Tag Archive: science


Hi Folks, here’s some research news for you this week!

A comprehensive study commissioned by the Department of Veterans Affairs found strong evidence that acupuncture has a positive effect in the treatment of chronic pain, migraine and tension headache.
The same study found a potentially positive effect in dysmenorrhea, cancer pain, labor pain, insomnia, post-operative nausea and vomit, depression, and smoking cessation, although it suggests more research needs to be done.

Another meta-analysis found that acupuncture outperforms placebo in relieving the most common types of chronic pain: headache, low back, neck, shoulder and knee pain. The same analysis discovered that acupuncture significantly outperforms standard care in headache, low back, neck, and knee pain. In other words, this evidence suggests you’re likely to get a better result for these conditions by seeing your skilled acupuncturist than you are by seeing a typical MD. To me this isn’t surprising; an acupuncturist will usually be more hands-on and thus likely to get to the underlying cause of the problem faster than if someone simply takes drugs to mask the pain.

A network analysis showed that acupuncture is superior to most forms of physical therapy in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis.

In other positive news, I was pleased to see that the American College of Physicians and American Pain Society actually recommends acupuncture for chronic low back pain, although only as a second-line therapy.

The American College of Chest Physicians also recommends acupuncture for cancer patients when pain, nausea, vomiting, or other side effects of chemotherapy are poorly controlled.

There are some problems with most of these studies that IMO show a smaller effect than what clinicians actually experience in practice, but still I’m happy to see some of the medical authorities beginning to treat acupuncture seriously. I’m planning an entire page devoted to my “acupuncture research rant”, stay tuned for that 🙂 Many thanks to John Pirog for directing my attention to this research.

Advertisements

This study shows yet more evidence that Chinese medicine can help improve fertility.