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Q. Can acupuncture help with snoring?



A. I'm afraid the evidence for using acupuncture to help with snoring is very thin on the ground. Occasionally a study on a related technique in which acupuncture is used as a test intervention shows that some specific points have an effect, as in
there are no trials of which we are aware which provide anything like the evidence which we would need to give a defintive answer. We hear of individual cases where someone's snoring has been reduced or stopped, but there may have been other factors at play. Let's face it, families will usually suggest the sufferer tries everything at the same time to give everyone a break.
The strength of Chinese medicine, however, is that it looks at each individual patient as someone with a unique pattern of energy, and the practitioner's understanding of this pattern may offer a different take on what is going on. The Chinese had a very simple belief that if everything was in balance symptoms would disappear, and there is always a chance that something specific, understood in Chinese terms, might be correctible and offer some relief.
As in all cases of slightly less well documented problems, it is important to establish with a reputable practitioner before starting treatment whether they think they can help, and if treatment does commence to set very clear outcomes and review dates.


Q. My daughter had acupuncture for hayfever and this was very successful. She has been geting hiccups several times a day for a year now. Could acupuncture help?
A. The intermittent nature of a problem like hiccoughs means that there is little or no systematic research of whether acupuncture can help. There are a number of case reports and papers which gather up individual case studies and which appear to show that there may be some benefit, but these are a long way from conclusive.
The fact that acupuncture has been successful in treating your daughter's hay fever is a very positive sign, though.  The fact that this has worked well would normally be taken as a good sign that acupuncture may well be useful in tackling other health issues. Many practitioners find that there is often one therapy which works well for a patient, and in your daughter's case this may be acupuncture treatment. It is certainly worth going back to the practitioner who helped her before and seeking his or her advice on this specific problem.

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