This blog is to share the latest research and development of acupuncture and raise the awareness of alternative treatments for your conditions, and is for information only.

Monday 20 September 2021

Acupuncture significantly improved chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome and extended therapeutic effect to 24 weeks following treatment

 True acupuncture treatment of 8-week, compared with sham acupuncture,  significantly improved the symptoms of the patients with moderate to severe chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS), with sustainable effects of 24 weeks following treatment. The study was published in the Journal of Annals of Internal Medicine, one of the most widely-cited medical journals in the world.

The CP/CPPS are long-term conditions in men. They cause a range of symptoms including pain, urinary problems, reduced quality of life and sexual dysfunction that are difficult to treat and for which there is currently no cure. CP/CPPS can have a deleterious effect on an individual’s psychological wellbeing. Conventional treatments include antibiotics, alpha-blockers, anti-inflammatory agents and other medical agents, however none of which has proven to be totally effective.

Acupuncture has been used to treat CP/CPPS with positive outcome, however the number of patients with CP/CPPS were limited in many clinical studies. Recently a multiple centres, randomized, sham-controlled clinical study involving men with CP/CPPS was carried out in China. A total of 440 patients with CP/CPPS were recruited and randomly allocated into acupuncture (n=220) and sham acupuncture (n=220). The treatment protocol included a total of seven acupuncture points bilaterally (BL33, BL35, BL23, SP6) for acupuncture group. For the sham acupuncture group, minimally invasive needles were inserted to a depth of 2 to 3 mm at bilateral non-acupoints (15 mm lateral to BL23, BL33, and BL35 and 10 mm lateral to SP6) without manipulation. Overall treatment lasted for 30 minutes in both groups. All participants received 3 treatments for the 1st consecutive 4-week, then 2 treatments for the 2nd consecutive 4-week.

The primary result was a reduction of at least 6 points from baseline in the NIH-CPSI total score. The NIH-CPSI was managed at weeks 1 to 8, 20, and 32. Response was evaluated immediately after week-8 treatment and followed up at 24 weeks after treatment. The data showed that 20 sessions of acupuncture over 8 weeks in acupuncture group resulted in a significant improvement in symptoms of moderate to severe CP/CPPS, with durable effects 24 weeks after treatment compared with sham acupuncture group.

Data showed acupuncture treatment is able to decrease pain, positively impact quality of life and potentially modulate inflammation and suggested acupuncture could be a potential therapeutic option for men with CP/CPPS.

Although precise mechanisms of action of acupuncture are not completely clear, it could include gate control of pain pathways, increased endogenous opioid release and altered sympathetic tone.


Sun Y, Liu Y, Liu B, etc. Efficacy of Acupuncture for Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome : A Randomized Trial. Ann Intern Med. 2021 Aug 17. doi: 10.7326/M21-1814.

Friday 6 November 2020

Acupuncture reduced risk of stroke in patients with fibromyalgia


A nationwide matched cohort study in Taiwan showed the acupuncture treatment was effective on reducing risk of stroke in patients with fibromyalgia compared with patients with fibromyalgia but not received acupuncture treatment. The data was reported the results on the Plos One journal.

Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. The cause of fibromyalgia is not clear. It is believed that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way the brain and spinal cord process painful and nonpainful signals. Factors such as genetics, infections and physical and emotional events may lead to the occurrence of disorder. There is presently no cure for the condition. Pain reliever, antidepressants, physiotherapy and counselling should help alleviate symptoms. Acupuncture has been shown to effectively relief the muscle pain and reduce stress for a long time.

Studies showed that patients with fibromyalgia, particularly younger patients, had a higher risk tendency of stroke than those without fibromyalgia. Depression and sleep disorders, closely linked with fibromyalgia were also associated with a higher risk of stroke.

A group of scientists in Taiwan conducted a nationwide matched cohort study to evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture in reducing risk of stroke in patients with fibromyalgia. Patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia between 1 January 2000 and 31 December, 2010 recorded in the Taiwanese National Health Insurance Research were enrolled in the study.

The comparison between the age, sex and comorbidities, and the hazard ratios of acupuncture and non-acupuncture cohorts were analysed using a Cox regression model. The difference in the prevalence of stroke between the acupuncture and non-acupuncture cohorts was assessed using the Kaplan–Meier method and the log-rank test. Patients with fibromyalgia were identified and divided into acupuncture (n=65,487) and non-acupuncture (n=65,487) cohorts with similar distributions in the baseline characteristics after performing a propensity score matching with a 1:1 ratio.

