Dr. Scott Denny Weblog

Holistic Medicine and Acupuncture

Acupuncture treats depression during pregnancy (without chemical drugs)

Acupuncture relives the symptoms of depression during pregnancy better than a placebo and potentially as well as pharmaceutical antidepressants, according to a study conducted by researchers from Stanford University and published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

“Acupuncture that we have tested works for pregnant, depressed women,” researcher Rachel Manber said.

The researchers randomly assigned 150 pregnant women who were suffering from clinical depression to receive either massage, acupuncture designed to treat depression, or acupuncture not designed for depression. After eight weeks of treatment, 63 percent of participants in the acupuncture-for-depression group had experienced an improvement in their symptoms, compared with 44 percent of women in the other two groups.

Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that involves inserting needles into certain key parts of the body to treat various health conditions.

The study did not compare acupuncture to antidepressants or psychotherapy, but the success rate of acupuncture in the current study was similar to that of other therapies in studies of men and non-pregnant women, the researchers noted.

Scott Denny, PhD, AP, DOM, FAAIM

Integrative Hospital Associates
2215 S. University Dr.
Davie,  FL 33324

Integrative Hospital Associates
4711-A N. Dixie Hwy.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334

Websites:

http://www.drscottdenny.com

http://www.multicareclinic.org

http://www.naturalclinics.net 

For more info on this story please see: online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704454304575081753471294546.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsTop

Advertisements

July 6, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) — Women who experience depression during pregnancy may have another treatment option, new research suggests.
The study found that women treated with depression-specific acupuncture had a 63 percent response rate compared to a 44 percent response rate in women treated with control acupuncture or massage.

“We tested acupuncture as a standalone treatment, and the results are very positive,” said study author Rachel Manber, a professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine Sleep Medicine Center in Redwood City, Calif. But, she added, because this is the first study of its kind, and the acupuncture protocol used was specifically designed for this study, “you always need replication of the findings.”

Dr. Shari Lusskin, director of reproductive psychiatry at the New York University Langone Medical Center, echoed that sentiment. “It’s encouraging to see alternative treatments being studied in a scientific manner, and this study should generate further studies. It needs to be replicated on a larger scale,” she noted.

“This is one treatment, and perhaps it will become another possible treatment tool in our therapeutic toolbox,” said Lusskin. But, she cautioned that “acupuncture is not a substitute for the appropriate use of antidepressant therapy especially in women with a prior history of response to antidepressants.”

As many as 20 percent of women may experience depression during pregnancy, according to the March of Dimes. Symptoms include sad, hopeless feelings that persist, generally for more than two weeks, Lusskin said. Women may also experience severe anxiety or feel disconnected from the baby. And, she cautioned, suicidal thoughts are never normal and are a sign that you should seek help.

Many women are cautious about using medications during pregnancy, reports the study. Interpersonal psychotherapy is an option for women who are depressed during pregnancy, but this type of therapy isn’t always available, according to the study.
For the study, Manber and her colleagues recruited 150 pregnant women who were diagnosed with a major depressive disorder. All were between 12 and 30 weeks of gestation.

The women were randomly assigned to one of three groups: depression-specific acupuncture (52 women), control acupuncture (49 women) or massage (49 women). The depression-specific protocol was designed just for this study, and the control acupuncture was specifically designed to avoid using acupuncture needles in any areas known to affect depression.

The treatments lasted for eight weeks. Women received treatment twice a week for the first four weeks, and then once a week for the next four weeks. The treatments lasted an average of 25 minutes.
The researchers found a 63 percent response rate in women who received the depression-specific acupuncture, while the response rate was 44.3 percent in the control acupuncture and massage groups. A response rate was defined as a 50 percent reduction in depression symptoms, Manber said. Results of the study are scheduled to be published in the March issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

“We found our acupuncture protocol was helpful, but that does not mean that any acupuncture for depression treatment will be effective. The quality of what you get can differ from one practitioner to another,” said Manber.

“Our goal is always to find treatments that have the maximum benefits and minimum risk,” said Lusskin. “Many women think it’s safer for the baby to go off antidepressants, but there’s a real risk to the baby for untreated depression in pregnancy. And, we have enough safety data about antidepressant use in pregnancy that we can make informed choices about managing treatment during pregnancy.”

