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Can Acupuncture Make Gastroscopy More Comfortable?


Clinical trial finds that electroacupuncture makes gastroscopy more comfortable

If you've ever had a gastroscopy, you might know that it can be quite uncomfortable. But what if there was a way to make this procedure less distressing? A clinical trial aimed to explore whether electroacupuncture could help reduce discomfort during and after gastroscopy.

Gastroscopy and Electroacupuncture

Gastroscopy is a medical procedure where a thin tube with a camera is inserted into your stomach to check for any issues. It's important for diagnosing problems like stomach pain, ulcers, and more. However, some people find it uncomfortable or even a bit painful. The adverse effects include nausea, vomiting, throat discomfort, pain, bucking, or salivation, and these adverse reactions can lead to procedural anxiety, affecting diagnosis and delaying treatment.

Electroacupuncture is a form of acupuncture where tiny electrical currents are used to stimulate specific points in the body. It's a traditional Chinese practice that's believed to help with pain and discomfort. However, the clinical evidence of the beneficial effects of electroacupuncture in gastroscopy patients is limited.

Clinical Trial

Researchers conducted a clinical trial involving a group of people who were about to undergo gastroscopy. The participants were divided into two groups: one received electroacupuncture (EA), while the other did not (this group served as the control). The goal was to compare the levels of discomfort experienced by both groups during and after the gastroscopy.

Patients in the EA group underwent treatment at acupoints LI4 (Hegu), PC6 (Neiguan), ST36 (Zusanli), and ST34 (Liangqiu) for 30 min before gastroscopy, whereas patients in the control group underwent superficial acupuncture at non-acupoints. The patients' nausea level, throat discomfort, bucking, and agitation were evaluated using a visual analogue scale (VAS) within 30 min after gastroscopy and the mean VAS score was the primary outcome.

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The results of the clinical trial showed something quite interesting: the participants who received electroacupuncture reported feeling significantly less discomfort during and after their gastroscopy compared to those who didn't have the treatment. At 30 min after gastroscopy, the mean VAS score in the EA group (4.20) was lower than that in the control group (5.14). Additionally, there were statistically significant between-group differences in nausea and vomiting, throat discomfort, and agitation VAS scores. These results suggest that electroacupuncture might indeed help in making the procedure more comfortable for people.

The results of this clinical trial could have significant implications for the medical field. If electroacupuncture is indeed effective in reducing discomfort during gastroscopy, it might encourage more medical professionals to explore its use in other procedures as well.


This clinical trial provides promising insights into the potential of electroacupuncture to make gastroscopy a more comfortable experience. By applying tiny electrical currents to specific points on the body, this traditional Chinese practice seems to have the ability to reduce the discomfort associated with the procedure. This research opens up exciting possibilities for improving medical procedures and making them less daunting for patients in the future.
Complementary Therapies in Medicine, May-23
Chinese Clinical Trial Registry (ChiCTR) ChiCTR2000040726

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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. CenTrial Data Ltd. does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. Treatments and clinical trials mentioned may not be appropriate or available for all trial participants. Outcomes from treatments and clinical trials may vary from person to person. Consult with your doctor as to whether a clinical trial is a suitable option for your condition. Assistance from generative AI tools may have been used in writing this article.