A Cochrane database systematic review has concluded that acupuncture may result in a moderate reduction in the severity of depression when compared with treatment as usual or no treatment. The Australian authors additionally concluded that use of acupuncture led to a small reduction in the severity of depression when compared with control acupuncture. Sixty-four studies (7104 participants) were included in their analysis, although the quality of evidence from most included studies was rated as as very low or low, meaning that the results should be interpreted with caution. Effects of acupuncture versus medication and psychological therapy were deemed to be uncertain owing to the very low quality of evidence.
Acupuncture for depression. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018 Mar 4;3:CD004046.