in 2010 in the Journal of the American Medical Association was a meta-analysis whose results show that both newer (SSRI) and older (tricyclic) antidepressants are much less effective than talk therapy and merely as effective as a placebo. Patients with less serious depression (mild to moderate) would find antidepressants to be minimally effective for their kind of depression. These patients may discover acupuncture to be actually the best treatment for their condition.
Starkey stated that “What we’re discovering is that for mild to moderate depressive patients, acupuncture is just as effective as or even much better than these antidepressants.”
Science verifies acupuncture
Traditional acupuncture, in recent years, has been the focus of clinical studies by Western scientists. This treatment is about the use of thin long needles stuck into specific energy channels in the body, known as meridians.
One such study, which was published in November 2006 in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry and conducted by University of Arizona researchers included 151 participants who all have major depressive disorder. The patients were randomly assigned to no intervention treatment, sham acupuncture treatment, or traditional acupuncture treatment. Both the sham and traditional acupuncture involved a dozen acupuncture sessions administered at the office of a local acupuncturist over the course of two months. All 151 patents, at the end of 8 weeks, were treated for another two months of traditional acupuncture. The results showed that patients in both the sham and traditional acupuncture groups had significant improvement in their depressive symptoms.
One other study published in 2009 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine and performed by researchers from China’s Beijing MeiTan General Hospital in China had 80 participants all of whom were experiencing major depressive disorder. They were treated with either five weekly acupuncture treatments plus 10 milligrams per day of the drug fluoxetine (Prozac), or a standard clinical dose of the drug.
At the end of six weeks it was revealed that the acupuncture group experienced the same improvement in depressive symptoms as those in the high- dose Prozac group. What’s more the acupuncture group also had fewer side effects and a greater improvement in their symptoms of anxiety.
The study indicates that acupuncture can be an ideal alternative for patients who are unable to tolerate the side-effects of antidepressants and those with depression coupled with serious anxious symptoms.