Dr Charlotte Paterson of the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter suggests they are right to do so. She has recently studied the effect of regular hour-long acupuncture over a period of six months in 20 people with what is known as medically unexplained physical symptoms (MUPS), 17 of whom reported an improvement in “physical and mental energy, feelings of greater control, calmness and relaxation”. The effects in some were dramatic, with one participant reducing the amount of medication he was taking.
While it is easy to attribute this to the placebo effect, it is possible that acupuncture improved a condition that is “unexplained” – at least to mainstream medicine.
By contrast, a study by researchers from Peninsula into the value of cranial osteopathy for cerebral palsy, found no improvement in motor function, pain, sleep or quality of life.