Acupuncture along with anti-depressants helps fight severe depression

London: Acupuncture therapy along with anti-depressants helps fight depression more effectively than drugs alone, a new study has found.

According to the British study, depression patients who combined acupuncture with medication improved more after three months than those who simply took medication, the Daily Express reported.

The research, conducted by Dr Hugh MacPherson and colleagues from the University of York, found that the 2,000-year-old Chinese method improved symptoms for up to six months.

This study is of great importance as many patients would like to be offered non-pharmacological treatment options such as, acupuncture or counseling, which has also helped reduce symptoms on the same scale alongside with their normal treatment.

Acupuncture therapy helps alleviates symptoms such as overwhelming sadness and hopelessness, by stimulating the release of endorphins and other "feel-good" chemicals.

However, Dr MacPherson, who is trained in acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, said that further research needs to be conducted to determine whether acupuncture could help with mild depression.

Currently more than 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression and about one in six people have reported an episode of depression during their lifetime.

The findings are published in the PLoS Medicine Journal.

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