Large study points to efficacy of acupuncture

Acupuncture is widely accepted in Eastern medicine as a legitimate form of pain therapy, and even as a method of general anesthesia for major surgeries. It has been used for more than 3,000 years in China, and is being slowly accepted by more and more Western doctors.

Still, many medical professionals believe that any benefit from acupuncture is merely placebo effect (the patient gets better because they had any type of intervention). Now a study carried out by doctors at one of the best cancer hospitals in the world, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, shows that acupuncture has more than a placebo effect.

The researchers carefully examined the records of 17, 922 patient who took part in 37 previous research studies to reach their overall conclusion. Their methodology was so meticulous that this Memorial Sloan-Kettering study is already being praised as the largest and most definitive study of acupuncture ever.

They studied acupuncture for pain relief in four common conditions: back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, chronic headache, and shoulder pain. Some of the 17,922 patients received genuine acupuncture by trained acupuncturists. Some of the patients received “sham” acupuncture, meaning they had needles inserted, but they were inserted in areas that were not real acupuncture points, and at depths that were not correct. And finally, some of the patients received no needle treatments at all.

Their results showed that 50% of people receiving the “real” acupuncture treatment had at least a 50% reduction in their pain levels, a very significant result. Of the people who received “sham” acupuncture, 43% got pain relief, and of people who had no needle treatment at all, about 30% got better over time.

Traditional acupuncture requires insertion of very thin needles in specific points in the body, which traditional practitioners believe re-balances the energy (called “chi” or “qi”) that flows within our organism. Specifi points are chosen to stimulate the nerves, muscles and connective tissues that increases the release and activity of your body’s natural endorphins that fight pain.

Of course you can use medications for chronic pain, but medications have side effects and risks, including at times a risk for addiction.

While much about acupuncture is still a mystery, this study shows that if you, or someone you know is suffering from chronic pain, it is worthwhile to consider this approach. It is virtually painless, and low risk when performed by a licensed acupuncturist.

If you want to find an acupuncturist with an active CRM registration, or another type of specialist, you can do so through our main website:

Read a summary of this research study in: Archives of Internal Medicine, 10 September, 2012




Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)

Category : Diseases