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Study Finds Acupuncture Relieves Persistant Hiccups

By: Vanessa Vogel Batt L.Ac. MSOM

An unintended, unwelcome consequence of joint replacement or reconstruction surgery, arthroplasty is a bad case of the hiccups. To help mitigate this side effect, researchers set out to discover if acupuncture could provide some relief.

The study entitled, "Treatment of persistent hiccups after arthroplasty: effects of acupuncture at PC6, CV12, and ST36," was published in the February 2019 edition of Acupuncture in Medicine: Journal of the British Medical Acupuncture Society.

This study included a total of 15 participants, all whom underwent arthroplasty and consequently experienced persistent hiccups. Five patients reported an additional symptom of pain in the diaphragm, three reported mild cases of dyspnea, two experienced dysphagia, and one had nausea and vomiting.

To assess the acupuncture treatments, the hiccups assessment instrument (HAI) was utilized before and at the end of each session. Each session lasted 30 minutes and patients could have up to three per week. The three acupuncture points used came from the Pericardium, Ren, and Stomach meridian. Meridians are the energetic highways that circulate in the body and play a crucial role in healing.

In an outstanding demonstration of success, all patients enjoyed resolution of symptoms after less than three acupuncture sessions—10 participants required only one sessions and three only needed to. There were two more who required three.

Happily, all additional symptoms present, including pain, dyspnea, dyphagia, and nausea, vanished as soon as the hiccups resolved.

Source: Xu J, Qu Y, Yue Y, et al. (2019). Treatment of persistent hiccups after arthroplasty: effects of acupuncture at PC6, CV12 and ST36. Acupuncture in Medicine: Journal of the British Medical Acupuncture Society. Retrieved from


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About the Author: Vanessa Vogel Batt, L.Ac., MSTOM, studied at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and practiced acupuncture and Oriental medicine in New York for several years. Vanessa enjoys traveling the world, and has published articles on acupuncture and Oriental medicine and related health topics for websites and publications in both the U.S. and abroad.

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