Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice of inserting needles through the patient's skin in specific points on the body to manipulate the flow of energy. A new study has revealed that acupuncture can discernibly lessen pain and reduce the underlying inflammation in children with acute appendicitis.
Alan Nager and co-authors from Children's Hospital Los Angeles and the Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California assessed subjective pain among pediatric patients immediately before and 20 minutes after treatment by a licensed acupuncturist.
The researchers also measured two biomarkers of inflammation in blood samples taken before, during, and 30 minutes after placement of the needles. The researchers found that the patients' subjective pain decreased, likely due to the acupuncture treatment.
The researchers said, "Furthermore, one of the inflammatory biomarkers (white blood cell count) showed a modest and noticeable drop suggesting that the effectiveness of acupuncture may have a biophysiological basis."
The study is published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine