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Stress and Psychological

1) In an Australian study, 79 patients with anxiety were treated with Acupuncture. Patients were treated twice a week until improved and then once a week until stable, and then reviewed monthly. The changes were analyzed frequently using biofeedback devices.

CONCLUSION: The overall effectiveness rate for decrease in severity and frequency of anxiety and reduction of drugs was 89% with 65% reporting being 'very greatly helped,' 24% 'helped' and 11% unresponsive. 

2) Anxiety and Depression
Acupuncture in patients with minor depressive episodes and generalized anxiety. Results of a study in Germany, 2000: 
The effects of needle Acupuncture were investigated in a placebo-controlled, double-blind study in 43 patients with minor depression, and 13 patients with generalized anxiety, all completing 10 Acupuncture sessions. There were significantly higher results in the needle Acupuncture compared to the placebo Acupuncture group (60% vs. 21.4%). There was a high response rate of 85.7% in patients with generalized anxiety disorder when needle Acupuncture was applied.

CONCLUSION: Significant clinical improvements were obtained in anxiety as well as a large reduction in anxiety symptoms in patients with minor depression or with generalized anxiety disorders.

1) A study at the University of Arizona in 1998 (published in 'Psychological Science') on the Efficacy of Acupuncture for the treatment of depression showed that symptoms of major depressive disorder--commonly called clinical depression--were relieved at rates comparable to those of psychotherapy or drug treatments. 

In the study, participants were given a choice of two two types of Acupuncture treatment: an individualized treatment designed to address the underlying pattern according to Chinese Medicine, or a nonspecific treatment. At the conclusion of the 8 weeks of treatment, the women who had received individualized treatment had a greater reduction in depressive symptoms than the women who received nonspecific treatment.

2) Depression and the Nervous System
Acupuncture has been shown to raise serotonin (5-HT) levels in the body, therefore helping to regulate sleep, eating, depression, anxiety, blood pressure, broncho-constriction, clotting and pain. It is written in Acupuncture Med issue 12/2 that electro-acupuncture releases 5-HT in the brain, and decreases depression, nausea and migraine, and helps to alleviate addiction. This provides one objective reason for Acupuncture’s broad effectiveness.

3) Mild to moderate depression
In a double-blind randomized controlled trial, acupuncture with active laser was found to be significantly more effective for the treatment of mild to moderate depression (at twelve weeks from trial onset) compared to sham laser acupuncture. In this trial, the practitioner did not know during treatment whether the laser device was active or not and was asked not to communicate with the patient other than a first greeting. Treatment was given twice a week for four weeks, then weekly for four weeks. (Acupuncture in Medicine 2005; 23(3): 103-111).

1) Acupuncture increases nocturnal melatonin secretion and reduces insomnia and anxiety: a preliminary report
The authors assessed the response to acupuncture of 18 anxious adult subjects who complained of insomnia in a clinical trial study.

• After five weeks acupuncture treatment they found a significant nocturnal increase in endogenous melatonin secretion and significant improvements in measures of sleep onset latency, total sleep time and sleep efficiency. They also found significant reductions in state and trait anxiety scores. These objective findings are consistent with clinical reports of acupuncture's relaxant effects. Acupuncture treatment may be of value for some categories of anxious patients with insomnia.

Spence DW, et al. The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences 16(1):19-28.

2) 291 cases of insomnia received an average of 15 treatments. Subjects ranged in age from 16-60 years and organic causes were ruled out. 216 of the 291 returned to normal sleep following the series of treatments.
Xiuling, Z, World Journal of Acupuncture

3) This study focused on the effects of acupuncture on insomnia after stroke. 
Hospitalized stroke patients with insomnia were randomized into a real acupuncture group (RA group) or a sham acupuncture group (SA group). The RA group received acupuncture on (He 7) and (EH 6) for 2 days, and the SA group received sham acupuncture on the same points. The Morning Questionnaire (MQ), Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) and Athens Insomnia Scale (AIS) measured the effectiveness. An independent, blinded neurologist before, and 1 and 2 days after treatment examined these scales repeatedly. 
Thirty subjects (15 in the RA group and 15 in the SA group) were included in the final analysis. 
The acupuncture group (RA) showed more improvement in insomnia than the SA group. Repeated measures analysis detected that there were significant between-subject effects in the MQ, ISI and AIS.

Kim YS, Lee SH, et al. Intradermal acupuncture on shen-men and nei-kuan acupoints in patients with insomnia after stroke. Am J Chin Med 2004