Research Headache

Greetings all! I know it’s been a while since I’ve blogged, so here we go – merry christmas, happy hanukah, happy new year, happy chinese new year happy valentine’s day yada yada been there done that.

What I wish to write about to day is a sharing of a personal experience with some research I’m involved with in the Philippine General Hospital, teaching hospital of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine.

Yes, skeptics, there IS research being done in reputable state universities.  Then again the skeptics have already ignored the research done at the University of Vermont and the University of  Munich (click the links!) so why won’t they ignore this one?

Anyway, the research is supposed to be a cross-sectional study comparing the preventive effects of acupuncture versus propranolol in the treatment of migraine.  What I would like to comment on is the initial procedure that the residents wanted to do.

Initially, the idea of the other researchers was to pick a set of points and use that same set of points on EVERY PATIENT.  Following the principles of traditional chinese medicine, I said that that shouldn’t be the case.  I understand that their objective was to standardize the treatment.  I pointed out that chinese medicine emphasizes the root cause of the headache/migraine and address those causes.  The points to be used depend on those factors, as well as the location and nature of the pain.

43284229e43ea23265c3fe3e061e158c.124.82 Research Headache

This is NOT how to treat headache using acupuncture.

In the end, what the protocol we submitted (which was subsequently approved by the appropriate committees) was that we would come up with a POOL of points to choose from.  Other factors would be there would only be ONE acupuncturist to diagnose, select from the pool and insert/manipulate the needles.  That will try to eliminate skill variation in practitioners.

When that study gets published, you guys will be the first to know about it!


P.S. – Gotta love this study

 Research Headache

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4 comments on this post.
  1. Kevin O'Neil:

    I agree that it’s better to research specific styles of acupuncture, which does boil down to individual acupuncturists. However, it is even better to compare a standard fixed set of points, specific styles of point selection based on differentiation, placebo acupuncture, and a ‘waiting list’ control group. Certainly with various acupuncture styles claiming to be superior to other acupuncture styles, we should look forward to this type of research to clarify which claims are supported. One would hope that schools such as Five Element Acupuncture would be motivated to do this type of comparison. Unfortunately, studies such as the one I reviewed here suggest that most styles work about the same, and we are lucky if they work significantly better than a placebo. That was Chinese research that compared different acupuncture styles to placebo acupuncture and the western drugs for headaches. I look forward to reading more of your blog entries about acupuncture research!

    Kevin O’Neil, L.Ac.

  2. Lisa:

    I just love to read this kinda stuff where I can heard the sound research. :) Its been really appreciative certainly. Keep posting this kinda impression as I can read here regular. Thanks!

  3. mark:

    God is waiting somewhere above to give you His grace and send His love. Whatever your cross, whatever your pain, God always sends a rainbow after the rain.

  4. Joondalup Acupuncture:

    Researching is always a good choice when it comes to identifying certain levels of treatments in acupuncture. Its good to know that a lot of people are becoming more open minded with the alternative medicine treatment.

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