According to a published NIH (National Institutes of Health) Consensus Conference statement, acupuncture is recommended as a treatment for pain management.  In the Guangdong Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine study, acupuncture increases the effectiveness of epidural morphine analgesia by improving VAS and BCS scores and facilitates the postoperative recovery of gastrointestinal function. The finding is not an isolated occurrence. In a previous study, researchers (Chen et al.) note, “The addition of acupuncture therapy to epidural morphine analgesia in a clinical setting can reduce the total dosage of morphine and correspondingly eliminate the medication-induced side effect rate.”  Researchers (He et al.) from the Guangdong Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine implemented the following study design. A total of 60 patients that received intestinal cancer surgery under combined general/epidural anesthesia were treated and evaluated in this study. The patients received radical resection for colorectal cancer. They were randomly divided into an acupuncture treatment group and a control group, with 30 patients in each group. For the control group patients, combined general/epidural anesthesia was administered during the operation, while morphine was administered for patient-controlled epidural analgesia after the operation. The acupuncture treatment group received scalp acupuncture in addition to identical anesthesia treatments administered to the control group. The statistical breakdown for each randomized group was as follows. The acupuncture treatment group was comprised of 16 males and 14 females.
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