Acupuncture ranks as one of the best non-pharmacological treatments for functional chronic constipation (CFC), according to a network meta-analysis carried out by Chinese authors. They included 33 randomised trials with 4324 participants, which compared eight non-pharmacological treatments with placebo, sham interventions, or conventional treatment. Compared with placebo interventions, TENS, probiotics and acupuncture had a significantly larger effect on stool frequency. Patients treated with acupuncture also showed significantly higher rates of response to treatment, while moxibustion had a significantly larger effect on Bristol stool scores. Compared with laxatives, acupuncture had a significantly larger effect on stool frequency, with a lower rate of adverse events.
Nonpharmacological conservative treatments for chronic functional constipation: A systematic review and network meta-analysis.
Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2018 Aug 20:e13441.