Research update: acupuncture and counselling for depression and pain
In recent research from The University of York, the influence of both acupuncture and counselling were studied to ascertain the difference they made to patients suffering with pain and depression when added to standard medical care. In the first trial 29 high quality clinical trials were used and around 18,000 patients were assessed. The patients were suffering from various types of pain from neck and lower back bain to head and knee pain
The research concluded that when acupuncture is added to standard care, patients experienced a significant reduction in the number of headaches and migraines and the severity of lower back and neck pain was also reduced.
With osteoarthritis of the knee the research showed the acupuncture reduced the pain and disability of the condition which lead to the need for less anti inflammatory medication.
The team also studied the influence of both acupuncture or counselling in comparison to standard medical care (anti depressants) for patients suffering with depression. 755 patients were studied and the researchers demonstrated that both acupuncture and counselling significantly reduced the severity of depression and that these benefits were largely sustained for up to 12 months after treatment.
Professor Hugh MacPherson who conducted the trial said:
“The front-line treatment for depression in primary care usually involves antidepressants; however, they do not work well for more than half of patients..In the largest study of its kind, we have now provided a solid evidence base to show that not only can acupuncture and counselling bring patients out of an episode of depression, but it can keep the condition at bay for up to a year on average.”
Further details of the trial can be found here: