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Acupuncture More Effective for Depression than Medication

Updated: Feb 26, 2020

Depression is a mood disorder that causes persistent feelings of sadness as well as loss of interest. Other symptoms may also be present, including but not limited to:

  • anxiety

  • insomnia or fatigue

  • weight loss/gain

  • excessive crying

  • agitation

  • social isolation

  • lack of concentration

  • suicidal ideation

A reported 50-60% of patients with depression do not respond completely to anti-depressant medication, and many patients stop taking medication due to the negative side effects.

Acupuncture can work to relieve depression naturally, without medication and its side effects.

Acupuncture for Depression

Acupuncture works with the central nervous system to regulate the release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine to relieve feelings of anxiety, irritability, and melancholy.

Acupuncture also boosts and stabilizes the production of melatonin to promote deeper and more restful sleep, alleviating insomnia and fatigue.

By altering the brain's chemistry directly, acupuncture is just as effective as Western medication with none of the unpleasant side effects.

In a clinical study comparing anti-depressant Paroxetine (Paxil) to acupuncture, acupuncture had a 95% total total effective rate at treating depression.

While Paxil had a similar effective rate at 91%, all Paxil patients reported side effects of nausea, anorexia, and diarrhea. Acupuncture had no negative side effects.

Auriculotherapy, or ear acupuncture, can help control side effects such as weight and appetite fluctuation as well as anxiety. Ear seeds are taped to acupressure points in the ear to provide light but constant stimulation, working with the body after the acupuncture appointment is over.

If you or a loved one are struggling to manage depression with anti-depressants, call us today at (321) 972-2940 to start your natural recovery!


HealthCMI. "Acupuncture Reduces Depression and Insomnia." (April 6, 2014). Retrieved from

HealthCMI. "Acupuncture Alleviates Depression and Anxiety, Boosts Paxil." (November 11, 2016). Retrieved from

Hunstad, Eric P. (2017). Acupuncture for Depression. In Acupuncture Information Manual (AIM).

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