This article is under construction and will be published later.

Acupuncture was introduced to Western countries and gained wide acceptation due to its effectiveness in treating pain accompanied by extraordinary safety profile. Thousands of patients experienced benefits from this method and hundreds of well designed clinical trials were performed researching effectiveness, safety, mechanisms of action and economic value of acupuncture. During treatments many patients reported deep relaxation, and many clinical trials reported improvement in well being, anxiety as well as depression scales.

Emotional and psychical imbalance is common in modern societies, so situation described above required further research. Following article will describe actual scientific knowledge about the influence of acupuncture and related techniques on emotional and psychic state.

The amount of data requiring analysis is great, so the article will be published later. Meanwhile please have a look at existing articles showing effectiveness and mechanisms of acupuncture’s influence on human mind.  Certainly the list is far from being complete, but can provide good starting point

Anxiolytic effect and relaxation
  • Acupuncture reduces anxiety before operationhere.

  • Acupuncture is an effective treatment for reducing anxiety and depression in patients suffering from

    Premenstrual Disphoric Disorderhere.

  • Acupuncture improves objective sleep parameters, anxiety levels and depression levels in patients with schizophrenia, here.

  • Acupuncture improves memory and reduces anxiety, here.

  • Both acupuncture and sham (acupressure?) significantly reduces anxiety in lactating mothers with preterm infants, here.

Animal studies on mechanisms:

  • Involvement of amygdaloid neuropeptide Y in the anxiolytic effects of acupuncture during ethanol withdrawal in rats, here.

  • Amygdaloid corticotropin-releasing factor is involved in the anxiolytic effect of acupuncture during ethanol withdrawal in rats, here.

Depression
  • Review of published trials concerning acupuncture in treatment of depression, showing that this is effective, well tolerated, safe method, here

  • Well designed study showing that acupuncture is better than usual care for treatment of depression, here.

  • Secondary analysis of randomised controlled trial showing effectiveness of acupuncture in treatment of depression, as well as depression with comorbid pain, here

  • Meta analysis of the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating post-stroke depression, here

  • Acupuncture significantly reduces depression, equally to Paroxetin, here

  • Acupuncture + SSRIs is better combination than SSRIs alone, here.

  • Another study confirming beneficial role of acupuncture as adjunctive treatment to SSRIs, here

  • There is high-level evidence supporting the use of acupuncture in pregnant women with major depression, here

Animal studies on mechanisms of antidepressive function of acupuncture:

  • Electroacupuncture has antidepressive and anxiolytic effects on rats with neuropathic pain and that this might be associated with restoring the phosphorylation of NR1 in the hippocampus, here

  • Electroacupuncture promotes proliferation of amplifying neural progenitors and preserves quiescent neural progenitors from apoptosis to alleviate depressive-like and anxiety-like behaviours, here

  • Electroacupuncture upregulates ERK signaling pathways and promotes adult hippocampal neural progenitors proliferation in a rat model of depression, here.

  • Acupuncture stimulation at HT7 alleviates depression-induced behavioral changes via regulation of the serotonin system in the prefrontal cortex of maternally-separated rat pups, here.

Schizophrenia
  • Metaanalysis of 13 RCTs  from 2009 providing limited evidence for effectiveness of acupuncture  for treating symptoms of schizophrenia, here.

  • A study showing positive effects of acupuncture in treatment of insomnia and  improving psychopathology symptoms among 20 patients with schizophrenia, here.