There are numerous challenges in treating Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMH) disorders. Many of these difficulties revolve around already difficult conditions to treat from a general practitioner facility which include chronic pain, mental health challenges resulting from stress, and preventing and/or addressing addictions.

The effectiveness of acupuncture in addressing these problems have been studied extensively by researchers and clinicians from all over the world, including leading institutions such as Harvard University and University of York. In these studies, acupuncture has been found to be effective in addressing various problems, including chronic pain, mental stress, anxiety, depression, non-medication pain relief, and substance abuse. [1-24, 29, 36].

Among these studies, some have shown the cost effectiveness of acupuncture, when offered in addition to the conventional treatment, in treating patients with depression [19, 20]. 

Dietary Therapy

Existing evidence of the beneficial effect of using magnesium as a therapeutic supplementation on patients with depression or anxiety could be found in various studies as well as systematic reviews [37-40].

Another recent systematic review and meta-analysis results showed that vitamin B supplementation (including B6, B8 and B12) significantly reduced psychiatric symptoms [41].

A recent systematic review also suggested that magnesium and vitamin B6 in combination may be effective in reducing premenstrual stress, and vitamin B6 alone may reduce anxiety effectively in older women [42].

It is well-known that proper nutrition has a positive impact on the prevention or decline of depressive symptoms among elderly people; B vitamin supplementation may particularly benefit populations who are at risk due to poor nutrient status and/or poor mental health [43, 44].


Baduanjin Qigong, one of the oldest mindfulness-based exercise for health and wellbeing developed in China about 1000 years ago, has been well established as a safe, easy to learn, yet highly effective adjunct intervention.

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses of evidences from published randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have shown significant health benefits of Baduanjin Qigong practice, especially when combined with conventional therapy [45-58].  

More specifically, Baduanjin Qiong has been found to be beneficial on improving quality of life, sleep quality, balance, handgrip strength, trunk flexibility, diastolic blood pressure [45], alleviate musculoskeletal pain and improving overall sleep quality for people with chronic illness [46], improve clinical outcomes for knee osteoarthritis patients [47], improve cognitive and memory function for patients with mild cognitive impairment [48], improve exercise capability and pulmonary function of COPD patients as well as quality of life [49], improve blood pressure for hypertension patients [50], improve the quality of life, anxiety, depression, distress, and fatigue of cancer patients [51], and improving global cognition in adults with cognitive impairment [52].

Noticeably, Baduanjin Qigong has been found to significantly improve mental health for youth, college students, and elderly [53-57].


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3.     Auricular Acupuncture to Relieve Health Care Worker’s Stress and Anxiety: Impact on Caring.

4.     The Use of Auricular Acupuncture to Reduce Preoperative Anxiety.

5.     Acupuncture and electroacupuncture for anxiety disorders: A systematic review of the clinical research.

6.     Acupuncture for Treating Anxiety and Depression in Women: A Clinical Systematic Review.

7.     Reduction of Opioid Use by Acupuncture in Patients Undergoing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: Secondary Analysis of a Randomized, Sham-Controlled Trial.

8.     Acupuncture on the Stress-Related Drug Relapse to Seeking.

9.     Opioid Alternatives for Athletes.

10.  Acupuncture versus titrated morphine in acute renal colic: a randomized controlled trial.

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13.  Osher Center For Integrative Medicine – Harvard Medical School and Brigham and women’s Hospital

14.  Health Center – University of Maryland

15.  Pain Management Clinic – Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

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17.  Acupuncture – Johns Hopkins Medicine

18. Acupuncture for Addictions Service – Toronto Western Hospital

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