Getting needled really does make a diffierence
Acupuncture is an effective treatment for chronic backache with sufferers reporting a 20% reduction in pain, according to a new study.
In the largest ever trial on chronic back pain sufferers, scientists tested 638 people. Patients were randomly divided into groups. Some received standard medical care. Others were given genuine acupuncture therapies or simulated acupuncture sessions, which involved mimicking needle pricks on real acupuncture sites using toothpicks.
After eight weeks, 60% of the patients receiving any acupuncture whether the genuine one or the sham treatment experienced ‘clinically meaningful’ improvement compared to 40 per cent of patients receiving normal care. Experts suggested this could be down to the mind over body effect.
‘We found that simulated acupuncture, without penetrating the skin, produced as much benefit as needle acupuncture, and that raises questions about how acupuncture works,’ said, Dr Daniel Cherkin, from the Group Health Centre for Health Studies in Seattle who lead the study.
The UK’s leading acupuncturist, Gerard Kite, who runs the Kite Clinic in London has been practising for over 20 years and treats a range of conditions from stress to infertility with outstanding results.
He says: ‘In drug trials 40% of positive results can be achieved using placebos. But with acupuncture you also have the patient/practitioner relationship that notches up the success rate another 20%. And that still leaves 40%, which is where the real cure‚ comes in based on correct diagnosis and treatment. We move things around so that nature and the individual can heal themselves.’