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.

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