This study was undertaken to describe under real-life conditions the effects of acupuncture on symptomatic dyspepsia during pregnancy and to compare this with a group of patients undergoing conventional treatment alone.
A total of 42 conventionally treated pregnant women were allocated by chance into two groups to be treated, or not, by acupuncture. They reported the severity of symptoms and the disability these were causing in daily aspects of life such as sleeping and eating, using a numerical rating scale. The study also observed the use of medications.
Six women dropped out (one in the acupuncture group and five in the control group). Significant improvements in symptoms were found in the study group. This group also used less medication and had a greater improvement in their disabilities when compared with the control group.
This study suggests that acupuncture may alleviate dyspepsia during pregnancy.
The treatment of acupuncture was performed once a week, occasionally twice when it was deemed necessary, during 8 weeks, making a minimum of eight and a maximum of 12 sessions. Traditional acupuncture was used, respecting the classical acupuncture points including depth of insertion. Sterilised stainless steel needles of 40 mm in length and 0.2 mm diameter were used. Neither electro-stimulation nor ear acupuncture was used. On average 12 needles were used, always attempting to achieve the de qi sensation (sensation of soreness, numbness or distension around the point). Needles were left at place for about 25 minutes.
The acupuncturists in the study (JBGS, RS) have completed 600 hours of postgraduate training in acupuncture, which included the theory and practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine. For the last 20 years they have run a public service that has been used to treat at least 50 patients per day. In order to facilitate protocols we decided to use pre-programmed points.
Up to four points were permitted as optional points. The most commonly used points were: LI4 (hands); PC6 (forearms); CV12, ST21, LR13 (abdomen); ST36 (legs) and SP4, ST44 (feet).
Authors: João Bosco Guerreiro da Silva1, Mary Uchiyama Nakamura, José Antonio Cordeiro, Luiz ulay,Jr, Rassen Saidah published in: Acupuncture in Medicine, June 2009