Acupuncture is finding its place in the emergency room, not only to ease patients pain and anxiety, but also as an effective treatment and means to reduce the need for drugs.

Dr. Martha Grout, a Phoenix doctor and Acupuncturist, began treating emergency room patients at Phoenix Memorial Hospital in 1997 with Acupuncture to supplement the practice of western medicine for conditions ranging from head and back pain, to anxiety, depression and stress-related illnesses, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Grout led a 6-month study of Acupuncture treatments that were used on more than 100 ER patients in 1999-2000. The study was published in Medical Acupuncture, the journal of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture.

Among the 16 patients who sought treatment for headache pain, 62% were pain-free or experienced 80% relief after the Acupuncture treatment; of 77 patients with fractures, strains or sprains, 30% were pain-free (or almost so) after the Acupuncture which was administered before casting, when the patients pain level is typically severe; and 42% of the patients who had pain from toothache, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or tennis elbow, said Acupuncture totally eliminated the pain when drug treatment hadnt worked.

Results of the study show that Acupuncture treatments not only helped ease the patients pain and anxiety, but also eliminated the need for medication in some of the cases. When that happens, Grout said, You can send the patients home clear-headed.

SOURCE: Medical Acupuncture, 2002; HealthScout news,, June 2002.

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