Acupuncture can help beat the blues

Even mainstream doctors are starting to recognize the amazing pain-relieving benefits of acupuncture -- but this ancient treatment can do so much more than ease your aches.

Acupuncture is also a proven mood booster with the power to beat depression, even serious cases of the condition -- and new research on the benefits of acupuncture shows it actually works about as well as or even better than counseling.

In this study, 755 patients were randomly assigned to try acupuncture, counseling or neither. All of them were suffering from moderate to severe depression, with an average score of 16 on a 27-point depression scale.

But after three months of weekly acupuncture sessions, their average scores fell to 9 -- or enough of an improvement to be considered a mild case of the condition after experiencing the benefits of acupuncture. 

Patients who tried counseling got a benefit, but not quite as big. Their scores fell to 11. And the rest saw a minor dip down to 13.

Ready for the most stunning part of all? Everyone in the study had been on antidepressant drugs for at least three months.

That's right... despite medication, they were all still moderately or severely depressed -- but the benefits of acupuncture did what the drugs couldn't, delivering real relief. And that relief lasted for at least three months after the treatments ended.

Now, all this is good news. But at the same time, I don't see this is your first option for depression. It's more of something you can do to ease the condition while you work with your doctor to find the real cure.

That cure will depend on the cause. For example, if your depression is caused by
the low serotonin levels I just mentioned, you may need supplements of 5-htp -- an amino acid your body converts to serotonin.

Other great brain-boosting nutrients include omega-3 fatty acids, curcumin and B vitamins -- but you don't have to guess which ones might work best for you. A holistic doctor can run some tests that will help determine the cause as well as your best treatment options.