Acupuncture Continuing Education

Laser Acupuncture for Depression Findings

Researchers have discovered that laser acupuncture significantly reduces depression symptoms. Laser acupuncture is the stimulation of acupuncture points with light instead of needles. Laser acupuncture uses low intensity laser beams and does not damage the skin, burn or cause discomfort.

Laser acupuncture treats depression. Acupuncture for DepressionLaser acupuncture was applied to acupuncture points LV14, CV14, LV8, HT7 and KI3. Laser acupuncture treatments were given two times per week for four weeks and then one time per week for an additional four weeks. The study, conducted at the University of New South Wales, used strict protocols to ensure accurate results. The methodology ensured that the study was double-blinded, randomised and placebo controlled. All patients admitted to the study suffered from major depressive disorder. After three months, a follow-up investigation showed that the laser acupuncture group showed clinically significant improvements in depression recovery outcomes over the control group.

This is not the first modern study to show that acupuncture and Chinese medicine relieve depression. Another recent investigation finds that acupuncture effectively treats depression for patients undergoing treatment with the antidepressant paroxetine (Paxil, Sereupin, Aropax). The researchers discovered that both acupuncture and electroacupuncture improved “the quality of life in depressed patients undergoing paroxetine treatment.” In this study, electroacupuncture edged out manual acupuncture for the greatest improvements in the reduction of depression. The acupoints used in the study were: GV20 (Baihui), Yintang, GV16 (Fengfu), GV14 (Dazhui), P6 (Neiguan), SP6 (Sanyinjiao). Overall, the emphasis of this research showed that acupuncture treatments enhance and complement the beneficial effects of the pharmaceutical medication paroxetine for patients suffering from depression.

Quah-Smith, I., C. Smith, J. D. Crawford, and J. Russell. "Laser acupuncture for depression: A randomised double blind controlled trial using low intensity laser intervention." Journal of affective disorders (2013).

Ma SH, Qu SS, Huang Y, Chen JQ, Lin RY, Wang CQ, Li GL, Zhao CH, Guo SC, Zhang ZJ. Improvement in quality of life in depressed patients following verum acupuncture or electroacupuncture plus paroxetine: a randomized controlled study of 157 cases. Neural Regen Res. 2012;7(27):2123-2129.