Research recently published in the British Journal of General Practice has provided strong evidence that acupuncture can provide a beneficial and cost-effective treatment for NHS patients suffering from chronic, undiagnosable conditions that do not respond to conventional treatments.
A study of 80 people suffering from aches and pains without any clear organic underlying cause found that they felt better after twenty-six weeks of treatment. Increased energy was reported, and some were able to stop medications.
In the three months prior to the trial, the 80 patients had spent a total of 21 days in hospital, made 106 visits to hospital outpatient units, and had 44 tests. Dr Charlotte Paterson of the University of Essex team is quoated: “It suggests acupuncture is a safe intervention with potential resource savings”.
One in five NHS patients show no improvement for their symptoms with conventional treatment, and this can lead to increased costs as different medications are prescribed.