Acupuncture for psychiatric Illness: A literature review

Noah Samuels, Cornelius Gropp, Shepherd Singer, Menachem Oberbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is on the rise, especially among psychiatric patients. Acupuncture is considered a safe and effective treatment modality, and traditional Chinese medicine teaches that acupuncture harmonizes the body's energies. Scientific research has found that acupuncture increases a number of central nervous system hormones (ACTH, beta-endorphins, serotonin, and noradrenaline) and urinary levels of MHPG-sulfate, an adrenergic metabolite inversely related to the severity of illness in schizophrenics. Acupuncture can have positive effects on depression and anxiety, although evidence is still lacking as to its true efficacy for these conditions. To the authors' knowledge, no trials have been conducted for schizophrenia, and researchers evaluating acupuncture in cases of substance abuse have found conflicting results. Further research is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-64
Number of pages10
JournalBehavioral Medicine
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Acupuncture
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • Substance abuse

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