Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier - The Best Alternative Medicine

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Other Conditions: Acupuncture, What Works and What Does Not

Acupuncture can be used successfully to treat many other diagnosable medical conditions, although it may need to be used in conjunction with other conventional and unconventional therapies. Following are examples of some of the conditions that respond to acupuncture.

  • In a 1985 study by Drs. Luo, Jia, and Chan of clinical depression, acupuncture compared favorably to treatment with conventional medications. After five weeks of acupuncture treatment, 70 percent of depression patients were cured or markedly improved, compared to 65 percent of depression patients taking medication for the same length of time.


  • Based on a 1986 study by Jobst, published in Lancet, of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, three weeks of acupuncture treatment reduced breathlessness and increased perception of well being.


  • Concluding a 1992 study by Gerhard and Postneek of female infertility, acupuncture was as successful as hormone therapy for helping women to become pregnant.


  • From a 1992 study by Dr. David Ehrlich and Dr. Paul Haber, which measured the effects of acupuncture on a group of healthy men, aged nineteen to twenty-nine, the men were able to extend their performance limits at aerobic exercise by 7 percent. Two control groups, which were given sham acupuncture or no acupuncture, showed no significant increase in capacity. This study indicated an intriguing movement in the direction of using acupuncture not just to overcome disease but to achieve optimal health - a welcome direction indeed.


  • Among the other areas with positive results are dental craniomandibular disorder, in a series of 1992 studies by Dr. Theodore List; muscle tension headache, by Dr. Jane Carlsson in 1990; relief of severe knee osteoarthritis, by Dr. B. V. Christensen in 1992 and Dr. M. Thomas in 1991; and success in preventing recidivism with severe alcoholics, in a series of studies by Dr. Milton L. Bullock.


  • A UCLA School of Medicine study by Dr. David Bresler and Dr. Richard Kroening, focused on bronchospasm in asthma patients whose illness averaged twenty-two years in duration, found that the spasms were effectively controlled by acupuncture.


  • Throughout veterinary medicine, acupuncture is recognized as a valid medical procedure, used mainly for surgical analgesia and chronic pain, and to eliminate some forms of epileptic convulsions. Because animals are not susceptible to suggestion, this indicates that it is unlikely that acupuncture has purely a placebo effect.




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Copyright © 2000 by Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier, Inc.
Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York, New York.

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