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Study Finds Acupuncture Reduces Fatigue for Sufferers of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

By: Vanessa Vogel Batt L.Ac. MSOM

Researchers carried out a large, comprehensive investigation to evaluate the potency and safety of using various therapies of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to treat chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The study entitled "Traditional Chinese Medicine for chronic fatigue syndrome: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials," was published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine in 2014.

A total of 23 randomized clinical trials, with 1776 study participants, were analyzed to ascertain the effectiveness of the following TCM therapies: acupuncture, Chinese herbs, Qi Gong, Acupoint Application and moxibustion (or moxa for short).

Qi Gong is a system of exercises that mixes physical movement with breathing patterns to benefit the body and mind. Acupoint application involves the use of herbal packs to cover and medicate certain acupuncture points. Moxa is a heat therapy that uses a dried form of the herb mugwort. The herb is lit so the smoke and the heat can penetrate into the body.

To judge the severity of the participant's fatigue levels, different types of medical instruments were employed. Researchers concluded that acupuncture by itself, or in combination with other therapies, significantly reduced the symptom of fatigue for suffers of CFS. In addition, the review also showed the absence of negative side effects. Although more studies are recommended, the various therapies associated with TCM seem safe and effective in the case of CFS.

Source: Wang, Y.-Y., Li, X.-X., Liu, J.-P., Luo, H., Ma, L.-X., & Alraek, T. (2014). "Traditional Chinese medicine for chronic fatigue syndrome: A systematic review of randomized clinical trials". Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 22(4), 826–833.

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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