Researchers conducted the study to determine if a type of electro-acupuncture called DCEAS (dense cranial electroacupuncture stimulation) could enhance antidepressant effects during the early phase of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) treatment for major depressive disorder.

The researchers note that this style of acupuncture has been proven effective in the treatment of refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), major depressive disorder, post-stroke depression, and depression-related insomnia.

Fluoxetine was chosen as the study’s medication because it is a widely prescribed SSRI for the treatment of major depression.

Patients in the acupuncture group were treated three times per week along with fluoxetine treatment. The acupuncture points used in the study were: Baihui, Yintang, Sishencong, Toulinqi, Shuaigu, Taiyang and Touwei. Needles were inserted at a slant or in a horizontal fashion at a depth of 10-30mm.

They conclude that electro-acupuncture is effective in increasing the antidepressant effects of fluoxetine for the treatment of moderate and severe depression.

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Electroacupuncture should apply to acupuncture points: Baihui (DU20), Yintang (EX-HN3), Sishencong (EX-HN1), Toulinqi (GB15), Shuaigu (GB8), Taiyang (EX-HN5), Touwei (ST8).

Another research about electro acupuncture.

Chronic musculoskeletal pain is common and has been increasingly managed by opioid medications, of which the long-term efficacy is unknown. Furthermore, there is evidence that long-term use of opioids is associated with reduced pain control and declining physical function and quality of life, and could hinder the goals of integrated pain management. Electroacupuncture (EA) has been shown to be effective in reducing postoperative opioid consumption. Limited evidence suggests that acupuncture could assist patients with chronic pain to reduce their requirements for opioids.