The Kaplan-Meier analysis with the log-rank test showed a significantly lower cumulative incidence of stroke in the acupuncture cohort than that in the non-acupuncture cohort (p<0.0001). In the follow-up 5-year period, 4,216 patients in the acupuncture cohort (11.01 per 1000 person-years) compared with 6,849 patients in the non-acupuncture cohort (19.82 per 1000 person-years) suffered from stroke (adjusted HR 0.53, 95% CI 0.51–0.55).

The data showed that acupuncture decreased the incidence of stroke regardless of the patient’s age, sex, comorbidities, and conventional drug use in patients with fibromyalgia in Taiwan.


Acupuncture decreased the risk of stroke among patients with fibromyalgia in Taiwan: A nationwide matched cohort study. Huang MC, Yen HR, Lin CL, Lee YC, Sun MF, Wu MY.PLoS One. 2020 Oct 1;15(10):e0239703. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0239703.

Thursday 2 April 2020

Treatment of Covid-19 disease with traditional Chinese medicine

Acupuncture and herbal medicine are effective for the treatment of COVID-19 virus. An article published on the website reported that 87% of COVID-19 patients in Beijing received traditional Chinese medicine (TCM including acupuncture and herbs) and the total effective rate for patients receiving TCM is 92%, quoted from the Beijing Health Commission report.

Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that are known to infect both humans and animals and in humans cause respiratory illness that range from common colds to much more serious infections. The most well-known case of a coronavirus epidemic was Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars), which, after first being detected in southern China in 2002, went on to affect 26 countries and resulted in more than 8,000 cases and 774 deaths. Cases of Covid-19 first emerged in late 2019, when a mysterious illness was reported in Wuhan, China. The cause of the disease was soon confirmed as a new kind of coronavirus, and the infection has since spread to many countries around the world and become a pandemic.

While the cause of the current outbreak was initially unknown, on January 7 2020 Chinese health authorities identified that it was caused by to a strain of coronavirus that hadn’t been encountered in humans before. Five days later the Chinese government shared the genetic sequence of the virus so that other countries could develop their own diagnostic kits. That virus is now called Sars-CoV-2. However, to avoid confusion with SARS the WHO calls it the covid-19 virus (coronavirus disease 2019) when communicating with the public.

Although symptoms of covid-19 virus are often mild – the most common symptoms are a fever and dry cough – in some cases they lead to more serious respiratory tract illness including pneumonia and bronchitis. These can be particularly dangerous in older patients, or people who have existing health conditions, and this appears to be the case with Covid-19 disease.

Qing Fei Pai Du Tang is recommended by the Chinese National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (NATCM) for treating Covid-19 disease. In a study led by Dr. Li Yu that 701cases of COVID-19 patients treated with Qing Fei Pai Du Tang, 130 patients were cured, symptoms including fever and coughing completely resolved in an additional 51 patients, symptom improvements occurred in an additional 268 patients, and stabilization occurred in 212 patients. In a detailed analysis of 351 patients, Dr. Li and colleagues noted that 112 patients had a body temperature in excess of 37.3 degrees Celsius. After taking Qing Fei Pai Du Tang for one day, 51.8% of patients’ body temperatures returned to normal. After 6 days, 94.6% returned to normal temperature.

Of the 351 patients, 214 had coughs, one day of after drinking Qing Fei Pai Du Tang, 46.7% of patients’ coughs completely resolved. Six days later, 80.6% had significant reductions in coughing. In related findings from two independent investigations, the herbal medicine Lian Hua Qing Wen Capsule helped resolve COVID-19 symptoms and promoted recovery.

The China Association of Acupuncture and Moxibustion issued Acupuncture Treatment Guidelines for COVID-19 (2nd ​edition). The guidelines have been divided into three stages: prevention, treatment, and recovery.
Prevention stage, acupuncture is to strengthen zheng qi (healthy energy) and to benefit lung and spleen functions to combat foreign pathogens, basically improve immune system. The primary acupoints are categorized into 3 groups; 1–2 acupoints are selected from each group during one acupuncture session:
Group 1: BL12 (Fengmen), BL13 (Feishu), BL20 (Pishu);
Group 2: LI4 (Hegu), LI11 (Quchi), LU5 (Chize), LU10 (Yuji);
Group 3: CV6 (Qihai), ST36 (Zusanli), SP6 (Sanyinjiao)
A secondary set is added dependent upon individual symptoms.
For fever, the following acupoints are added: GV14 (Dazhui), CV22 (Tiantu), LU6 (Kongzui)
For nausea, loose stools, enlarged tongue with greasy coating, and soft (soggy) pulse, the following acupoints are added: GV14 (Zhongwan), ST25 (Tianshu), ST40 (Fenglong)
For fatigue and poor appetite, the following acupoints are added: CV12 (Zhongwan), CV9 (Shuifen), CV7 (Yinjiao), KI16 (Qizhousixue), BL20 (Pishu)
For clear nasal discharge, sore and painful back, pale tongue with white coating, and moderate pulse, the following acupoints are added: BL10 (Tianzhu), BL12 (Fengmen), GV14 (Dazhui)

Treatment stage, acupuncture is applied to interrupt disease progress based on the Pei Tu Sheng Jin (bank up earth to engender metal) principle and to relieve low mood. The primary acupoints selected for this stage are categorized into 3 groups.
For mild to moderate cases, 2–3 acupoints are selected from groups 1 and 2 during each acupuncture session. For severe cases, additional 2–3 acupoints are recommended from group 3.
Group 1: LI4 (Hegu), LR3 (Taichong), CV22 (Tiantu), LU5 (Chize), LU6 (Kongzui), ST36 (Zusanli), SP6 (Sanyinjiao)
Group 2: BL11 (Dashu), BL12 (Fengmen), BL13 (Feishu), BL15 (Xinshu), BL17 (Geshu)
Group 3: LU1 (Zhongfu), CV17 (Danzhong), CV6 (Qihai), CV4 (Guanyuan), CV12 (Zhongwan)

A secondary set is added dependent upon individual symptoms.
For persistent fever, the following acupoints are added: GV14 (Dazhui), LI11 (Quchi), EX-UE11 (Shixuan), EX-HN6 (Erjian)
For chest tightness and shortness of breath, the following acupoints are added: PC6 (Neiguan), LU7 (Lieque), CV14 (Juque), LR14 (Qimen), KI6 (Zhaohai)
For coughing with sputum, the following acupoints are added: LU7 (Lieque), ST40 (Fenglong), EX-B1 (Dingchuan)
For diarrhea with loose stools, the following acupoints are added: ST25 (Tianshu), ST37 (Shangjuxu)
For cough with yellow and sticky sputum and constipation, the following acupoints are added: CV22 (Tiantu), TB6 (Zhigou), ST25 (Tianshu), ST40 (Fenglong)
For low grade fever, nausea, loose stools, and a pale-red tongue with a white-greasy coating, the following acupoints are added: BL13 (Feishu), ST25 (Tianshu), SP14 (Fujie), PC6 (Neiguan)

Recovery stage, acupuncture is applied to eliminate pathogens from the body and to recover lung and spleen functions. The following primary acupoints are recommended: P6 (Neiguan), ST36 (Zusanli), GV14 (Zhongwan), ST25 (Tianshu), CV6 (Qihai)
A secondary set of acupuncture points are added dependent upon individual symptoms. For lung and spleen qi deficiency, sets of points are added for specific conditions:
If lung symptoms (e.g., chest tightness, shortness of breath) are pronounced, CV17 (Danzhong), BL13 (Feishu), and LU1 (Zhongfu) are added.
If spleen symptoms (e.g., poor appetite, diarrhea) are pronounced, CV13 (Shangwan) and SP9 (Yinlingquan) are added. 

For patients with qi and yin deficiency, the following acupoints are recommended for specific presentations:
If there is fatigue and shortness of breath, CV17 (Danzhong) and CV8 (Shenque) are added.
If there is dry mouth and thirst, KI3 (Taixi) and TB4 (Yangchi) are added.
If there are palpitations, BL15 (Xinshu) and BL14 (Jueyinshu) are added.
If there s profuse sweating, LI4 (Hegu), KI7 (Fuliu), and ST36 (Zusanli) are added.
If there is insomnia, HT7 (Shenmen), EX-HN3 (Yintang), EX-HN 19 (Anmian), and KI1 (Yongquan) are added.

