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New research concludes that acupuncture is an effective monotherapy for major depressive disorder. Researchers from the Depression Clinical Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston) cited prior research as the basis for this investigation. The researchers note, “We have previously shown that a standardized acupuncture augmentation was effective for antidepressant partial responders with major depressive disorder (MDD).” In a follow-up investigation, the researchers examined the safety and efficacy of acupuncture for the treatment of depression as a standalone therapy.

Patients in the study received 8 weeks of acupuncture, 1-2 times per week, with every treatment lasting 30 minutes. A choice of 5 acupuncture points were included in the study. Manual stimulation was applied every 10 minutes to the acupuncture points and electroacupuncture at 2 Hz was applied to acupoints on the head. Based on the results, the researchers concluded that, “Standardized acupuncture treatment was safe, well-tolerated and effective, suggesting good feasibility in outpatient settings.”

More Research
Prior research at Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston) demonstrated that acupuncture is effective in the treatment of clinical depression for patients who are non-responsive to conventional pharmaceutical antidepressant therapies. The study researched the ability of acupuncture to augment conventional antidepressant therapy and concluded that acupuncture is an effective adjunct to antidepressants for both partial and non-responders.

Other recent research demonstrates that electroacupuncture has an antidepressant effect and prevents atrophy of brain cells. Researchers measured that electroacupuncture prevents atrophy of glial cells in the hippocampus, a portion of the brain. The researches note that there is mounting data showing that major depressive disorder is linked to glia cell atrophy. The researchers posit that the antidepressant effect of electroacupuncture may be due to its ability to prevent “glial atrophy in the hippocampus.” In the study, electroacupuncture was applied to acupoints Du20 (BaiHui) and AnMian at a rate of once per day for a period of three weeks. The antidepressant effects were quantified and the protective effects of electroacupuncture on brain cells was measured by “immunohistochemistry, Western blot analysis and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction.”

Additional new research concludes that acupuncture is effective in relieving depression and increases the therapeutic effect of fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, Fontex). In the study, electroacupuncture was applied to acupuncture points: Baihui (DU20), Yintang (EX-HN3), Sishencong (EX-HN1), Toulinqi (GB15), Shuaigu (GB8), Taiyang (EX-HN5), Touwei (ST8). The researchers demonstrated that electroacupuncture produces a “rapid effect in alleviating depressive symptoms in both clinician-rated (HAMD-17) and self-rated (SDS) measures of depression.” The investigators conclude that electroacupuncture is effective in augmenting the antidepressant effects of fluoxetine for the treatment of moderate and severe major depressive disorder.


References:
A pilot study of acupuncture monotherapy in patients with major depressive disorder
David Mischoulon, Charlotte D. Brill, Victoria E. Ameral, Maurizio Fava, Albert S. Yeung. Depression Clinical and Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. 21 April 2012.

Albert S. Yeunga, Victoria E. Amerala, Sarah E. Chuzia, Maurizio Favaa and David Mischoulon. A pilot study of acupuncture augmentation therapy in antidepressant partial and non-responders with major depressive disorder. Depression Clinical and Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Glia atrophy in the hippocampus of chronic unpredictable stress-induced depression model rats is reversed by electroacupuncture treatment. Qiong Liua, Bing Lia, Hai-Yan Zhua, Yan-Qing Wanga, Jin Yu and Gen-Cheng Wu. Journal of Affective Disorders, Volume 128, Issue 3, February 2011, Pages 309-313.

Zhang Z-J, Ng R, Man SC, Li TYJ, Wong W, et al. (2012) Dense Cranial Electroacupuncture Stimulation for Major Depressive Disorder—A Single-Blind, Randomized, Controlled Study. PLoS ONE 7(1): e29651. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0029651.

About HealthCMi: The Healthcare Medicine Institute provides acupuncture CEU continuing education credit for licensed acupuncturists. The HealthCMi news division provides up-to-date research and acupuncture continuing education news.

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Acupuncture CEU & PDA Online Courses FAQ’s

Below are a few of the most frequent questions we field. You can also find more on our SUPPORT page. If you still haven’t found your answer, please feel free to contact us anytime. We would love to hear from you.

Are acupuncture CEUs & NCCAOM PDAs valid in my state or province?

HealthCMi CEUs are valid in every state in the USA, including Washington DC and other regions such as Puerto Rico. Most states use the NCCAOM acupuncture CEU/PDA certification that comes with every HealthCMi course.

All courses are valid for specialty certifications from the California Acupuncture Board and the Texas State Board of Acupuncture Examiners. HealthCMi courses are approved for Florida Board of Acupuncture CEs for acupuncture license renewal credit along with other specialty certifications such as the State of Illinois (IDFPR) acupuncture CE sponsor program. If you don’t see your state listed (North Carolina, New York, Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts, Utah, etc.), that is because the rest of the USA is covered by the NCCAOM certification that comes with every HealthCMi course. We even have courses approved through the specialty programs of the State of Nevada Board of Oriental Medicine, ABORM, IVAS, and more. An added bonus, all courses are California Board of Registered Nursing approved, so nurses can get acupuncture CEUs and nursing continuing education credit simultaneously.

In addition, HealthCMi acupuncture CEUs are valid throughout New Zealand, Canada (including CTCMA, BC and CAAA), and Australia for acupuncture continuing education credit.

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For live webinars, do I need to take a quiz?

Quizzes are not required for live webinars, only for anytime distance learning courses. You may see a quiz button on the learning management system control panel; however, if you try to take a quiz, the system will tell you that it is unnecessary. Make sure to click the download button to get the link to the live webinar. We will also send you a link via email the day before the event.

How do I purchase Acupuncture CEU courses online?

Click on Acupuncture CEUs in the top menu to view all course listings and follow the links. Simply choose the courses you like, add to cart, and get CEU credit from our online learning system.

HealthCMi courses are NCCAOM Diplomate PDA (applies to most States), California CEU, Florida CE, Texas CAE, CTCMA (BC, Canada), CAAA, Illinois, and State of Nevada Board of Oriental Medicine approved for continuing education credit hours and more. Massachusetts licensed acupuncturist can obtain their herbal medicine hours or acupuncture category required hours. All 50 states and territories in the USA are approved for acupuncture CEU credit for HealthCMi courses. Our acupuncture CEUs are also valid throughout Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and much more.

Check listings for ABORM approved courses. All courses for acupuncturists are also California Board of Registered Nursing approved.

How long do I have to take the Acupuncture CEU courses online?

There is no time limit for course completion of your Acupuncture CEU or PDA courses.

How many times can I retake Acupuncture CEU course quizzes?

You make re-take quizzes until a passing grade is achieved. A certificate of completion is automatically generated, and you may print it. There is no extra charge to re-take quizzes.