Depression is a common illness worldwide, with more than 264 million people affected. The symptoms of depression range from mild to severe. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide. It can also influence relationships and some chronic health conditions.

Contributing factors

  • Social factors
  • Psychological factors
  • Biological factors
  • Adverse life events

One systematic review supported the use of acupuncture as an effective treatment to improve symptoms of depression-related insomnia. Compared with conventional Western medicine, acupuncture may be more effective in decreasing PSQI score. (Dong 2015) Another review found some evidence suggesting that acupuncture may moderately reduce the severity of depression. (Smith 2018)

Dong B, Chen Z, Yin X, et al. The Efficacy of Acupuncture for Treating Depression-Related Insomnia Compared with a Control Group: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Biomed Res Int. 2017;2017:9614810. doi:10.1155/2017/9614810

Smith CA, Armour M, Lee MS, Wang LQ, Hay PJ. Acupuncture for depression. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018;3(3):CD004046. Published 2018 Mar 4. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004046.pub4