23 October 2012
New research finds that acupuncture reduces pain
during labor. It was also discovered that acupuncture used during labor is
associated with a decrease in the use of forceps and ventouse, a vacuum
extractor used to assist delivery. In addition, the study concludes that
acupuncture decreases the number of caesarean sections.
for LaborThe purpose of the study was to determine effective
interventions used to reduce labor pain. A review of pain management techniques
examined both drug and non-drug intervention techniques. Acupuncture was
determined to be both effective in reducing pain and effective in reducing
medical complications associated with childbirth.
In related research, investigators conclude,
“Less intense (labor) pain was found from acupuncture compared with no
intervention.” The research found that acupuncture improved satisfaction with
pain relief over a placebo control group. The study also notes, “Reduced use of
pharmacological analgesia was found in one trial of acupuncture compared with
placebo.” Of special interest, the researchers found that in 3 trials of 704
women that, “Fewer instrumental deliveries from acupuncture were found compared
with standard care.”
Another recent study demonstrates that
acupuncture is safe and effective for reducing the time needed to deliver a
baby. Researchers conclude, “EA (electroacupuncture) at Sanyinjiao (acupoint
SP6) can shorten the duration of the active phase of the 1st labor stage.”
Electroacupuncture was also determined to be safe for both the expectant mother
and the baby.
A random single-blind
method was used in the clinical investigation. A total of 111 women were divided
into three groups: non-treatment group, electroacupuncture at SP6 group, sham
acupuncture group. The sham acupuncture group received stimulation at SP6 with
an acupuncture needle guide tube and an acupuncture needle visually remained at
the acupoint using an adhesive plaster. It was discovered that
electroacupuncture shortened both the active phase and the latent phase of the
first stage of labor without side-effects. As a result, the researchers
concluded that acupuncture is a safe and effective method for shortening the
duration of the first stage of labor.
Jones L, Othman M, Dowswell T, Alfirevic Z, Gates S,
Newburn M, Jordan S, Lavender T, Neilson JP. Pain management for women in
labour: an overview of systematic reviews. Cochrane Database of Systematic
Reviews 2012, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD009234. DOI:
Acupuncture or acupressure for pain management
in labour. Smith CA, Collins CT, Crowther CA, Levett KM. Centre for
Complementary Medicine Research, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797,
Penrith South DC, New South Wales, Australia, 2751.
Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2012 May;32(5):409-12.
Clinical observation of the impacts and safety of electroacupuncture at
Sanyinjiao (SP 6) on labor]. Liu YL, Jin ZG. Department of Acupuncture and
Moxibustion, China Meitan General Hospital, Beijing, China.
Drs. Oz and Roizen: Acupuncture temporarily eases symptoms of Parkinson's disease
Published: Thursday, October 25, 2012, 5:00 AM Updated: Thursday, October 25, 2012, 5:05 AM
When Michael J.
Fox got an ovation at this year's Emmys, it highlighted how much he's
done to help people understand Parkinson's disease and to demonstrate
how to live with it. His latest show (on air in 2013) echoes his
real-life story: It's a comedy about a father of three who has