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Eight weeks of electro-acupuncture (EA) treatment can increase the frequency of bowel movements in people suffering from chronic constipation. Chinese authors randomised 1075 patients with chronic severe functional constipation (CSFC) to 28 sessions of either EA at traditional acupoints (bilateral Tianshu ST-25, Fujie SP-14 and Shangjuxu ST-37) or sham EA at non-acupoints (SA), for eight weeks. Those in the EA group had a mean increase from baseline of 1.76 complete spontaneous bowel movements (CSBMs) per week during weeks 1 to 8, versus 0.87 in the SA group. During weeks 9 to 20, the change from baseline in mean weekly CSBMs was 1.96 in the EA group and 0.89 in the SA group. The proportion of patients having three or more weekly CSBMs in the EA group was 31.3 per cent and 37.7 per cent over the treatment and follow-up periods respectively, compared with 12.1 per cent and 14.1 per cent in the SA group.

Acupuncture for Chronic Severe Functional Constipation: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. Ann Intern Med. 2016 Sep 13. [Epub ahead of print].

 

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