Acupuncture has been found to be very helpful in stopping nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy patients and in pregnant women. Now, dentists have found another use for it. UK researchers from Ashfields Primary Care Centre, Sandbach, have found that ear acupuncture is 100% effective at relieving the uncontrollable gagging sensation that some patients experience in the dentists chair.
The technique works by inserting acupuncture needles into an anti-gagging point on each ear and manipulating them prior to dental treatment. A group of 10 volunteers who took part in the study were all able to receive dental treatment successfully. Many of these had previously avoided dental treatment or could only receive treatment when under sedation.
By way of explanation the researchers suggest that acupuncture may work by controlling the release of chemicals that influence the vagus nerve, which is responsible for the control of swallowing and gagging. It has also been suggested that, if people put their faith in acupuncture and believe that it is beneficial, they simply relax.
The researchers warn that ear acupuncture should only be carried out by trained personnel.
Originally posted on Tele-Management