Friday, July 16, 2010

Easing Nausea Symptoms in Hospitals, Acupuncture More Effective

Here's a comment from a pediatrician from the NY Times Hospital Health Section on the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating nausea in children and adults. It is surprising that this safe effective treatment is not used more.
Re ''Answers Fall Short for Nausea After Surgery'' (Second Opinion, Oct. 3): As an academic integrative pediatrician often consulted to work with children suffering from postoperative nausea and vomiting, I read Denise Grady's piece this morning with great interest.

I was surprised, however, to see no mention of one of the more effective, evidence-based approaches to this troublesome and common complication. Acupuncture and acupressure, specifically applied to the P6 (Neiguan) point, has been demonstrated in both children and adults to be both a safe and effective treatment for postoperative nausea and vomiting, often with fewer side effects than conventional medication therapies.

Lawrence D. Rosen
Valhalla, N.Y.
The point Dr. Rosen mentions (P6 or Neiguan) is located on the wrist about 2 finger-widths above the wrist crease towards the elbow. Gentle self-massage can be helpful in easing nausea, and acupuncture much more helpful in longer-term control. In fact, studies have shown the effectiveness of strong needling at this point for controlling nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy treatment with cisplatin, as well as the prevention of chest pain.

There are a number of points on the hand (Large Intestine 4), lower leg (Stomach 36) and foot (Liver 3) that are considered more effective by acupuncturists for the treatment of nausea of many different types, including morning sickness.

Byron Russell, LAc

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