Studies are beginning to reveal that the practice of acupuncture eases some forms of back pain and new testing indicates that it may also help women suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
A research team at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, applied electro-acupuncture treatments to a group of women with PCOS and compared the results to another cluster of patients who were told to simply exercise.
Women who have PCOS generally experience higher levels of androgens like testosterone in their blood, ovarian cysts and irregular menstrual cycles.
Those who were treated with acupuncture on three pressure points that are believed to affect the ovaries had decreased testosterone levels, more normal menstrual cycles and smaller waist circumference.
Meanwhile, the group that completed regular exercise experienced weight loss and lower body mass index.
From these results, Dr. Elisabet Stener-Victorin concluded that "low-frequency electro-acupuncture and exercise decrease sympathetic nerve activity in women with PCOS." She further explained that this "indicates a possible alternative non-pharmacologic approach to reduce cardiovascular risk in these patients."
According to the study, a new effective treatment for PCOS could be a combination of both exercise and electro-acupuncture therapies.