This story on MSN.com was of particular importance to me, because I have coughing issues. I’ve been diagnosed with mild asthma and possibly an allergy of some sort. It’s a life-altering condition, because when a cough attack comes on, it can be uncontrollable and breathtaking, in the most literal sense.
Not to get too much into my psyche and the opinion I have of HMOs, doctors, etc., but I definitely want to be treated and diagnosed by specialists. I just feel like the diagnosis is based on very minimal inquiry. I got a breathing test to see what my lung capacity is, a steth0scope to the chest and back, and that’s it.
Maybe that’s all that can be done. But, I feel like the docs are just sort of guessing based on minimal testing and then treating symptoms with a pill. Again, maybe that’s all that can be done. But if there’s a natural way of treating it (like avoiding something I may be allergic to) or even an alternative like acupuncture, I’m game.
To those of us ignorant about acupuncture, who would have thought that sticking needles in your body could relieve pain? But, new research shows that using acupuncture before and during an operation can cut a patient’s need for more traditional painkillers.
“From a pain perspective, you can reduce the amount of morphine that the patient uses and improve the quality of analgesia and pain control,” said lead researcher Dr. Tong J. Gan, a professor and vice chairman of anesthesiology at Duke University Medical Center, in Durham, N.C.
Morphine is a potent painkiller used in hospitals. But it can often produce side effects. In the new study, Dr. Gan and his team analyzed data from 15 clinical trials looking at the use of acupuncture to reduce postoperative pain. They found that adjunctive acupuncture could reduce post-op itchiness by 30 percent, nausea by 50 percent, and dizziness by 60 percent. About eight out of 10 patients will experience those side effects from postoperative morphine, Gan said.
The studies Gan reviewed used Chinese acupuncture, but he said that similar effects would occur with other styles and whether needles, electrical or manual acupuncture was used. Adjunctive acupuncture is “not widely used because people need to be educated,” Gan said.