Research Confirms this Holistic Treatment is Safer and More Effective than Morphine
Anna Hunt, Staff
A new study has discovered that acupuncture can be more effective in treating pain than intravenous morphine. In addition, the researchers discovered that acupuncture can work faster in relieving pain and have fewer adverse effects. The study was conducted over a one-year period at the Fattaouma Bourguiba University Hospital in Tunisia. The results were published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine.
The Side Effects of Morphine Use
Morphine is an opioid pain medication which can have severe adverse effects. These include drowsiness, dizziness, constipation, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, headache, tired feeling, anxiety and mild itching. Other risks associated with morphine use include misuse, abuse and addiction.
In addition, scientific research has shown that prescription opioids may actually worsen chronic pain. It appears that a holistic alternative to treating pain is much-needed in order to mitigate the dangers of conventional pharmaceutical pain treatment.
Now, a groundbreaking study shows that acupuncture is one of these effective holistic alternatives. Considering the study results, it may perhaps be even more effective than morphine.
Study: Acupuncture versus Morphine
A study performed in the Emergency Department of Fattouma Bourguiba University Hospital, which sees about 100,000 emergency patients per year, evaluated the pain treatment approach for 300 ED patients.
The research evaluated 300 emergency patients. 150 were administered up to 15 mg of morphine per day. The other 150 were given acupuncture treatment for address their pain. The researchers summarized the results as follows:
Success rate was significantly different between the 2 groups (92% in the acupuncture group vs 78% in the morphine group P < .001). Resolution time was 16 ± 8 minutes in the acupuncture group vs 28 ± 14 minutes in the morphine group (P < .005).
From the 5-minute time point, the acupuncture group reported significantly larger pain decrease compared with the morphine group.
Overall, 89 patients (29.6%) experienced minor adverse effects: 85 (56.6%) in morphine group and 4 (2.6%) in acupuncture group (P < .001). No major adverse effects were recorded during the study protocol.
In patients with acute pain presenting to the ED, acupuncture was associated with more effective and faster analgesia with better tolerance.
Western Medicine Recognizes Acupuncture as an Effective Medical Treatment
Acupuncture originated in China many centuries ago and soon spread to Japan, Korea and other parts of Asia as an accepted medical treatment. Throughout the Asian continent, it is widely used in health care systems, officially recognized by governments, and well received by the general public.
READ: Has Science Finally Confirmed the Existence of Acupuncture Points, Validating Chinese Medicine?
In 1996, acupuncture became an accepted form of medical treatment endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO based their endorsement on data from numerous controlled clinical trials conducted over the two previous decades. The WHO report that resulted from the analysis of these clinical trials states:
Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has been proved – through controlled trials – to be an effective treatment:
Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following
Dysentery, acute bacillary
Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
Induction of labour
Low back pain
Malposition of fetus, correction of
Nausea and vomiting
Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular
Periarthritis of shoulder
Notice the multiple mentions of conditions that involve pain, such as low back pain, neck pain and headaches. In their report, the WHO also stated that acupuncture has shown to have a therapeutic effect on abdominal pain, cancer pain, facial spasms, and labour pain (although the organization did not have sufficient clinical data to include these in the effective treatment list above.)
Undoubtedly, acupuncture can play a powerful role in pain management. It is an effective drug-free alternative to reducing pain with very few side effects that has been proven over the ages. Finally, science is catching up to reinforce this claim.
Read more articles by Anna Hunt.
About the Author
Anna Hunt is writer, yoga instructor, mother of three, and lover of healthy food. She’s the founder of Awareness Junkie, an online community paving the way for better health and personal transformation. She’s also the co-editor at Waking Times, where she writes about optimal health and wellness. Anna spent 6 years in Costa Rica as a teacher of Hatha and therapeutic yoga. She now teaches at Asheville Yoga Center and is pursuing her Yoga Therapy certification. During her free time, you’ll find her on the mat or in the kitchen, creating new kid-friendly superfood recipes.
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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Waking Times or its staff.
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