Australia is in the news because of acupuncture, not only due to a princely visit. Just when Kate Middleton (aka Duchess of Cambridge), Prince William and Prince George are visiting New Zealand and Australia, we have some exciting news from that region of the world. My mother has checked the royals’ itinerary and assures me that they are visiting the Maori and are interested in more alternative ideas. Maybe they will be introduced to acupuncture and herbs.
A recent study, conducted in 4 Melbourne hospital emergency departments found that acupuncture is as good as drugs for numerous pains such as low back pain, migraines and sprained ankles. This finding comes from a new research trial of about 550 patients. While data from the study is still being analyzed and finalized for publication in a medical journal, one of the study’s authors, Dr. Michael Ben-Meir is quoted as saying,
“…acupuncture offered the same level of pain relief as analgesic drugs when patients rated their pain one hour after treatment.” Acupuncture was equivalent to what they defined as conventional medicine standard care, which was strong oral analgesia, such as Endone, Panadeine Forte, Voltaren and Valium. Furthermore,’he said, ”I find acupuncture doesn’t always help all patients, but occasionally it’s the thing that really shifts them and gets them home and gets their symptoms resolved…It has an effect, there’s no doubt about that. It’s just, when do you use it? How often? Which points? And who delivers it? There’s a lot to be thought about and analyzed (thats the way they spell it Down under) before something like this is a standard therapy.”
Study participants treated with acupuncture also tended to leave hospital earlier, suggesting it sped up emergency department care, and they found a very low rate of minor adverse events, such as bleeding at the needling sites.” So, if Prince William falls over a kangaroo and sprains his ankle or Kate gets a migraine from the tiara, let’s hope they are taken to one of Melbourne’s fine hospitals.