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Acupuncture Eases Unexplained Symptoms

Peninsula Medical School, at the University of Exeter conducted research on 80 patients who experienced headaches, muscle pain, extreme fatigue or joint and back pain to determine the effectiveness of acupuncture on their ailments. The study, led by Professor Andrew Gould, followed 80 adults who had consulted their general practitioner eight or more times in the prior year for these various unexplained symptoms. Half of the group received up to 12 sessions of five-element acupuncture treatments during a six month period; the remainder received no extra treatment.

The patients receiving acupuncture reported improved well-being and scored higher on an individualized health status questionnaire than the control group. They reported that their acupuncture consultations became increasingly valuable and that the interactive and holistic nature of the sessions gave them a sense that something positive was being done about their condition.

Professor Andrew Gould said it is important to offer patients other options when conventional medicine isn’t working. “We don’t know how acupuncture is making a difference, but it seems to be something to do with the treatment, rather than just a placebo or the one-to-one care the patients are getting,” explained Gould.  The study was the first of its kind in the United Kingdom.

Source:  The research results were published in The British Journal of General Practice.

Deborah Farley is a licensed acupuncturist, naturopath and owner of the Acupuncture Clinic of Richmond, in Richmond, Virginia.  To learn more about improving your health and wellness, visit or call 804.288.3927.
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