Additional guidelines were published for patients with sputum and stasis blocking the channels with underlying lung and spleen deficiency:
For patients with lung, spleen and heart symptoms (e.g., chest tightness, shortness of breath), BL13 (Feishu), BL20 (Pishu), BL15 (Xinshu), BL17 (Geshu), LU1 (Zhongfu), and CV17 (Danzhong) are added. If sputum is unproductive, ST40 (Fenglong) and EX-B1 (Dingchuan) are added.

The aforementioned acupoints can be stimulated with acupuncture, moxibustion, or massage. If acupuncture is used, needles should be manipulated with the mild reinforcement and attenuation (Ping Bu Ping Xie) technique during the 20–30 minute needle retention time. If moxibustion is applied, the moxa should warm the points for 10–15 minutes. Treatment is administered once daily.


Thursday 13 February 2020

Acupuncture therapy improved radiation-induced xerostomia in cancer patients

Acupuncture treatment has been shown to significantly reduce severe radiation-induced xerostomia in patient with head and neck cancer compared with standard care control in a randomized clinical trial, according to the data published in the JAMA Network Open.

Xerostomia, or oral dryness, is one of the most common complaints experienced by cancer patients who have radiotherapy of the oral cavity and neck region. Radiation-induced xerostomia (RIX), together with difficulty in chewing, swallowing and speaking can have a significant impact on the quality of life. At present there is no causal treatment for established xerostomia. Temporary symptomatic relief can be provided by moistening agents and saliva substitutes. Acupuncture has been reported to effectively relieve RIX.

A phase 3, randomized, sham-controlled, patient- and assessor-blinded clinical trial was conducted to assess effect of true acupuncture (TA n=132), compared with sham acupuncture (SA n=134) or a standard care control (SCC n=133) on the incidence or severity of RIX among patients with head and neck cancer. Acupuncture treatment was given concurrently with a 6- to 7-week course of radiation therapy. In TA group acupuncture needles were inserted into following body acupoints: Ren 24, LU7, and K6. The following ear points were used: Shenmen, Point Zero, Salivary Gland 2' (SG 2-prime), and Larynx. All points were used bilaterally except for Ren 24, which is located in the midline. In SA group non-penetrating needles with the Park device were placed at inactive points 0.5-1.0 cun away from true acupoints. In SCC group patients received standard care information about oral hygiene such as brushing with fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and daily use of fluoride tray applications.

The criterion standard for measuring xerostomia XQ was used to compare patient-reported outcome scores for xerostomia among the TA, SA, and SCC groups. The acupuncture expectancy scale18 was used to evaluate the association of baseline expectations related to acupuncture with clinical response. Adverse events were recorded using Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 3.0. Patient-reported Xerostomia Questionnaires (XQs) and sialometry data were collected at baseline, at the end of radiation therapy (week 7), and 3, 6, and 12 months after the end of radiation therapy.

Results showed that xerostomia score in the TA group was significantly lower than in the SCC group and marginally lower but not statistically significant different from the SA group. One year after radiation therapy follow-up showed that incidence of clinically significant xerostomia followed a similar pattern with 38 patients in the TA group (34.6%), 54 patients in the SA group (47.8%), and 60 patients in the SCC group (55.1%) experiencing clinically significant xerostomia.

Data from this phase 3, randomized clinical trial suggested that acupuncture therapy statistical significantly reduced the incidence of radiation-induced xerostomia compared with standard care controls in patients with head and neck cancer.

Garcia MK, et al. (2019) Effect of True and Sham Acupuncture on Radiation-Induced Xerostomia Among Patients With Head and Neck Cancer: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Netw Open. PMID 31808921.

Tuesday 3 September 2019

Acupuncture effect is more sustainable than drug treatment in treating irritable bowel syndrome

When acupuncture was compared with medication in treating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), it was found improvement induced by acupuncture was more significant and lasted markedly longer than medication. The study was published in the journal of China and Foreign Medical Treatment. 

IBS is a common, long-term condition that affects the large intestine. Signs and symptoms include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhoea or constipation, or both. IBS is a chronic condition that you'll need to manage it for long term. The precise cause of IBS isn't known; however it is believed that it's related to increased sensitivity of the gut and problems digesting food. Conventional medication relieves symptoms but causes advertise effect if it is chronically used. Acupuncture has been used to help improve the symptoms of IBS for a long time in China.

