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A Literature Review on the Efficacy of Acu-Point PC6 for the Treatment of Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy

Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy (NVP), or morning sickness is a common clinical condition affecting at least 50% of women in the first trimester of pregnancy. The acupuncture point Pericardium 6 (PC6) is located on the palmar side of the wrist and is one of the principle points in terms of Chinese medicine for treating all forms of vomiting and nausea.
Six studies were thoroughly examined in the form of a systematic review to investigate the efficacy of PC6 by applying acupuncture and acupressure to treat NVP. Following the research, PC6 appears to be effective in reducing the symptoms of nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy; which suggests that PC6 acupuncture would provide an excellent treatment for women suffering with NVP.

The Results
All of the studies proved their hypothesis’ that the treatment methods using PC6 would be effective in treating NVP. Bayruther et al. (1994), found that from VAS analysis that PC6 acupressure improved nausea in pregnancy by 66%, and placebo acupressure improved nausea by 33%; although there was little relief from nausea. Gürkan and Arslan, (2008) found that acupressure at PC6 was beneficial for relieving NVP; however in this study there was no difference between the control and placebo groups. The most significant data came from Habek et al. (2004), which measured the use of anti-emetics in pregnant women. Women receiving real acupuncture at PC6 found that the need for medication was reduced by 90% and real acupressure at PC6 reduced the need medication at 63.6%. Placebo acupuncture reduced the need for anti-emetics by 12.5% and placebo acupressure had no effect. This is the most interesting result as it compares acupuncture against acupressure and involves the use of placebo too.  It is pleasing to see such results coming from the latest acupuncture and acupressure trials; hopefully proving to orthodox health professionals that TCM does have a place in current medical practice.  Conclusion This has been a very interesting study to conduct with pleasing results in the early stages. However, these trials need to be repeated on a much larger scale. Studies should try to be a double-blinded RCT to have the most accurate methodology and could possibly be conducted over a longer period of time. Some of the studies were only conducted over three days, which is far too short; at least two weeks of treatment should be conducted to try to improve credibility of future studies.

Quelle: Journal of the Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine (UK), Volume 16, Issue No 2 

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