A number of countries include acupuncture anasthesia and pain control techniques both within and following surgery to better aid patients and reduce their need and complications from higher doses of western medication. These techniques are best when acupuncture is heavily integrated into the western medical environment and their is mutual understanding among practitioners. In many of these settings nurses and/or physicians can be trained to perform basic (i.e. non-diagnostic) acupuncture for specific cases. The following study performed by researchers from the National University of Taipai School of Nursing evaluating the effectiveness of electro acupuncture for post-operative pain - in this case from spinal surgery.
Researchers used both placebo and sham controls in this acupuncture study as others have found placebo effects to be similar to those of acupuncture. Studies of this nature are important to best ascertain how important proper point location is, this is particularly important when recommending treatment by non-specialists. Patients recruited within the study were evaluated with their amount of patient-controlled analgesia that was distributed along with general pain levels experienced. Researchers recommended that electro acupuncture within settings such as this be offered as training to nurses to better facilitate patient health and limit the use of stronger western medications which has both cost and health benefits.
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