Endometriosis New Zealand asked us to shoot a video on acupuncture for pelvic pain.

Learn more about pelvic pain.

Transcript of the video:

Vitalis: My name is Vitalis. I’m an acupuncturist specialising in reproductive health, pain, stress, anxiety and depression.

Chetna: My name is Chetna. I was diagnosed with endometriosis eight years ago.

Vitalis: Endometriosis NZ asked us to shoot a video on benefits of acupuncture for pelvic pain.

Chetna: I’ve managed my symptoms with a lot of medication; I’ve had two surgeries…

Vitalis: In recent years we have seen an increased interest in acupuncture for endometriosis but some women and even some doctors remain apprehensive, thinking that maybe acupuncture doesn’t have scientific support. And this may have been the case not so long ago. But now the leading experts, the leading experts in reproductive health are seeing acupuncture in a new light.

Chetna: I think I have a high threshold [for pain]. Having had endometriosis and being able to deal
with everything that’s come along with that. But my pain got to such a level that I was taking pain medication three times a day for over two weeks at a time.
And these were the maximum prescribed drugs that the doctors could give me. Such as Naproxen, Codeine, Neurofen all of those didn’t do anything. And that was really troubling to me because it was no more that I could do with medicine really.

Vitalis: American Society of Medicine recommends acupuncture. We have endometriosis management consensus compiled by our NZ Professor Dr. Neil Johnson; again recommending acupuncture as an option for pelvic pain.

There is more to endometriosis than just pain: inflammation, some women experience bloating, IBS type symptoms, stress, anxiety, depression. When done correctly acupuncture can tackle multiple symptoms simultaneously. It will not cure endometriosis, no. But it may help you feel healthier and happier.

Chetna: And I have a real fear of needles.
So you can see the state I was in to actually make me look at acupuncture as an option…

Vitalis: I will mention one study from 2017.
That review found that acupuncture was more effective than pharmaceutical drugs like Zoladex. Women who had acupuncture found that it was better at reducing both pain and information.

All this doesn’t mean that you should stop your current treatment and have acupuncture instead. We like to combine things. We can integrate acupuncture into your current treatment plan.

Chetna: It helped me. I could not believe myself. I stopped taking the pain medication that I’d been on. And these were quite
strong pain medications not just Panadol.

Vitalis: This treatment is especially helpful when you’re looking for a more natural solution.Or when other options have
failed you. Some women have surgery and still experience the pain.
You can consider acupuncture either before surgery or after.

And when you’re trying to conceive and are worried about the effects of the drugs on the baby. Acupuncture is a safe option.

Chetna: I was able to stop taking the pain medication that
I was on. I was able to continue with my life really as if nothing had happened.

And I think that’s what that’s what you really want. Of course it doesn’t cure my endometriosis but at least it helps me to manage it and to
live as normal life as I can.

Vitalis: To discover more how we can help in your situation leave a comment below this video or visit us at http://vitalis.co.nz

Thank you Endometriosis NZ for the opportunity and for the encouragement.

Thank YOU for researching acupuncture as an option.
Looking forward to hearing from you!

The latest issue of World Journal of Acupuncture-Moxibustion reports another study on acupuncture for menstrual pain.

Dysmenorrhea is a medical term for menstrual pain. Dysmenorrhea is differentiated into primary and secondary. When the doctors can diagnose a condition which causes the period pain, they call it secondary dysmenorrhea. When there is no clear cause for pain, the period pain is called primary dysmenorrhea.

The researchers from Chengzhong People’s Hospital researched 66 women suffering from primary dysmenorrhea. They found that all of the patients improved after a few acupuncture sessions. They concluded that acupuncture was effective in alleviating pain in primary dysmenorrhea patients. The results appear in the latest issue of World Journal of Acupuncture-Moxibustion.

acupuncture skeptic


Acupuncture has made its way into the mainstream in military medicine in USA as a battlefield pain relief.

The explanation why military embraces acupuncture may be simple: “As some top medical officers put it, though, there’s nothing like pain to make someone open-minded

Listen to NPR radio report covering this topic here:

The use of acupuncture anaesthesia for open heart surgery was introduced in China four decades ago.  Although the use of it has declined in recent years, there is a renewed interest in it in China due to the escalating medical costs associated with open heart surgery.

This study designed by scientists from China and USA (Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Shu Guang Hospital and George Washington University, Washington, USA) has shed some light on a combined approach of acupuncture plus local anaesthesia in patients undergoing open heart operation under cardiopulmonary bypass.

Compared with the general anaesthesia patients, the acupuncture and local anaesthesia patients used less of narcotic drugs and shorter stay in intensive care unit.  Surprisingly they also had less postoperative pulmonary infection. Using acupuncture to aid with open heart surgery reduced cost of the treatment significantly.

The results of the study were published in the current issue of International Journal of Cardiology.

Short-term acupuncture treatment may result in long-term improvement in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome patients. That’s the conclusion of a study published in the November issue of the Journal of Pain.

The researchers have followed up patients with carpal tunnel syndrome after 7 and 13 months. The patients were divided into two groups. One group of patients had taken steroids for one month. Another group had one moth of acupuncture. The acupuncture group had a significantly better improvement throughout the 1-year follow-up period.

The findings are inline with research on Carpal Tunnel syndrome and acupuncture published in The Clinical journal of pain in 2009.
Read more

A dramatic improvement showed following acupressure for complex regional pain syndrome is reflected in these images below:

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: Three-phase bone scan: Before (A) and after (B) acupressure

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: Three-phase bone scan: Before (A) and after (B) acupressure

This is not an x-ray, it is a bone scan. A radioactive substance injected into one of blood vessels shows an increased circulation to the joints in the affected area. And following a course of acupressure the bone scan looks almost normal!
Read more

Pain and acupuncture

Pain and acupuncture

At World Congress of Pain held in Montréal, Canada, Acupuncture was featured in numerous presentations. Acupuncture was also spotlighted in the plenary session.

Neuroscientist Ji-sheng Han, director of the Neuroscience Research Institute at Peking University and founder of the Chinese Association for the Study of Pain talked about his new studies and perspective on evaluating acupuncture vs placebo:

Just inserting needles under the skin does not work, at least not in rats which are impervious to sham treatments that can nonetheless get results (placebo) in humans. Read more

Pain and acupuncture

At World Congress of Pain held in Montréal, Canada, Acupuncture was featured in numerous presentations. I will cover the studies in more detail in another post, but there is a quick observation I would like to share here.

As far as physical therapies are concerned, acupuncture was a hand down winner in terms of number of studies presented at the congress: there were 14 abstracts on acupuncture presented, but only 4 for physiotherapy, 1 for osteopathy and none for chiropractic.

Pain congress: Acupuncture vs physiotherapy, osteopahty and chiropractic
This illustrates how much interest and attention acupuncture is receiving from the scientists compared to other modalities.