Acupuncture With a Zap May Ease Constipation
- Acupuncture to the abdomen, boosted by an electric current, helped relieve severe constipation, a new study found.
Chinese researchers studied 1,075 patients with severe functional constipation, which means they were unable to have a complete bowel movement more than twice a week. For the treatment group, the researchers used electro-acupuncture, in which low-voltage currents are passed through acupuncture needles. The control group received shallow needles at non acupuncture points, with electrical wires attached in the same way, but with no current passing through them. During the eight weeks of treatment, 31.3 percent of people in the treatment group showed improvement (measured by three or more bowel movements per week without the need for laxatives) compared with just 12.1 percent in the control group who improved. Over the 12 weeks of follow-up, 37.7 percent of the treatment group reported similar levels of improvement, compared to 14.1 percent of the patients in the control group.