Researchers from Fangshan Hospital in Beijing recently conducted a randomized controlled study of 60 cases of ordinary psoriasis. The subjects were evenly split into a standard western medicine group and a acupuncture with moxibustion group.
Within the western medicine group the drug Acitretin (Soriatane) was used over 12 weeks at 20mg per day. The acupuncture group received treatment at the following points:
- Feishu (UB 13)
- Geshu (UB 17)
- Ganshu (UB 18)
- Pishu (UB 20)
- Shenshu (UB 23)
- Hegu (LI 4)
- Weizhong (UB 40)
- and local points depending on the most affected parts of the body.
Moxibustion was used on UB 23 and around the local psoriasis patches, approximately 3 minutes per treatment. Treatment was administered every other day for 12 weeks.
Researchers used the psoriasis area and severity index (PASI) to evaluate changes in the patients. The researchers found a 90% effective rate with around 10-15% having a complete remission of symptoms and over 50% changing significantly. The results of the acupuncture and moxibustion group were superior to that of the medication group.
While as practitioners we know these types of conditions can often be treated very well with Chinese Medicine studies of this nature should be done with more people and over longer periods of time to truly evaluate the effective rate. Extensive acupuncture treatment such as that described in this study is often cost and time prohibitive in western countries. Further studies should be done to find the minimal amount of intervention required to achieve results with acupuncture.