Researchers from the Department of Oriental Dermatology in Seoul Korea recently conducted a study looking at the use of general acupuncture and ashi points within acupuncture treatments for acne vulgaris - or what is commonly known as acne. Ashi points, or "ouch" points, are points that are needled based on where people have pain, where it hurts when it is pressed or where it is obviously inflammed. Ashi points are often not technically acupuncture points or on specific meridians but have a clinical effect nonetheless.
In this study researchers recruited 36 people to be treated either with general acupuncture points only or general acupuncture points along with ashi points. Treatments were conducted 12 times over a 6 week period and results were measured by lesion counts, subjective symptom scores and a quality of life scale.
The study found positive changes in lesion counts and in the symptom and quality of life scores but no significant difference between the ashi and acupuncture group and the acupuncture alone group. These types of studies are only the beginning of looking into off meridian needling and other aspects of acupuncture, but they are important to research for better clinical results.
A pain case might have been a better item to study as for acne something like bloodletting with acupuncture and/or cupping vs. just general acupuncture would most likely have been more appropriate. A pain case would likely have a better response to ashi needling along with proper needling particularly as the studies of "sham" acupuncture with pain are so interesting.
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