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Can acupuncture help with Dupurtren's syndrome?

We have to be honest and say that not only is there no research evidence that we can find to support a claim for helping Dupuytrens, but there is also a shortage of the usual first hand accounts which abound on the internet. Although there is rarely something which works for everyone, everything works for at least someone, and the web is full of stories of people who have used a therapy with success. The ones we have been able to locate for acupuncture treatment and Dupuytrens suggest that where it works it tends to slow down the progress of the condition rather than reverse it.

However, from a Chinese medicine perspective it should in theory be possible to do something about the problem. As you may have read on our website acupuncture is based on a theory of energy, called qi, and the use of needles to affect the rhythms, flow and balance of energy in the system. This means that every manifestation of the physical body reflects qi in a material form, and in theory where this gets blocked or changes in character it should be possible to unblock or restore the usual flow. 

This expert, though, has tried on several occasions to have an impact on the problem, but usually only at the point where the fingers are starting to pull inwards, most patients only mentioning this alongside another problem with which they present and usually only as a last resort and afterthought. Few people resort to treatment at the first point of manifestation, and it may well be that this might bear more positive fruit. Our experience, however, is that most people find the problem a mild curiosity until they realise that the fingers are starting to pull inwards, by which time the condition is well established.

Always optimistic, though, we can say that there would be no harm in trying treatment, and it may well be that there are systemic issues which are reducing the overall energetic flow and which have allowed the energy to coalesce at this point. Popping along to a local BAcC member may be a good option. Most are willing to give up a short amount of time without charge to see whether a problem is likely to be helped by treatment, and they will be honest in their assessment. The only problem is that even if it is successful treatment might take a while, but evidence of success may be slow in coming.

What we try to avoid is people buying into long courses of treatment which may have no successful outcome. Nothing is more guaranteed to create an unhappy patient. If you did decide to go ahead we would highly recommend trying to find an objective measure (degree of bend, etc etc) which would enable you to assess whether there really was a change, and also very regular reviews of progress.

This, of course, all depends on the extent to which the problem is troubling you. Many people find it an irritant but not to the extent that it is worth spending hundreds of pounds trying to get rid of it. There are those, though, whose work or hobbies are affected, and we have a responsibility to ensure that their distress at not being to able to do what they did before is not converted into limitless treatment. 

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