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Can benefits of acupuncture be confirmed by something as concrete as allopathic blood tests? Here are a couple of examples from our practice:
About a year ago a woman in her early seventies came to the clinic complaining of fatigue, disturbed sleep and declining kidney function. It was confirmed by three years of blood tests that measured GFR or Glomerular Filtration Rate, a test that checks how efficient the kidneys are in filtering blood. In each consequtive year the woman's GFR would decline by about 7% and it stood at 49% by the time she came for acupuncture treatments. After receiving 12 acupuncture treatments, the patient was asked to retake the blood test. The results showed that her GFR now stood at 56%. Not only was the decline halted, it was reversed and her kidneys became more efficient. It would be interesting to see how long these results would hold and if subsequent tests would show continuous improvement.
Hypothyroidism is a fairly common condition in which thyroid gland begins underperforming. Common symptoms are fatigue, dry skin, hair loss, disturbed sleep, and erratic menstrual periods. Blood tests that are used to diagnose hypothyroidism measure TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) among a few other markers. If TSH is elevated, a patient may be diagnosed with hypothyroidism.
A woman in mid-thirties came to the clinic looking for help with hypothyroidism that was confirmed by the TSH blood test. She also suffered from the usual symptoms of underperforming thyroid following child birth, a common sequence of events, especially if there is considerable blood loss during labor. After 12 acupuncture treatments and about 2 months of herbs, her subjective symptoms resolved and, when she took the blood test, it showed TSH to be within normal range. It has now been 2 years later and the woman is symptom free.
Thus, we can see that acupuncture's effects can be confirmed by blood tests, something that has long been known in China and Russia, two countries that fully integrate acupuncture into their health care systems. It is our hope that in the United States also, allopathic and acupuncture communities increase their cooperation and explore what other conditions can be successfully treated by integrating both disciplines.