Acupuncture & Depression
Keywords: Chinese medicine, acupuncture, psychiatry, depression
On pages 35-36 of issue #2, 2005 of Hei Long Jiang Zhong Yi Yao (Heilongjiang Chinese Medicine & Medicinals), Ren Jian-ning of the Jiangsu Provincial Chinese Medical Hospital in Nanjing published an article titled, “Clinical Observations on the Treatment of 50 Cases of Depression with Acupuncture.” A summary of this article is given below.
All 50 patients enrolled in this study were out-patients at the author’s hospital. Among them, there were 21 males and 29 females 18-75 years of age. These patients had been ill from 11 months to 15 years. Twenty-five cases presented with liver qi depression and binding, 10 with qi depression and phlegm stagnation, 10 with qi stagnation and blood stasis, and five with qi and blood dual vacuity. All were diagnosed with depression at a local Western medical hospital,
The main points chosen in this protocol consisted of:
Bai Hui (GV 20)
Shang Xing (GV 23)
Qian Ting (GV 21)
An Mian (N-HN-22a)
Yin Tang (M-HN-3)
Nei Guan (Per 6)
Shen Men (Ht 7)
Zhong Wan (CV 12)
Qi Hai (CV 6)
Guan Yuan (CV 4)
Feng Long (ST 40)
San Yin Jiao (Sp 6)
Zhao Hai (Ki 6)
Tai Chong (Liv 3)
Xin Shu (Bl 15)
Gan Shu (Bl 18)
Pi Shu (Bl 20)
Each time, 5-6 of these points were selected and needled bilaterally. If there was liver depression accompanied by sighing, Gao Huang Shu (Bl 43) was added. If there was worry and anxiety, Dan Zhong (CV 17) was added. If there was irritability, Xuan Zhong (GB 39) was added. If memory power had decreased, Si Shen Cong (M-HN-1) was added. If there was liver depression and phlegm stagnation accompanied by strong fear and anxiety, Qiang Jian (GB 18) was added. If there was torpid intake and loss of weight, Tai Bai (Sp 3) was added. If there was a feeling of inferiority, Tai Yuan (Lu 9) was added. If there was paranoia, Shen Shu (Bl 23) was added. If there was qi stagnation and blood stasis accompanied by aching and pain, the four bars points (i.e., Tai Chong, Liv 3 & He Gu, LI 4) were added.
If there was middle burner distention and fullness, Tian Shu (St 25) was added. If there was qi and blood dual vacuity accompanied by lassitude of the spirit, Zu San Li (St 36), Xue Hai (Sp 10), and Xin Shu (Bl 15) were added. If there was chilled limbs and aversion to cold, Guan Yuan Shu (Bl 26), Ge Shu (Bl 17), and Shen Shu (Bl 23) were added. Points were needled to standard depths and in standard directions with even supplementing-even draining hand technique. The needles were then retained for 40 minutes. During this time, the needles were stimulated every 10 minutes. Treatment was given two times per week, and 10 times equaled one course of therapy.
Study outcomes were based on criteria established at the 1958 Chinese National Psychiatric Symposium and were divided into four categories: cure, marked effect, improvement, and no effect. Based on these criteria, 17 cases were judged cured, 18 cases got a marked effect, 10 cases were judged improved, and five cases got no effect. Therefore, the cure rate was 34%, the imrovement rate was 56%, and the total effectiveness rate was 90%.
For more information on the Chinese medical treatment of depression, see Bob Flaws and James Lake’s Chinese Medical Psychiatry available from Blue Poppy Press.
Copyright © Blue Poppy Press, 2005. All rights reserved.