A study published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics in 2007 demonstrated the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating refractory heartburn.
Reflux is a common chronic problem that affects 44% of American adults. Currently, the most common treatment is daily use of proton pump inhibitor medication. When these drugs don’t work, the usual practice is to double the dosage even though this is shown to work in only 25% of people.
This study looked into the effects of adding acupuncture to regular medication, versus doubling the dosage. 30 adults underwent the 6 week trial, and the results showed patients in the acupuncture group showing a significant decrease in symptoms and reflux episodes, while the double dose medication group showed to no significant improvements.
This study is only the first to document this effect, and so more studies are needed to verify the results. It should be noted that the acupuncture done in this study was performed based on true traditional Chinese medicine acupuncture points and procedures, by a registered TCM practitioner.
With these preliminary results, and the many side effects accompanying medication, acupuncture may be a valid choice for patients dealing with recurring reflux disease. With so few side effects, and significant relief possible, it’s worth a try!