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Considering acupuncture treatment for psoriasis

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Sometimes you just don't know when you might receive a suggestion for how to treat your psoriasis. Being around Asians, many of the ideas I receive are related to Eastern medicine such as traditional herbal remedies. I often hear about how Chinese medicines have a 5,000 year history so there must be something to it. But no one has seriously suggested that I try acupuncture as a treatment option - until now. Someone in my office approached me this week to tell me someone who knows about my condition recommended trying it. Since I respect this person's opinion, I said I would think about it.

Those of us who are constantly aware of the risks involved with the different Western options, including vital organ damage, seek less toxic options. But which ones really work? I have never tried acupuncture for any ailment, but my parents and others I know have. To be honest, the thought of putting needles all around my body does not appeal. I don't even like injecting myself just one or two times subcutaneously each week as with Enbrel (etanercept) and Humira (adalimumab).

I poked around the Internet briefly to find out any information the Web might offer regarding acupuncture. A site aptly called presents evidence that half of all study patients who received acupuncture for psoriasis cleared or nearly cleared. The and has a brief mention of acupuncture in the "" section. Their expert reported limited success based on personal observation, even in China, but seems to steer the reader back to Western medications. A couple sites also mentioned the lack of placebo groups in many of the studies as well as inconsistency of technique from one acupuncturist to another.

In a recent HealthTalk Psoriasis webcast, Dr. Robert Brodell briefly answered a question about acupuncture. I'll just copy one quotation here: "But I think maybe the evidence that shows that acupuncture is not great for psoriasis is the fact that you don't see clinics popping up all over where they are selling acupuncture for psoriasis." I suppose this is a cynical view but it does raise some questions regarding its efficacy.

This discussion points to some anecdotal evidence of acupuncture's effectiveness for treating psoriasis, but many from the Western medical establishment still have doubts. After some research and thought I'm back to where I started when I talked to my colleague in the office: I'll think about it.

If you have tried acupuncture or have any other information that may further my thinking or this discussion, I would enjoy hearing your comments.

-Howard

Last Updated:9/11/2008
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Date: 06.01.2019, 12:28 / Views: 61261