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Acupuncture helps with dry mouth

Twelve patients with radiation-induced xerostomia were randomised into real or sham acupuncture groups. Acupuncture was conducted twice weekly for six weeks in a single-blind setting. The effect was evaluated by measuring salivary flow rates (stimulated and unstimulated) and questionnaire-based assessment of subjective symptoms pre- and at three and six weeks post-treatment. Both groups showed a slight increase in salivary flow rates, with no significant difference between them. However, real acupuncture markedly increased unstimulated salivary flow rates, and improved the score for dry mouth according to a xerostomia questionnaire, by 2.33 points versus 0.33 in controls. The authors conclude that the results show a significantly meaningful amelioration of the subjective sensation of xerostomia and an associated increase in quality of life. (Manual acupuncture improved quality of life in cancer patients with radiation-induced xerostomia. J Altern Complement Med. 2008 Jun;14(5):523-6.)


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