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Does Acupuncture Work for Anxiety?



Preliminary studies indicate that acupuncture works to relieve anxiety.

More Info: Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years in the treatment of a variety of aches and pains with much success. Because it is non-invasive, safe, and inexpensive, more professionals are beginning to examine this alternative therapy for the treatment of more complex disorders including anxiety, depression, and mental health. Several recent studies, including those that were not specifically testing acupuncture’s effectiveness for anxiety have indicated positive results.

Study: A study conducted by the Medical Oncology Unit at the University of L’Aquila, Italy, measuring the effect of acupuncture on menopausal symptoms, revealed that anxiety and depression were improved by the treatment.

Study: The United States Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration suggests acupuncture as an alternative approach to mental health care citing acupuncture as assisting in detoxification, relieving stress and anxiety and reducing the symptoms of depression.

Study: Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine to assess the prevalence as well as patient interest in alternative therapies for anxiety prior to surgery. The results indicated that a significant number of patients were in favor of the therapy especially those that had used the therapies in the past.

Study: Acupuncture in Medicine: The Journal of the British Medical Acupuncture Society published a study involving patients suffering from odontophobia, a severe fear of dentistry. The study was conducted to determine if acupuncture could be utilized as an effective alternative to medication to relieve anxiety prior to dental surgery. Seventy percent of participant studies found acupuncture successful.



Pilkington, K, G Kirkwood, H Rampes, M Cummings, and J Richardson. “Acupuncture for Anxiety and Anxiety Disorders–a Systematic Literature Review.” Acupuncture in Medicine: The Journal of the British Medical Acupuncture Society 25.1-2 (2007): 1-10. National Institue of Health. Web. 15 June 2010.

Porzio, G, T Trapasso, S Martelli, E Sallusti, and C Piccone. ” Acupuncture in the Treatment of Menopause-Related Symptoms in Women Taking Tamoxifen.” Tumori 88.2 (2002): 128-30. National Institue of Health. Web. 15 June 2010.

“Alternative Approaches to Mental Health Care, National Mental Health Information Center.” mental illness, mental health information center. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 June 2010.

Wang, SM, C Peloquin, and ZN Cain. “Attitudes of Patients Undergoing Surgery toward Alternative Medical Treatment.” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 8.3 (2002): 351-6. National Institue of Health. Web. 15 June 2010.

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