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CNS Neurosci Ther. 2012 Apr;18(4):277-84. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-5949.2011.00254.x. Epub 2011 Jun 7.

Acupuncture for anxiety.

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Hywel Dda Health Board, Physio Department, Bro Cerwyn Centre, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, UK.


This review aims to examine the volume and quality of the evidence base which supports the use of acupuncture in the treatment of anxiety disorders. A literature review was conducted using Pubmed, Google scholar, AMED, BMJ, Embase, Psychinfo, Cochrane library, Ingenta connect, and Cinahl databases. Keywords were "anxiety,""anxious,""panic,""stress,""phobia," and "acupuncture" limited to year 2000 onwards and English language where available. The quality of research examining the use of acupuncture in the treatment of anxiety disorders is extremely variable. There is enormous variety regarding points used, number of points used in a session, duration of sessions, frequency of treatment and duration of treatment programme. While the generally poor methodological quality, combined with the wide range of outcome measures used, number and variety of points, frequency of sessions, and duration of treatment makes firm conclusions difficult. Against this, the volume of literature, consistency of statistically significant results, wide range of conditions treated and use of animal test subjects suggests very real, positive outcomes using a treatment method preferred by a population of individuals who tend to be resistant to conventional medicine.

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