Acupuncture alleviates irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Researchers from the Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine investigated the efficacy of electroacupuncture for the treatment of IBS. A comparison group in the clinical trial received oral administration of pinaverium bromide. The acupuncture treatment group demonstrated an 86.7% improvement rate. The drug group demonstrated a 50% improvement rate.
Sixty patients were randomized equally into two treatment groups. Group one received electroacupuncture and group two received pinaverium bromide. Electroacupuncture was applied to Huatoujiaji acupoints of the back at the level of T11, T12, and L1.
The researchers note that the acupuncture prescription was developed using a traditional approach to care. They note the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) principle that Huatoujiaji acupoints are located between the du and bladder taiyang channels and have the ability to regulate both of these bordering channels and respective acupoints at specific spinous process levels. For example, the spleen back-shu point of the bladder taiyang channel is located lateral to the lower border of the spinous process of T11. Likewise, the stomach-shu point is located lateral to the lower border of the spinous process of T12. In addition, the sanjiao-shu point is located lateral to the lower border of the spinous process of L1.
All three bladder taiyang channel acupoints have traditional functions for regulating the digestive system. At the same spinous process levels, the Huatoujiaji acupoints share similar medicinal actions. The same applies for du channel acupoints. They too share similar actions to Huatoujiaji points at corresponding spinous process levels.