An American group has found that acupuncture can significantly and persistently reduce stress in university students and staff. Their study included 111 participants with high self-reported stress levels who either studied or worked at a large urban university. Participants were randomised into a verum or sham acupuncture group, and both groups received treatment once a week for 12 weeks.
The treatment group received needling at a predetermined set of points: Baihui DU-20, Yintang, Shanzhong REN-17, Qihai REN-6, unilateral Shenmen HE-7, Neiguan P-6, Hegu L.I.-4, LIV-3 and Zusanli ST-36, plus auricular points Shen Men, Liver, Point Zero and Heart. The control group received needling without manipulation at three non-acupuncture points. While participants in both groups showed a substantial initial decrease in perceived stress scores, at 12 weeks post-treatment the verum acupuncture group showed a significantly greater treatment effect than the sham group. This study indicates that acupuncture may be successful in decreasing the perception of stress in students and staff at a large urban university, and this effect persists for at least three months after the completion of treatment.
Effectiveness of Acupuncture Therapy on Stress in a Large Urban College Population. J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2017 Jun;10(3):165-170.