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How do anesthesiologists view acupuncture and acupressure?

In a new study of anesthesia providers in the U.S., most report not having used or received any education in acupuncture or acupressure. However, the majority of those participants recognize the potential benefits of acupuncture on acute postoperative and chronic pain, and of both acupuncture and acupressure on reducing anxiety. About 75% of providers expressed interest in acupuncture/acupressure education, according to the study published in Medical Acupuncture, a peer-reviewed journal from by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Medical Acupuncture website until June 4, 2016.

The article “Perceptions of Acupuncture and Acupressure by Anesthesia Providers” reports that more than half of the providers in the study would consider using these alternative medicine techniques in their practice. Coauthors Amanda Faircloth, PhD, DNAP, CRNA, Arkadiy Dubovoy, MD, Chuck Biddle, CRNA, PhD, and John Butterworth IV, MD, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, and Diane Dodd-McCue, DBA, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Allied Health Professions (Richmond, VA), suggest that this receptiveness presents a strong argument in favor of incorporating aspects of alternative medicine into the curriculum for anesthesia education.

“Clinical trials would eventually make this information even more meaningful as to whether these modalities are useful, but the article demonstrates that anesthesiologists are willing to investigate acupuncture and acupressure for pain and anxiety in their practices,” says Richard C. Niemtzow, MD, PhD, MPH, Editor-in-Chief of Medical Acupuncture and Director of the United States Air Force Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine Center, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.

CME Article: Perceptions of Acupuncture and Acupressure by Anesthesia Providers: A Quantitative Descriptive Study. Faircloth Amanda C., Dubovoy Arkadiy, Biddle Chuck, Dodd-McCue Diane, and Butterworth John F. IV. Medical Acupuncture. DOI:10.1089/acu.2015.1161.Published online March 17, 2016.