acupuncture, health, pregnancy

The acupuncture evidence is in and it’s good news for sufferers of chronic low back pain, headaches, migraines, knee osteoarthritis and many others…

Sarah George fertility acupunctureDon’t let anyone tell you that there is no evidence to support acupuncture.

Firstly, it’s a stupid generalisation to make for the reasons listed here and secondly, well it’s just plain wrong.

Australian researchers, Dr John McDonald and Stephen Janz, have recently published the Acupuncture Evidence Project. This huge comparative literature review has identified 46 conditions with strong or moderate evidence to support the use of acupuncture as a treatment. It is the largest piece of work of it’s kind in relation to acupuncture evidence and has been embraced world-wide.

The authors concluded “it is no longer possible to say that the effectiveness of acupuncture is because of the placebo effect, or that it is useful only for musculoskeletal pain”.

So you’re probably wondering which conditions is there strong evidence for… here’s the list:

  • Allergic rhinitis (perennial & seasonal)
  • Knee osteoarthritis
  • Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (with anti-emetics)
  • Migraine prophylaxis
  • Chronic low back pain
  • Postoperative nausea & vomiting
  • Headache (tension-type and chronic)
  • Postoperative pain

And then there’s another 38 conditions with moderate evidence including pelvic pain in pregnancy, constipation, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, neck and shoulder pain, and anxiety.

For some of the conditions reviewed that did not make it into the strong or moderate evidence category, acupuncture may just not have had enough high quality trials published yet – so do watch this space. Good quality acupuncture research is currently experiencing a growth spurt.

To read a plain English summary of the Acupuncture Evidence Project click here. Or for the full review click here.

If you’d like to try acupuncture for a health condition do be sure to choose a registered acupuncturist (and no, dry needling is not the same thing – it is not held to the same high standards of training or regulation to ensure safety.)

And go on… share this about. It’s worth counteracting the fake news and alternate facts with some good old scientific evidence.

To book an appointment at the clinic or further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture).  Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), massage therapy and natural health.

acupuncture, pregnancy

Hip (h)op, sore necks and pelvic pain in pregnancy: what do they have in common?

Survived my first (and hopefully only) operation.
Daggy selfy alert! I survived my first (and hopefully only) operation.

The answer is: they sum up where my time went last month.

Yes, I’ve been quiet the last four weeks. And for good reason. But the great news is I’m back on deck and The Wellness Ninja is once again karate chopping out the good news for your health and happiness.

So here’s a recap:

  • Hip (h)op: Well this time last month I was having a hip arthroscopy. With a nicely cleaned-up hip joint, I should be back into the karate, hiking, cycling and diving that I love in around two months. I’m doing very well in my recovery (I was back at work a week later) and will put out a blog on the combination of complementary therapies I’ve engaged to support me in tolerating the most medications I’ve ever taken in my life, healing connective tissue, relieving pain and rehabilitating my dodgy ‘hoppy’ hip.
  • Sore necks: We’re half way through the UWS Traditional Chinese Medicine Masters course semester and so I’ve been beavering away on my assessment pieces. First up, I immersed myself in all of the available research we have on neck pain and acupuncture. My findings? Well, actually no therapies have high-quality research to support their use in neck pain. (And that includes surgery, NSAIDs, chiropractic, massage, yoga and acupuncture.) That’s not much help for people with neck pain. But The Cochrane Review on this topic reports that there is moderate-quality evidence to support the use of acupuncture for chronic mechanical neck pain or neck pain with radicular symptoms. And the chance of serious adverse reactions is low. In my experience neck pain is often treated well with acupuncture, it may be well worth a try for a pain in the neck.
  • Low back and pelvic pain in pregnancy: This was assignment number two’s topic. I’ve written before on the good effect acupuncture has in this area. Last week I read everything that there was to read in English on the treatment of low back and pelvic pain in pregnancy with acupuncture. Safety, for both mother and baby, was carefully assessed in these trials which found that acupuncture does not have a higher rate of serious adverse reactions for the mother or the baby than was experienced in the control groups. A Cochrane Review reports that there is moderate-quality evidence for pain relief and improved functionality with acupuncture treatment for these conditions. But I loved this quote from an editorial in the British Medical Journal:

“Those caring for women with pregnancy related pelvic pain now need to press for increased availability of acupuncture.”

So that’s my month (well not completely – I also devoured series one and two of the TV series ‘Rake‘). I have so many good blog topics in a back log ready to come your way. Stay tuned for some tasty new recipes, some acupuncture stroke rehabilitation research I recently presented at a major hospital, information on an acclaimed new book on motherhood and the scent on some new medicinal aromatherapy oils.

For further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture).  Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), massage therapy and natural health at her Broadbeach clinic and is the Chinese Medicine Senior Lecturer at the Endeavour College of Natural Health Gold Coast campus.