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Acupuncture Vs. Counseling To Treat Depression

depression
(Dr. Brian McDonough) Dr. Brian McDonough
Dr. Brian McDonough has been medical editor at KYW Newsradio for more...
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By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - For many years – perhaps as long as the technique has been practiced – acupuncture has been thought of as a way to help fight depression. Remember, acupuncture has been practiced well before the days of antidepressant medications.

UK researchers compared the treatment with another non-drug depression therapy: counseling.

Looking at 775 patients, they found was that both acupuncture and counseling reduced depression scores at 3 months, and these approaches also helped at six months and a year.

Another interesting and somewhat surprising finding: when comparing acupuncture and counseling, there was no advantage of one over the other. Of course, any good plan to treat depression always should include counseling.