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Acupuncture reduces epidural use

A trial carried out in Sweden has found that women who received manual acupuncture (MA) or electro-acupuncture (EA) during labour used less epidural analgesia than women who received standard care. The longitudinal randomised controlled trial recruited 303 nulliparous women with normal pregnancies who were randomised to receive 40 minutes of either manual acupuncture (MA) or electro-acupuncture (EA), or standard care without acupuncture (SC). Subjective visual analogue pain scores did not differ between the three groups, however fewer women in the EA group used epidural analgesia (46%) compared with those in the MA group (61%) and SC group (70%). (Acupuncture with manual and electrical stimulation for labour pain: a longitudinal randomised controlled trial. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Jun 9;14:187).


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