A recent study from scientists at the Technical University of Munich has suggested that ‘faked’ acupuncture can work nearly as well as the real thing. The research also showed that acupuncture worked as well as drugs and traditional medicines for headaches and migraines.
Scientists studied 6, 736 acupuncture patients. Some of the patients enjoyed real acupuncture but some had a ‘fake’ form where the needles were simply placed close to the surface of the skin rather than on the appropriate pressure points. Both sets of patients reported improvements in their conditions but the patients receiving the real thing did better.
Doctor Klaus Linde, from the Centre for Complementary Medicine Research at the German University, led the review and said; “Much of the clinical benefit of acupuncture might be due to non-specific needling effects and powerful placebo effects, meaning selection of specific needle points may be less important than many practitioners have traditionally argued.”
The research focused on the commonly occurring tension-type of headache. This included both severe migraines and more frequent but milder migraines.
Given the successes acupuncture showed at relieving the migraine pains the researchers have suggested that doctors should be willing to prescribe it to patients more often.
“Doctors need to know how long improvements associated with acupuncture will last and whether better trained acupuncturists really achieve better results than those with basic training only,” said Klaus Linde.
In 2008 Linde conducted a review into the effectiveness of St John’s Wort. The research followed conflicting reports on the abilities of the plant to counter depression. Linde’s 2008 project looked at 29 different studies into hypercium perforatum (St John’s Wort) and showed it to be as effective as Prozac.
Doctor Linde recommended doses of 300mg of St John’s Wort as the optimal amount.