The bottom line, she said, is to talk with your doctor to find the right combination of treatments that can help you. “Depression is not a one-size-fits-all illness, and treatment won’t be one-size-fits-all either. If acupuncture ends up being helpful for you, that’s great, but make sure you’re treated into remission.”

To learn more about depression during and after pregnancy, visit the National Women’s Health Information Center.

Commentary: It is always fascinating to me that using little tiny stainless steel filaments (acupuncture needles) inserted shallowly and painlessly into the skin can have such a profound effect on the body and the mind. Although we may not entirely understand the mechanism of action it does appear that acupuncture is causing a modulation of neurochemicals in the brain and spinal cord. From an oriental medical perspective we are balancing energy or “Qi.”

I am amused at the comment that “acupuncture is not a substitute for the appropriate use of antidepressant therapy especially in women with a prior history of response to antidepressants.” Ah yes, give them more pills, and they are pregnant!

I have a practice full of patients on antidepressants who are miserable, bloated, fatigued, and more depressed because of how they feel from the medication(s).  In a recent commerical for one of these wonderful antidepressant products they bolster the “need” for the additional antidepressants by stating that it is a fact that 2/3 of patients do not have relief from taking a single antidepressant medication. TWO-THIRDS!!! In simple terms the majority of patients are not improved. This is not my claim, it is the claim of the pharmaceutical company who wants to sell their little wonder pill. I’m getting depressed just typing this stuff!

If you are looking for simple solutions for complex problems, please give me call….

Dr. D

Call for more information: 954-473-8925
Scott Denny, PhD, AP, DOM, FAAIM

Integrative Hospital Associates
2215 S. University Dr.
Davie, FL 33324

Integrative Hospital Associates
4711-A N. Dixie Hwy.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334

Websites:
http://www.drscottdenny.com
http://www.multicareclinic.org
http://www.naturalclinics.org

March 14, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Acupuncture May Hold Promise For Women With Hormone Disorder Who Experience Fertility Challenges

(Sep. 9, 2008) — Getting pregnant with her first child was difficult, but when Rebecca Killmeyer of Charlottesville, Va. experienced a miscarriage during her second pregnancy, she wasn’t sure if she would ever have another baby. When she decided to enter a study testing the impact of acupuncture on women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) at the University of Virginia Health System

, she came out with a miracle.

“To our great surprise we were blessed with a third pregnancy during the PCOS study,” said Killmeyer. “I’m absolutely certain the acupuncture treatments helped me ovulate regularly, which allowed me to become pregnant.”

Lisa Pastore, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UVA Health System and principle researcher of the study, was hoping for results like this. Her goal has been to help women with PCOS have regular menstrual cycles. PCOS causes a hormonal imbalance, interfering with ovulation and ultimately, fertility. With several women in the study reporting pregnancies, Pastore believes that acupuncture could be an important alternative, non-drug therapy for women with this disorder.

“Over the last year we have seen women who never had a regular menstrual cycle start having regular periods. We can also boast several pregnancies since the study began,” said Pastore. “Now we would like to recruit more people to the study in order to complete the study. It is important for research to have enough participants to ensure that the results are scientifically credible and not due to chance.”

Scared and skeptical was how Killmeyer described her initial feelings towards the experimental treatment, but soon her worries gave way to relaxation.

“When I saw those tiny little needles coming at me I thought to myself, ‘I didn’t sign up for this!’ but I tried it and after a few minutes I was asleep on the table,” Killmeyer said. “The sessions were completely refreshing after awhile.”

Killmeyer learned of her PCOS in 2005. Over the past five years she did not have regular, monthly periods. One month after she started acupuncture treatments she got a period and for the next three months, they continued.

“I had finished all my acupuncture treatments and was in the end stages of the study when I became pregnant,” Killmeyer said. “We had already scheduled our follow-up appt with our fertility doctors when we found out we were pregnant.”

Five percent of reproductive age women are affected by PCOS. Symptoms of PCOS can include small cysts on their ovaries, infrequent or irregular vaginal bleeding, male-pattern hair growth, and acne. Insulin resistance and pre-diabetes also can develop.

While there are many traditional drugs and therapies that manage this syndrome, this research is assessing whether acupuncture can be successful in regulating hormones and curing the symptoms of PCOS.

For more information on acupuncture and fertility – infertility treatment please visit www.multicareclinic.org and www.drscottdenny.com or call 954-473-8925.

 

Adapted from materials provided by University of Virginia Health System

 

September 14, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment