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Acupuncture for Chronic Constipation?

Nearly 17% of the world population suffers from Chronic Functional Constipation, ie less than 2 ports spontaneous (non-drug, herbal, tools-induced) per week. A new study published in the highly prestigious Annals Internal Medicine (5th in importance in the world!) proved once again the effectiveness of acupuncture in chronic constipation.

The study, which was a randomized, controlled trial, was conducted in 15 hospitals around China, and included 1075 patients with chronic functional constipation for 10+ years.

Patients were randomized to receive "real" electro-acupuncture (536 patients) versus "sham/placebo" electro-acupuncture (539 patients). The "true" acupuncture was done needling bilateraly ST25, SP14, ST37. "Sham/Placebo" acupuncture was done on non-acuppoints and using shallow needling. Patients received acupuncture over eight weeks (28 sessions in total) after which remain monitored until week 20 (approximately 5 months).

Results showed a significant improvement (statistically) in the quantity of spontaneous bowel movements from baseline to end, and between the two groups. In addition, nearly 40% of patients in the real acupuncture experienced 3 or more spontaneous bowel movements per week compared to only 14% in the control group. There was also a significant improvement in the texture using the Bristol scale.

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