Auricular acupuncture (AA) is as effective as progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) in treating anxiety and depression, according to German research. One hundred and sixty two patients with a primary diagnosis of anxiety disorder or major depressive disorder were allowed to choose between treatment with AA (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association protocol) or treatment with PMR, a standardised and accepted relaxation method. Each group had treatments twice a week for four weeks. The results showed that treatment with AA significantly decreased tension, anxiety and anger/aggression throughout the four weeks, but did not elevate mood. No statistically significant differences were found between the two treatments at any time point.
Auricular Acupuncture Versus Progressive Muscle Relaxation in Patients with Anxiety Disorders or Major Depressive Disorder: A Prospective Parallel Group Clinical Trial. J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2016 Aug;9(4):191-9.

26. January 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Anxiety, Ear Acupuncture

Auricular acupuncture (AA) can decrease pre-competition anxiety in adolescent athletes, Iranian authors report. Forty-five adolescent football players received either AA, sham AA or no treatment, four hours before a competition event. AA was carried out with needle stimulation at two ear points – Relaxation and Shenmen. Sham acupuncture used placebo needles at the same points. Participants completed an anxiety questionnaire and had their heart rate and skin conductance measured before and after the intervention. The results showed that acupuncture had a significant effect on cognitive anxiety and somatic anxiety, but not on self-confidence. In addition, acupuncture significantly decreased skin conductance in the acupuncture group compared to the sham and no treatment groups.
Acupuncture Anxiolytic Effects on Physiological and Psychological Assessments for a Clinical Trial. Scientifica (Cairo). 2016;2016:4016952.