July 5, 2022
Psycom.net, a highly regarded resource for a wide variety of mental health conditions, cited Brendan Mattson, Academic Dean of Graduate Studies on the Chicago campus and a Pacific College alumnus, on acupuncture for depression. Psycom.net seeks to educate and empower patients and caregivers to better understand their mental health condition and to take an active role in their own care.
Although studies on acupuncture as a treatment for depression have yielded mixed results, 2021 and 2018 reviews on studies concluded that acupuncture was moderately effective at reducing the severity of depression, as compared to standard or no treatment. “One thing about TCM is that it’s omnivorous,” said Brendan Mattson, DACM, LAc, meaning that using acupuncture doesn’t preclude other methods of healing; it doesn’t surprise him “to see that acupuncture with medication outperforms just medication. Anyone who is licensed and certified as an acupuncturist is likely to be competent at assessing and treating depression.”
In most or all cases, acupuncture shouldn’t entirely replace the usual treatments for depression, but it is often recommended as a complement to them for struggling patients. Treatment plans and patient needs will vary, but in the US, patients may have acupuncture treatments 1-2 times per week, tapering off if the acupuncture begins to help.