Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Anxiety disorder: medication vs. acupuncture

Chinese researchers recently investigated the effectiveness of acupuncture compared to psychotropic medications in the treatment of anxiety disorder. Eighty six patients with this diagnosis were assigned to one of three treatment groups: acupuncture only, medication only (primarily Prozac, Paxil, or Xanax), or a combination treatment. The most effective treatment appeared to be the acupuncture treatment, followed by the combination therapy, with medication having the lowest effectiveness. Acupuncture was even able to modify levels of platelet serotonin and plasma ACTH, a stress hormone.

If you are comfortable with complementary treatments for medical problems, and you have anxiety disorder, it might be worthy to engage an acupuncturist in your treatment to see if you respond as did the subjects in this study.

Yuan Q, Li JN, Liu B, Wu ZF, Jin R. Effect of Jin-3-needling therapy on plasma corticosteroid, adrenocorticotrophic hormone and platelet 5-HT levels in patients with generalized anxiety disorder. Chin J Integr Med. 2007 Dec;13(4):264-8.

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