A clinical study to compare the effectiveness of acupuncture with conventional medication was conducted with recruitment of 98 patients who suffered from type-D (diarrhea predominant) IBS, that were allocated into acupuncture group (n=49) and drug treatment group (n=49) respectively. In acupuncture group needles were applied on the following acupoints ST36, ST37, ST39, ST25 and CV4, once daily for consecutive 5 days (one course), then 2-day interval for total 4 courses.  Patients in drug treatment group were treated with the drugs flupentixol/melitracen (0.5/10 mg) and bacillus licheniformis (0.25 g) once daily for consecutive 4 weeks. Outcome measures included symptom scores and the total effective rates for each group. Symptom scores were used to assess loose bowel movements, frequency of bowel movements, and mucus in the stools. The total effective rates were calculated according to the degree of improvements. The cured, markedly effective, and effective cases were added together to calculate the total effective rate for each group. All measurements were monitored at the base line, the end of the treatment and 6 months after treatment.

The results showed that the acupuncture treatment had significantly greater relief, with a total effective rate of 97.96%, compared with 83.67% in the drug treatment group. Six-month follow up showed that only 6.12% of patients receiving acupuncture experienced recurrence of symptoms, compared with 24.49% in the drug treatment group.

The study indicated that acupuncture is not only more effective for relieving IBS symptoms but has more sustainable effect.

Wang X, Therapeutic Effect of warm needle acupuncture on Diarrhea-Type Irritable Bowel Syndrome. China and Foreign Medical Treatment, 2018, Vol.29 pp.173-174.

Wednesday 17 July 2019

Acupuncture is more effective than drug treatment in relieving gout symptoms

Acupuncture therapy is shown to be more effective than conventional medication for gouty arthritis in a clinical study which was recently reported in the journal of Chinese Medicine Report.

Gouty arthritis is caused by a build-up of a substance called uric acid in the blood, resulting in the formation of small crystal deposits in and around the joints. It's estimated that 1-2% people are affected by gout in the developed countries. Men over 30 and women after the menopause are more likely affected. Gout is seen more common in men than women. People with obesity, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, and chronic renal disease are prone to developing gout. Conventional medications help relief pain and reduce hyperuricaemia. However, long term use of such medications could cause many adverse effects. Acupuncture has been used to effectively treat gout for a long time.

A clinical study has been recently conducted to assess the efficacy of acupuncture on the gout in comparison with conventional medication. A total of 92 patients with acute gouty arthritis were recruited and randomly allocated to either acupuncture group (n=46) or the medication group (n=46). In acupuncture group the filiform needles were applied on the following primary acupoints bilaterally: Zusanli (ST36), Sanyinjiao (SP6), Yinlingquan (SP9), Quchi (LI11) and ashi points for 30 mins a day for 5 consecutive days, then 2-day break followed by another 5-day consecutive treatment. In addition some secondary acupoints were applied according to patient’s affected joints. In medication group, patients were given indomethacin enteric-coated 75 mg tablets twice daily for 10 days. The study’s outcome measures included a VAS (visual analog scale) for pain, serum levels of uric acid and pro-inflammatory chemokine interleukin 8 (IL-8), and monitored at the beginning and end of the study.

Results showed that mean VAS scores were 4.26 in the medication group and 4.31 in the acupuncture group before treatment. The scores fell to 1.61 and 0.78 respectively at the end of treatment, indicating significant decrease in pain in both groups. However, pain reduction in the acupuncture group is greater (p<0.05) than medication group. Mean uric acid levels were 519.92 µmol/L in the medication group and 525.06 µmol/L in the acupuncture group respectively before treatment. Uric acid levels fell to 437.28 µmol/L and 426.53 µmol/L respectively following treatment. Mean IL-8 levels were 38.24 µg/L in the medication group and 38.81 µg/L in the acupuncture group before treatment, then, IL-8 levels fell to 26.23 µg/L and 26.04 µg/L respectively after treatment. The clinical symptoms e.g. mean mobility scores were 1.57, redness and swelling were 1.92 and joint function was 1.63 in medication group before treatment. In acupuncture group corresponding scores were 1.59, 1.99, and 1.65 respectively before treatment. At the end of treatment, these scores fell to 0.89, 1.25, and 0.92 in the medication group and 0.56, 0.72, and 0.72 in the acupuncture group. Although both groups demonstrated improvements in clinical conditions, symptom relief was significantly greater in the acupuncture group (p<0.05) than that of medication group.

