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Meta Analysis Finds Acupuncture Effective for Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptom Relief

By: Vanessa Vogel Batt L.Ac. MSOM

The medical journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, published a study entitled "Clinical Efficacy of Acupuncture on Rheumatoid Arthritis and Associated Mechanisms: A Systemic Review," in April of 2018. This scientific review highlights the benefits of using acupuncture to address symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Researchers reviewed several medical databases worldwide to find high-quality studies focusing on the efficacy of using acupuncture alone, or in combination with other treatments, for rheumatoid arthritis patients. In the end, 43 studies were deemed adequate for the meta-analysis.

Each of the individual studies used standardized medical tools to evaluate the effect of acupuncture on their patients. Tools used included the visual analog scale, pain disability index, TCM symptom scoring, 10-meter walk test, grip power test, American College of Rheumatology 20, quality of life questionnaire, health assessment questionnaire, Pittsburgh sleep quality index scale and the depression, anxiety and stress scale.

Throughout the viable studies, researchers noticed the most frequent acupuncture point used was Stomach 36 followed by Gall Bladder 34, Large Intestine 4, Urinary Bladder 60, and Gall Bladder 39.

Researchers concluded that acupuncture is a safe, effective method to treat symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. It is especially useful in improving patient quality of life.  Acupuncture is highly recommended as there are no toxic side effects.  This is in sharp contrast to pharmaceutical treatments, which are known to provoke adverse reactions.

Are you suffering from rheumatoid arthritis?  Contact an acupuncturist today to schedule an appointment or to learn how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you!

Source: Chou, P. C., & Chu, H. Y. (2018). Clinical Efficacy of Acupuncture on Rheumatoid Arthritis and Associated Mechanisms: A Systemic Review. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative medicine: eCAM, 2018, 8596918. doi:10.1155/2018/8596918

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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