Acupuncture and depression

There have been few trials in the West of acupuncture for mental ill health, fewer still of the size and quality of this one, with 755 patients recruited from primary care.

Both acupuncture and counselling produced significantly better depression scores than usual care. (1)  About half of the patients also suffered substantially with physical pain and these people did significantly better with acupuncture than with counselling. (2)


  1. MacPherson et al (2013). Acupuncture and counselling for depression in primary care: a randomised controlled trial. PLoS Med.2013;10(9):e1001518. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001518. Epub 2013 Sep 24.
  2. Hopton et al (2014). Acupuncture, counselling or usual care for depression and comorbid pain: secondary analysis of a randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open.2014 May 2;4(5):e004964. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-004964.


For more research into how acupuncture can help with other conditions, go to:

Acupuncture and anxiety

Acupuncture for pain

Acupuncture for hay fever and rhinitis

Acupuncture and fertility, IVF, PCOS and endometriosis