Acupuncture is the practice of inserting needles into specific points along the body as a means to treat disease and relieve pain. Traditional practitioners claim that, by manipulating a system of meridians believed to course across the body, acupuncture can restore the balanced flow of qi, thus healing the body of malady. The term acupuncture also refers to the entire theory and practice of one of the major modalities of Chinese Medicine.
Based on acupuncture's long history of use as well as the available research, both the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have identified many conditions for which it may be recommended. There is reasonable scientific evidence supporting acupuncture for several indications, including various types of pain and several types of nausea and vomiting.
In a new study, researchers combined data from seven different studies published in China. In all the studies, participants were experiencing post-stroke shoulder pain. All participants were randomly placed in one of two groups. Acupuncture was performed on the experimental group. The control group underwent another type of rehabilitative therapy, such as exercise.
Data analysis showed that acupuncture was an effective method of reducing post-stroke shoulder pain. The researchers suggested that the combination of exercise and acupuncture is appropriate for rehabilitation following a stroke. More research on this topic is warranted.
For more information about acupuncture, please visit Natural Standard's Health & Wellness database.