Other Conditions: Acupuncture, What Works and
What Does Not
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
- 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
- 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
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BEST ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: WHAT WORKS? WHAT DOES NOT? by Dr. Kenneth R.
Copyright © 2000 by Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier,
Reprinted by permission of Simon &
Schuster, Inc., New York, New York.
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