When I (Paul) see new patients, sometimes they want to talk research. Acupuncture is shrouded in mystery, and they want to know how it works. Often what they are really asking is how well it could work for them. Most people don’t want to get into the nuts & bolts of acupuncture research literature or East Asian medical theory, they just want to know that they can find help when they see me. But there are those few who do want to dig into the literature. Maybe you are one of these people.
Acupuncture research is really advancing all the time, and we try to let you know about that here. Often when you read our posts about acupuncture treating problems, we’ll link to a study or two. Really that’s just to let you know that we’re not making more marketing claims than what the science can say. Now of course there are studies that say acupuncture doesn’t work, or that some conditions aren’t helped. We often don’t link to those for a few reasons. First, some of those studies aren’t well done and their conclusions are poor (researchers are human too). Second, there might be stronger evidence that says the opposite thing. And third (which we fully admit), we prefer to take the positive spin on things, though we try not to let that get in the way of being realistic.
We do stay up to date on studies that are out there. I want to draw your attention to two conditions that made the rounds this past month:
Acupuncture for Stroke
An examination of the research in this latest study shows that acupuncture is good to help with neural regrowth. This is in line with previous research and helps to strengthen the claim that acupuncture is good for neurological conditions and musculoskeletal pain and weakness. We originally wrote about acupuncture for stroke here, so you should check that out if you need to know more.
Acupuncture for Functional Dyspepsia (Stomach pain)
So you should know that functional dyspepsia is a fancy term for stomach pain that isn’t from a problem with an organ, or basically any other biological reason that doctors can identify. Acupuncture is studied a lot for conditions due to organ or joint function, especially when there aren’t many good conventional treatments. The latest study showed that acupuncture is good in treating this condition. We wrote originally about stomach pain and functional disorders in a couple places.
I want to bring your attention to these things because you should know that even when we have research that says a problem can be helped with the treatments we offer, we’re still going back to review research afterward. We think this is proper to do for any medical treatment and practice, and is what our patients deserve of us.
If you have questions about research or what our treatments can do, I hope you will schedule a consultation and ask your questions. If we don’t know the answer, we’ll find it out and let you know!