DEPRESSION: DO YOU NEED HELP?
Are you aware that acupuncture has been scientifically proven to be an effective treatment for depression? Dr Kirk Wilson (PhD) from the Meridian Healing Centre in Sydney CBD conducted a clinical trial (at the University of Technology Sydney) in which he used acupuncture to successfully treat depression. Following the outstanding results from the research, Kirk is now offering his expertise in private consultations.
How effective are the acupuncture treatments?
During the research, Dr Wilson used a number of psychometric scales to measure any changes in the severity of the depression (as experienced by the subjects). The focus of the study was however on the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). This is considered amongst the mental health community to be a valid and reliable measure of depression. Subjects completed the BDI before and after the course of acupuncture treatments. When the post-treatment scores were compared to the pre-treatment scores, the improvement was statistically significant (P score = 0.000; alpha 0.05). In more simple terms, subjects experienced an average reduction of more than 55% in the severity of their depression!
Another method used to measure the efficacy of the acupuncture treatment was to consider the rate of remission. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders IV (DSM-IV) is the gold standard in mental health diagnosis. In order to be accepted into the study, subjects were required to satisfy the DSM-IV diagnosis for Major Depressive Disorder. At the conclusion of the acupuncture treatment, over 87% of the subjects no longer met the criteria for the diagnosis.
How long did the benefit last?
The statistics from the clinical trial indicated subjects were able to maintain the benefits from the acupuncture eight weeks after the last treatment. Due to the constraints of the study, follow up assessments were limited to the eight week mark. It however appeared the effects of the treatment continued much longer. In clinical practice the lasting benefits have been equally as encouraging. Many patients are continuing to report to be free of their depression since 1997 (which was when Dr Wilson first started using the treatment protocol).
How many treatments are required?
The number of treatments will vary depending on each patient. During the clinical trial a total of 12 treatments were given over an eight week period. This consisted of two treatments a week for the first four weeks, then once a week for the remaining four weeks. Dr Wilson does prefer to see patients twice a week until it is evident progress is being achieved.
What is involved in the treatment?
Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles in specific locations on the body. Patients report feeling a slight pin prick (which most consider to be surprisingly painless). The needles remain inserted for a period of about 25 minutes. All needles used at Meridian healing Centre are single use disposable needles. For more information please refer to the FAQs on acupuncture.
How much does each treatment cost?
Acupuncture treatments at Meridian Healing Centre cost $90.