The Director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Josephine Briggs, MD shares her thoughts on a recent publication in the journal Headache by Robert Cowan, MD. Both are trying to raise awareness of what patients visiting clinicians might be utilizing in terms of conventional and complementary approaches. There are more Evidence-Based resources available to conventional practitioners on CAM than ever before. What are your thoughts on Dr. Briggs commentary?
For additional information please see, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
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The new UK study published in the PLOS Medicine compared acupuncture, counseling and standard pharmacological treatment in patients with moderate to severe depression. In the study, patients were randomly selected to receive either acupuncture or counseling (added to the traditional medication therapy) or the standard therapy alone. At the end of the study, the drop in depression scores was greater in acupuncture and counseling groups than in the group that received standard therapy. Patients who received acupuncture did slightly better than those who received counseling. Additionally, the benefits were maintained for 3 months after the study completion. Would you consider recommending acupuncture for your moderate to severe depression patients? When do you currently recommend your patients to use acupuncture?
Please check PLOS Medicine for additional information.
A recent study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine aimed to assess suggested benefit of acupuncture in the treatment of sexual dysfunction linked to SSRI and SNRI – antidepressant use. The study was conducted in Toronto/Canada for 12 consecutive week of acupuncture protocol treatment. Participants have been assessed throughout a weekly questionnaire that looked for symptoms of depression, anxiety and sexual function. The study concluded that integrating medical, complementary and alternative medicine would benefit the patient for both aspects of disease and side effect secondary to the drug being used. How often do you recommend your patients to see an acupuncturist?
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A new systematic review published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, analyzed data from close to 18,000 patients with various types of chronic pain. Researchers found that patients who had undergone acupuncture were in less pain than those who had”sham” acupuncture treatment (a control method for acupuncture in which needles were improperly placed) or did not get any treatment at all. Many conventional clinicians are skeptical about acupuncture treatments believing it is simply a placebo effect. Based on the results of this meta-analysis, the difference between true acupuncture and sham technique is relatively modest, but statistically significant. What are your thoughts on acupuncture? Have you found any other modalities that help your patients with chronic pain?
For more information, visit Archives of Internal Medicine.