Posted 8/6/2010 9:00 AM (GMT -6)
Actually Shawn, acupuncture/TCM is one of the very few things that have helped me with a lot of symptoms that conventional MDs did not know what to do with. (Hypnotherapy is another one, as you know. Thanks for your help with that!) My acupuncture/TCM practitioners are very qualified both in the US and Asia, and were, until recently, affiliated with the integrative medicine units of 2 internationally known teaching hospitals in the major US city near me.
One concern that I have about many of the existing studies on acupuncture and IBS that I've heard of is that they're very brief, a few weeks long, whereas I was told up front by the practice treating me not to expect results, if any, for at least 6-8 weeks. I was there weekly for almost a year and still go regularly now, though less often. Improvement was gradual but unmistakable. If I had given up in 3 weeks, as was the length of one study I read, I would have considered it a failure as well.
Like anything with IBS, I'm not claiming it's a quick fix cure, neither is the practice treating me, and it may not work for everyone. I'm not sure why it worked for me, but I'm not sure why conventional western medicine doesn't work either. We take what we can get where we can get it. I'm pretty sure it is not just a placebo effect though, because if I were susceptible to placebo effect, more than 2-3 things out of 50+ would have helped noticeably. Also, the very worst intervention for me was the med given to me immediately after diagnosis, which I had to stop just 9 days later. As you know, my onset was very sudden and I sought help very promptly. At that point, nobody had told me yet that IBS is chronic and incurable, I thought it was an acute problem and I fully expected to recover if I took the meds as prescribed. Obviously, this is not what happened, so no placebo effect there.
Good luck to the original poster.