Acupuncture Continuing Education

Acupuncture Helps Swallowing Research

New research published in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine concludes that acupuncture has potential “therapeutic effects and long-term efficacy for neurogenic dysphagia.” Dysphagia is a medical term for difficulty with swallowing. Neurological dysphagia is due to disorders of the nervous system. Signs and symptoms include difficulty with food control in the mouth, difficulty initiating swallowing, choking, coughing, nasal regurgitation and a feeling of food getting stuck in the throat.

In this randomized, controlled study of 87 patients; an acupuncture group was compared with a sham acupuncture (non-acupuncture points used) and a control group. A total of 20 acupuncture treatments were administered over an approximately 45 day period. Patients in the acupuncture group responded significantly better than the other groups with acupuncture participants having better levels of food and fluid consistencies. The researchers concluded, “This study demonstrates that acupuncture may have therapeutic effects and long-term efficacy for neurogenic dysphagia.” Based on the results, the researchers suggest more studies of a larger sample size to confirm the results of this study.

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Therapeutic effects of acupuncture for neurogenic dysphagia- A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 2012.