Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Good news for IBS sufferers as acupuncture proves beneficial

 A large trial of acupuncture for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has shown that the treatment has significant benefits. British researchers at the University of York, led by Dr Hugh MacPherson, enrolled 233 patients who had suffered from IBS for an average of 13 years.  It has to be also noted that it was the same research team that investigated the benefits of acupuncture for non specific back pain. The results from that study have led to the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (N.I.C.E) recommending a course of acupuncture for non specific low back pain so these results may again influence the N.I.C.E guidleines.

Key symptoms of IBS included diarrhoea, constipation and abdominal pain, which often have a substantial impact on daily activities. Half the patients received 10 weekly individualised acupuncture sessions in addition to usual care, while the other half continued with usual care alone. Acupuncture was administered by experienced acupuncturists according to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, and each patient’s individual presentation. A common core of points (Hegu L.I.-4, Taichong LIV-3, Zusanli ST-36 and Sanyinjiao SP-6) were used in over 50% of treatments. Acupuncturists were also allowed to use some non-needle techniques, consistent with their routine practice. The most commonly used were moxibustion (13% of patients), tui na (9%) and acupressure (6%). In addition, acupuncturists were allowed to provide lifestyle advice, with a restriction against probiotics. In total, 68% of patients received lifestyle advice, most commonly concerning diet (56%), stress management (24%) and exercise (6%). At three months from baseline, the results showed a statistically significant difference between the two groups favouring acupuncture, with a reduction in the IBS Symptom Severity Score (SSS), a validated measure that combines the key symptoms of IBS. With a successful treatment being defined as at least a 50 point reduction in the IBS SSS, the results showed a 49% success rate in the acupuncture group against 31% in the control group, a difference between groups of 18%. This benefit was largely found to persist up to 12 months.
(Acupuncture for irritable bowel syndrome: primary care based pragmatic randomised controlled trial. BMC Gastroenterol. 2012 Oct 24;12(1):150. doi:10.1186/1471-230X-12-150 [Epub ahead of print].

 From my own clinical experience I found acupuncture to have some great benefits so when combined with dietary advice such as taking probitiocs (just one example)  you have a powerful tool for change.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Acupuncture as effective as physiotherapy in post-stroke rehabilitation

In a recent post by the Journal of Chinese Medicine new evidence suggests that acupuncture may be useful in post stroke rehabilitation. Acupuncture is used routinely in China to aid post stroke victims. The evidence in my view suggests that the combination of both acupuncture and physiotherapy would be the most advantageous to patients care and well being The Journal of Chinese Medicine states the following.

 "A large multicentre RCT from China has found that acupuncture plus conventional care was similar in effectiveness to physiotherapy treatment plus conventional care for post-stroke rehabilitation. The research involved a total of 310 patients randomly divided into three groups. All received conventional care as needed, including psychological counseling, standard nursing care and daily medical evaluation. In addition, they received either acupuncture, physiotherapy, or acupuncture plus physiotherapy, once a day, six days a week for four weeks. Compared to baseline, participants in all groups improved their scores in physical performance, daily functioning and neurological deficit by the end of week two, and by the end of week four these scores had improved further. The study found no statistically significant differences in outcomes between the three groups after treatment, suggesting that acupuncture and physiotherapy were equally effective as adjunctive treatments and that the combination of acupuncture and physiotherapy, in addition to conventional treatment, did not result in synergistic effects. (An effectiveness study comparing acupuncture, physiotherapy, and their combination in poststroke rehabilitation: a multicentered, randomized, controlled clinical trial. Altern Ther Health Med. 2012 May-Jun;18(3):8-14)."

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Acupuncture for cancer suffers in Bristol

Penny Brohn Cancer Care is a charity dedicated to helping cancer sufferers live well, through a unique combination of physical, emotional and spiritual support designed to help at any stage of the illness.
The charity runs a weekly clinic helping to teach patients how to play an active role in keeping themselves well through treatment. The clinic runs from 9.30am to 1.30pm on Monday mornings and includes:

 I have been lucky enough to be chosen as one of the bodyworkers offering massage to cancer suffers. Also on Mondays there is an open acupuncture clinic where people can try acupuncture. Some cancer suffers have found acupuncture to be a useful tool in terms of helping them through chemotherapy and to manage the side effects of treatment they may be receiving. For more information on acupuncture for cancer care you can view an information sheet from Penny Brohn here and an information sheet from the British Acupuncture Council here.

 The clinic at Penny Brohn offers the following.
  • Practical advice on eating well and managing side effects
  • Optional acupuncture to help with nausea and tiredness
  • Gentle exercise sessions specially designed for people with cancer
  • Relaxation skill sfor use at homeand in hospital
  • Delicious healthy snacks and juices
  • Meeting and sharing with others going through similar experiences
It really is a wonderful place and well worth a visit.