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September 21, 2012


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I like the fact the article was in the JAMA Internal Medicine. It is great to see such interest from US based facilities and not just sites outside the US. Pharmacists are under a lot scrutiny due to the concerns with abuse of narcotics. I think that having nationally recognized US Cancer Centers involved is great since there are dealing with a patient population that has a great need to control pain. I look forward to additional studies to gain a further understanding in terms of how long can this therapy impact a patient before the pain relief becomes resistant.

I work in an area with extremely high addiction rates to opioid drugs. Most often these drugs are obtained with claims (sometimes legitimate and sometimes not) of chronic pain. It would be a great service, to see these people treated with accupuncture rather than narcotics.

In a site visit to an acupuncture clinic, I saw what really goes on. It's amazing to see that people can be helped with a non-narcotic, side-effect free pain relief regimen. I hope this helps a lot of people.

I was always a skeptic to acupuncture, mostly because I did not understand how it works. However, after recently shadowing an acupuncturist, it has changed me mind. Acupuncture can be used along with lifestyle changes in the treatment of chronic pain such as migraines, fibromyalgia, trauma, and other pain conditions. Medications used to treat pain can have severe side effects included addict properties, so having this type of alternative treatment is very promising.

I had the opportunity to shadow the acupuncturist David Sollars, at First Health in Andover and I was completely amazed. There were various patients who came in in pain, and within minutes of the needles being applied, they already felt relief. Acupuncture actually has a Natural Standard scientific evidence grade of A! This, in addition to seeing the happiness and satisfaction of so many people make me believe 100% in acupuncture and the good it can do to improve quality of life in patients suffering from chronic pain.

I have always wanted to try acupuncture. My insurance actually covers it, which is pretty cool. Hopefully, I will be able to do a site visit in a few weeks at an acupuncture facility. I am interested in what the philosophy is and I want to see if the needles hurt or not.

I could definitely use some acupuncture right about now, long days in the office can be hard on the back. I'm glad that complementary and alternative therapies such as acupuncture are being tested and proven to have positive effects. I think it is really scary to have pain and to worry about becoming addicted to pain medications, or I have had patients who have previously been addicts and refused to take any form of pain medications. It's good to be able to recommend alternatives with degrees of confidence.

Just as there is a placebo effect with prescription medications, there is always a concern with the placebo effect when it comes to determining effective therapy method. It is relieving to see that there was a significant difference between the sham and the real acupuncture. I think that pain is a subjective condition, and pain may be controlled better with certain drugs for some people, while it may not do anything for another person. Having multiple options in pain management will allow providers to ensure good pain control for their patients.

It is great to see these results from such a large study population. Acupuncture has been used for hundreds of years, and likely for good reason. Chronic pain is always a tricky disease state to treat, as it is difficult to draw the line between drug-seeking patients and those that are actually in pain. Any alternative therapies for this type of pain are very welcome in the medical community, especially therapies that have so many years of experience behind them. It is great to see a significant difference in four major types of chronic pain!

While acupuncture is gaining acceptance as a form of medical treatment, there are still many skeptics. Postings similar to this Natural Standard's on acupuncture need to reach a wider audience - in that way those that may benefit from it could research more and perhaps try acupuncture.

Pain is subjective and personal. Thus, perhaps the relief of pain is the same, which may complicate studies on acupuncture. The use of sham acupuncture is interesting in this study. Can anyone point to a description on how it is actually performed?

I had the opportunity to shadow an acupuncture practice this past week, and I was amazed at the impact it made on patients receiving treatment. The efficacy of 15-20 minutes of acupuncture therapy in treating pain was unbelievable. It was amazing to see the science behind targeting reflex points to treat physical and emotional pain. I was exposed to more than just the traditional acupuncture treatment, but also electro-acupuncture therapy and auriculotherapy. Auriculotherapy (therapy involving the ear) located reflex points on the ear to treat a patient's pain. It was astonishing to witness how this therapy worked!

Acupuncture has been used as an effective treatment for pain for centuries. Obviously a therapy wouldn’t be around for such a long time if it wasn’t effective. Moreover it reminds me one of my friends who had this chronic headache and no medicine worked for her. Fortunately an acupuncture clinic was around. After about four visits she started feeling well. Eventually her headache was completely gone.

Yesterday I visited an acupuncturist in Andover, MA who allowed me and a fellow pharmacy student to go into the patients' rooms (with their consent of course) and watch the acupuncture treatments. We saw several types of acupuncture, and each patient was very enthusiastic about the benefits of treatment. Most patients were there to treat pain, but one woman was also seeking treatment for anxiety. It was an incredible day. Hearing first hand how patients feel about acupuncture was really impressive. The acupuncturist we shadowed was also a great teacher. He had impeccable bedside manner, and you could tell he really allowed his patients to feel empowered in their health care decisions. I think this also relates to their positive impressions on acupuncture. One patient told us his reasoning for seeking acupuncture treatment for his pain over conventional medicine was that he became addicted to opiate pain medication he received from his primary care physician. He became really concerned with the side effects of pain management through medication, and therefore began looking for alternative treatment options. I am really impressed by acupuncture, and I hope to see more evidence come out in favor it. This way I would feel confident in recommending it to a patient who may have the same concerns about conventional pain management therapies as many of the patients I saw yesterday.

It seems as if many great studies are coming out about acupuncture. I have yet to witness or experience it's use but the more and more I hear about it the more it interests me. This is an awesome alternative to narcotics and muscle relaxers that are commonly used and end up getting patients addicted and cause all different kinds of side effects. Natural standard gives it multiple grades of A's and B's for different kinds of pain. The fact that acupuncture is proving to have true efficacy is wonderful and exciting.

I'm glad that the authors compared true acupuncture to sham acupuncture. One common limitation of acupuncture studies is the difficulty of designing a placebo group. Hopefully, the new studies on acupuncture's effectiveness will cause more insurance companies to subsidize the cost of acupuncture treatments.

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