Published on 03-31-2014
A team of researchers from China publishing in the Chinese Acupuncture & Moxibustion journal recently conducted a study exploring treatment for chronic urticaria (or what is more commonly known as hives).
Researchers recruited 160 patients and randomly divided them in an acupuncture bloodletting group and a western medication group (claritin - loratadine) - with 80 in each group. Treatment was offered over 4 weeks in the study with loratadine given 10mg orally daily and acupuncture being offered once every other day.
The treatment in the "acupuncture" group involved the acupuncture using a reducing method along with pricking bloodletting (a few drops of blood are pricked out at certain acupuncture points to reduce "heat" in the body as well as for other reasons as appropriate) and cupping over the bloodlet points. The points and techniques used were as follows (all were needled first):
Researchers found an overall cure/effective rate of 91.3% in the acupuncture group compared to 81.3% in the western medication group. More importantly no side effects were reported with the acupuncture group, while the loratadine group reported cases of sleepiness. They concluded that acupuncture bloodletting is "an effective method for chronic urticaria).
A further discussion of Chinese Medicine vs. Western Medicine for this nature of condition is warranted. While the treatment here was effective in a full clinical setting the acupuncturist would be more concerned with why they were having the problems to begin with than just the situation at hand. While this study looks at a symptomatic effect, which is good, there are further offerings within a full acupuncture setting that would further benefit the persons immune system and overall health to avoid future problems with reactions. Properly applied then you could in clinical practice get a good therapeutic result but also work on the conditions that led to the problems to begin with thus offering the potential to avoid any further outbreaks instead of just dealing with each outbreak symptomatically. The true value of Chinese Medicine lies in this type of comprehensive approach.
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