Depression is a common mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life, causing a range of symptoms such as low mood, loss of interest in activities, and fatigue. While there are various treatments available, such as medications and therapy, some people seek alternative therapies like acupuncture to manage their symptoms. Today, we’ll explore whether acupuncture for depression can be an effective treatment option for you.

Understanding How Acupuncture Works

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese therapy that involves inserting fine needles into specific points on the body to promote healing and balance. It’s based on the concept of Qi, or vital energy, which flows through the body along channels called meridians. According to traditional Chinese medicine, illness and disease occur when the flow of Qi is disrupted, and acupuncture can restore balance and promote the body’s natural healing process.

What Does the Research Say?

While acupuncture is not a substitute for conventional treatments like therapy and medication, some research suggests that it may have a role to play in managing depression symptoms. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, researchers found that acupuncture was effective in reducing depression symptoms in a group of patients with major depressive disorder¹. The study participants received 12 weekly sessions of acupuncture, and by the end of the treatment, they reported a significant improvement in their symptoms.

Another study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research in 2015 found that acupuncture combined with antidepressant medication was more effective in treating depression symptoms than medication alone². The study involved 150 participants who were randomly assigned to receive either acupuncture plus medication or medication alone. After eight weeks, the group who received acupuncture had a significantly greater reduction in symptoms than the medication-only group.

What to Expect

If you’re considering acupuncture for depression, it’s essential to seek treatment from a qualified and experienced practitioner. During the treatment, the practitioner will insert thin needles into specific points on the body, depending on your symptoms and health history. The needles may be left in place for approximately 30 minutes, and you may feel a mild tingling sensation during the treatment. Most people find acupuncture to be painless and relaxing, and it’s safe when performed by a trained practitioner.

If You’re Struggling with Depression

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, it’s important to seek professional help from a qualified mental health provider. While acupuncture may be a helpful addition to your treatment plan, it’s not a substitute for therapy or medication. That said, if you’re interested in exploring acupuncture as a potential option for managing your depression symptoms, we encourage you to give it a try.

At 2Dots Integrative Medicine, we will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that meets your unique needs and goals. Don’t let depression hold you back from living a happy, fulfilling life – take that first step towards healing and give us a call today.



with Dr. Lin Dan Zhu