The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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  • Recent Comments

    The long-term value of self-acupuncture for chronic musculoskeletal pain

    Acupuncture is expensive, but self-acupuncture might offer an effective treatment alternative. A retrospective audit of patients in the U.K. with chronic pain who were taught self-acupuncture as a home pain management strategy has been published. Each patient had responded to acupuncture previously and been taught self-acupuncture successfully using three acupuncture points (LI4, ST44, LR3).

    Here’s a summary or the results.

    • 52 patients (70% female)
    • 38 valid questionnaires returned (73%)
    • 87% still used self-acupuncture and experienced pain reduction
    • Pain relief of 5.7 on a visual analogue scale
    • Improved quality of life reported by 74%
    • No serious adverse effects reported

    Other studies summarized here concluded that for persistent non-specific low back pain, a short course of acupuncture appeared to provide modest benefit to health, at a relatively minor extra cost to the U.K. healthcare system.

    When used as self-treatment at home, patients who respond initially appear to have a good chance of continued pain relief.

    9/24/06 10:14 JR

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