Acupuncture is one of the world’s most widely practised medicines. In the UK more and more people are finding what it can do for them. Sometimes it's useful to know what the latest research is saying so here's a brief selection of some of the latest findings on some of the more common health issues seen in clinic.
The World Health Organisation has published a list of clinical trials which provide information to the general public on the effectiveness of Acupuncture. Since this article was first published in 2003 there have been many more clinical trials completed. WHO Clinical Trial
Anxiety can be chronic and cause considerable distress and disability. Acupuncture can support the treatment of symptoms such as worry, disturbed sleep, irritability and poor concentration. Anxiety can cause physical symptoms such as sweating, nausea, diarrhoea, muscle tension and aches. Link
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Sufferers may experience severe, disabling fatigue, alongside other symptoms. There is evidence to support acupuncture’s effectiveness for some of the common symptoms – chronic pain, insomnia, depression. Link
Two recent reviews, found that acupuncture for mild to moderate depression, was similar in effectiveness to anti-depressant medication. Given that acupuncture appears to be at least as effective as existing conventional drugs, without their level of side effects, it could be considered as one of the therapeutic options, alongside existing treatments. Link
This condition can cause a wide variety of symptoms. Research suggests that acupuncture and moxa (a warming herb) may be a safe and effective treatment for allergic rhinitis with benefits similar to conventional medicine. Link
Acupuncture appears to be at least as effective as some existing conventional drugs, without their level of side effects, based on this evidence it should be considered as one of the therapeutic options for insomnia. Link
Periods and PMS
Acupuncture is widely used in the treatment of menstrual problems including irregular periods and heavy or painful menstruation.
Most women of reproductive age experience at least mild premenstrual symptoms (PMS)and for some they can severely disrupt daily living. Research suggests there is some evidence that acupuncture reduces PMS symptoms. Link
Symptoms differ from one person to the next and may manifest in the form of conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, anxiety, migraines, insomnia or depression, back pain and fatigue. Many people find traditional acupuncture effective in helping relieve symptoms. Link
Source: British Acupuncture Council 2015. If you would like to read the full transcripts of this material or further research articles please visit www.acupuncture.org.uk