via BBC News – Acupuncture could help period pain, researchers say.

Complementary therapies should not be used exclusively, at the expense of conventional treatment, unless significant improvements have been made and your doctor tells you otherwise

Professor Philip Steer

Positive articles about the use of acupuncture are always welcome but I’m rather surprised at the scathing and disrespectful comment from Professor Steer. Acupuncture is governed by The Bristish Acupuncture Council (much like The British Medical Council) and adheres to a strict code of conduct and ethics. Members are actively encouraged to engage in research, and CPD is compulsory.

Primary dysmenorrhea is debilitating and eroding to self-esteem. Why should it be allowed to rule these womens lives? To suggest that the use of pain killers, or perhaps ‘going on the pill’ combined with endless embarrassing internal examinations is preferrable and the only viable option available to women, is ludicrous, antiquated and narrow minded.

If acupuncture presents an effective treatment for primary dysmenorrhea, then why isn’t it welcomed by the medical profession with open arms, or least an open mind? A lot of women with this condition can benefit from a course of acupuncture, followed by a monthly session at the beginning of the pre-menstrul phase of her cycle. Endometriosis is much more difficult to treat but acupuncture can be used as an adjunct to a conventional medical approach.

There is no reason why Western and Chinese medicine cannot ‘work together’. Acupuncture should not always be regarded as ‘the last resort’ but offerred as a frontline treatment option to the ‘informed patient’ where appropriate.


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