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Can acupuncture help with anosmia loss of smell caused by a virus

A:  If you use the power of google to see whether acupuncture can help with anosmia you may find a number of references but they will all lead back to a single paper:
 
http://aim.bmj.com/content/21/4/153.full.pdf+html
 
which is an N=1 case study, i.e. a practitioner writing up a note of treating a single patient, and very successfully too. However, that is all that there is, although there are a number of Chinese studies which have not been translated which appear to suggest that something can be done.
 
We would be very reluctant to give a positive recommendation on this basis alone, however. Evidence has to be a great deal more robust even from an Eastern perspective which is not bound by the so called 'gold standard' of the randomised double blind control trial before we would start to make claims for success.
 
The one thing which may have a bearing on your problem and which we cannot assess at a distance is the virus. Chinese medicine has an entirely different way of assessing viral infections, based as it is on an entirely different understanding of the physiology of the body. This rests on a fundamental belief on an energy called 'qi' whose flow, balance and rhythms are essential for good health and which can be compromised by all sorts of external and internal factors which manifest as disease. The skill of the practitioner lies in seeing what has happened and correcting it. There may an underlying connection between the virus you had and the olfactory function, and a practitioner may just believe that correcting blockages and flow may help. It may be worth visiting a BAcC member local to you for a face to face assessment.
 
However, our experience of trying to treat this condition has not been that good that we would regard acupuncture as first choice for its treatment.
 
 
 
 

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