According to a latest study, both traditional and sham acupuncture prove to be equally effective in reducing the nausea in case of cancer patients going under chemotherapy.
Stimulating specific points on the body, the procedure involves regulating the flow of vital energy along the pathways called meridians. It is widely believed that acupuncture could help in alleviating certain ailments more effectively as compared to standard medical care.
Lead author of the new study, Anna Enblom, a physiotherapist and researcher at the Osher Centre for Integrative Medicine at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden stated, "The beneficial effects seem not to come from the traditional acupuncture method, but probably from the patients' positive expectations and the extra care that the treatment entails”.
To reach to this conclusion, researchers studied 277 patients undergoing radiotherapy for abdomen and pelvic cancer at Linkoping and Lund university hospitals and Karolinska University Hospital in Solna.
Dividing the subjects into two groups, one group was given traditional acupuncture which involved insertion of needles into their skin to stimulate certain points and the other group was assigned to blunt telescopic placebo needles that just pressed against the skin.
After analyzing the data, researchers found that 37% of the patients from the first group felt nausea after treatment whereas this number was 63% for the other group.