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Iraqi doctors run out of pharmaceuticals, start using acupuncture

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: acupuncture, Iraq, health news

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(NaturalNews) Rattled by years of war and conflict, the capital city of Iraq is seeing a shift in medical protocol, according to a recent study. Because there has been a shortage of certain pharmaceutical drugs in Baghdad throughout the past decade, many doctors there have begun to successfully use acupuncture treatments instead.

The study, published in the British medical journal Acupuncture in Medicine, evaluated 200 different pregnancy cases at the Red Crescent Hospital for Gynecology and Obstetrics in Baghdad between 2004 and 2006 when there was a shortage of oxytocin, a drug used to help women who have just given birth via a c-section. The drug is typically administered to help cause the womb to retract and to help prevent excessive bleeding.

However because of the shortage, doctors began to look for alternative treatments that would help spare the drug. Remarkably, doctors found that acupuncture treatments worked beautifully on patients and greatly reduced, or even eliminated, the need to use oxytocin.

"Oxytocin...proved largely unnecessary in my series (of patients), apparently through the action of acupuncture," explained Lazgeen Zcherky, anesthetist and author of the study, in a report.

The Baghdad study revealed that 45 percent of the women who received acupuncture after their c-sections had no need for any oxytocin. Thirty percent needed some, but did not need a full dose. None of the women required a full dose.

Acupuncture is a traditional form of Chinese medicine that involves inserting small needles into pressure points on the body in order to reroute body energy. As strange as it sounds, it actually works very well for many people and is now being utilized all over the world.

In the Baghdad study, needles were inserted into women's toes and ankles just after their deliveries, and were stimulated for five to ten minutes. Doctors chose insertion points based on those that related to the womb and giving birth via c-section.

"These acupuncture techniques, born out of necessity, have proved useful in overcoming the deficiency of modern drugs and equipment in a war-torn city," added Zcherky.

The beauty of acupuncture is that is does not carry with it harmful side effects like pharmaceutical drugs do. And whatever provides benefit without causing harm is preferable to conventional treatments that carry with them significant risks.

Sources for this story include:

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE63R6C0...

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