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Study Finds Acupuncture Provides Stress Relief in Elderly

By: Vanessa Vogel Batt L.Ac. MSOM

A 2010 study, titled "Acupuncture is Effective to Attenuate Stress and Stimulate Lymphocyte Proliferation in the Elderly" published in Neuroscience Letters investigated the use of acupuncture on the immune system and its ability to treat stress-related psychological issues in the senior population.

Study participants received 6 sessions of acupuncture. All the treatments included use of the acupuncture points LI4, Sp6, and St36. Each patient evaluated their psychological symptoms to determine their levels of stress, anxiety and depression before and after the trial.

Researchers also measured the participants’ peripheral blood mononuclear cell levels at the start and end of the study. These measurements enabled the researchers to determine how much the immune system responded to the acupuncture treatments.

It was concluded that acupuncture is a feasible, effective treatment that can provide statistically significant improvements for symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression in the elderly. Not only that, but the increase of T-cell production proved significant as well. A boost in T-cell production indicates a robust, healthy immune system.

Source: Pavão, T. S., Vianna, P., Pillat, M. M., Machado, A. B., & Bauer, M. E. (2010). "Acupuncture is effective to attenuate stress and stimulate lymphocyte proliferation in the elderly". Neuroscience Letters, 484(1), 47–50.


About the Author: Vanessa Vogel Batt, L.Ac., MSTOM, studied at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and practiced acupuncture and Oriental medicine in New York for several years. Vanessa enjoys traveling the world, and has published articles on acupuncture and Oriental medicine and related health topics for websites and publications in both the U.S. and abroad.

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