Present study demonstrated that acupuncture markedly improved clinical symptoms and reduced both serum uric acid and IL-8 levels in patients with gouty arthritis and offers an effective and well-tolerated alternative treatment for gout.


Z Chen (2019) “Clinical Observation on Acupuncture Treatment of Acute Gout Arthritis” Chinese Medicine Research Vol.16(3) pp.75-78.

Thursday 2 May 2019

Acupuncture improves chemotherapy-induced hand-foot syndrome in cancer patients

Patients with rectal cancer treated with acupuncture showed a significant reduction in severity of chemotherapy-induced hand-foot syndrome compared with control group. The report was published in the World Journal of Acupuncture-Moxibustion.

Hand-foot syndrome (HFS) is also called palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia. It is an adverse effect of some cancer chemotherapies. Hand-foot syndrome causes abnormal sensation, such as tingling, numbness, burning or itching on the palms and soles, as well as redness, swelling, and pain on the palms of the hands and/or the soles of the feet. Sometimes blisters appear. Hand-foot syndrome sometimes occurs elsewhere on the skin, such as the knees or elbows. But this is less common.

Relieving side effects is an important part of cancer care and treatment. Topical anti-inflammatory medications may help relieve some symptoms. In addition, the doctor may lower the chemotherapy dose or change your chemotherapy schedule, or even may need to temporarily stop your chemotherapy until the symptoms of hand-foot syndrome improve. This could significantly hamper the efficacy of chemotherapy. Acupuncture has been used to treat inflammatory-related conditions.

Recently a clinical study was conducted to assess effect of acupuncture on hand-foot syndrome induced by chemotherapy in patients with rectal cancer. A total of sixty patients with rectal cancer were enlisted and randomly divided into acupuncture group (n=30), and vitamin 6 group (n=30) as the control. The primary acupoints included GV20, LI4, TB5, ST36 and ashi points and supplementary acupoints included KD3, SP6 and GB34 when it is necessary. Acupuncture needles were applied on above acupoints and retained for 30 mins, daily for 2 weeks. Patients within control group took vitamin B6 (oral, 300mg) daily for a total of two weeks.

The primary outcome measures included the Common Toxicity Criteria of the National Cancer Institute of Canada (CTC) and the Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS). The CTC grades symptoms using a scale of 1–4, with higher scores indicating increased severity. The KPS is on a scale of 0–100, with higher scores indicating an increased ability to perform daily activities and lower scores indicating increased levels of disability. Patients whose CTC scores were reduced to grade 1 following treatment, with a disappearance of symptoms and a KPS score of 90 were categorized as cured. For patients whose CTC scores were reduced to grade 1, with an improvement in symptoms, and a KPS score of 80–89, the treatments were categorized as effective. For patients showing no obvious improvements and had KPS scores of < 80, the treatments were categorized as ineffective. In addition, the QLQ-C30 (Quality of Life Questionnaire Core), a 30-item functional scale covering the areas of PF (physical function), RF (role function), CF (cognitive function), EF (emotional function), and SF (social function) were also monitored before and after the treatment.

The results showed that in the acupuncture group, there were 5 cured (16.7%), 16 effective (53.3%), and 9 ineffective (30%) cases, yielding a total effective rate of 70.0% for rectal cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. In vitamin B6 control group, there were 4 cured (13.3%), 7 effective (23.3%), and 19 ineffective (63.3%) cases, yielding a total effective rate of 36.7% for rectal cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. Positive outcomes with improvements in PF, EF, and CF were greater in the acupuncture group, being of statistical significance (p<0.05) compared with vitamin B6 group.

The data of this study suggests that acupuncture is an effective treatment for hand-foot syndrome, with the ability to alleviate symptoms and improve overall quality of life with rectal cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.

F Li et al., Chemotherapy-induced hand-foot syndrome in rectal cancer treated with acupuncture. World Journal of Acupuncture-Moxibustion. 2018, Vol.28 pp. 151-155.