The American Journal of Gastroenterology published an article that examined 10 different studies looking at Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and acupuncture. The goal of this study was to see what published research showed about the effectiveness of acupuncture on Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
After reviewing the different studies, researchers found that acupuncture seemed to work better than some medications for IBS. But when researchers looked at studies where there wasn’t actual acupuncture, but more a sham version where they put the needles in the wrong place, they didn’t see as much of a benefit to the IBS patients.
The studies that showed the most positive relationships between acupuncture and IBS, were the studies done in China. These studies were likely of a higher quality since acupuncture has deep roots there and has been practiced for over 2,000 years.
So the question we wondered was: were the lower quality studies showing this effect because people really believe it’s going to work and maybe the better quality studies didn’t have enough patients to prove that it would?
Either way, the bottom line here is that there just isn’t enough research yet. But if we were the patients and we were having trouble finding effective medicines, we would try it because there’s very little harm other than the cost of doing it.
So our suggestion to you is if it works for you and you can afford it, it’s not a bad thing.