Energy for life in 7 stepsThe University of York have this month published a study investigating whether having acupuncture alongside the normal medications you can use for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) makes a difference. And the good news is that it does.

Both GP’s and patients have expressed concerns over the current range of treatments available for IBS so it is fantastic that various GP surgeries were happy to refer patients for this study.

Around 230 patients took part, split into two groups. One group had “acupuncture plus usual care”, the second group had “just usual care”. “Usual care consisted of prescription medication like anti spasmodic drugs, anti diarrhoeal drugs and laxatives. Patients could also continue using non prescription drugs as well.

The project paid for 10 sessions of acupuncture along with allied treatment such as acupressure and heat treatment with moxa (a special warming herb which is applied externally to the body) plus appropriate lifestyle advice.

The response to treatment was carefully tracked with a steep improvement in symptoms noted for the acupuncture group, which tailed off after the 10 sessions had finished. Even after this levelling off, the patients treated with acupuncture sustained their improved level of health in the 12 month monitoring period of the research. In the “just the usual care” group, improvement in the symptoms were also noted but at a lower level.

It seems that acupuncture can provide an additional healing effect for people with IBS over and above using the common medical interventions.

Of the patients I have treated, some have had IBS for years, others for just a few months. So far at least they seem to have made a complete recovery within four treatments. My feeling is that if patients are able to make changes to their eating habits and allow time for digestion they often make excellent improvements…

Click here to read the IBS research report.


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