Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Primary Care

Acupuncture for chronic headache in primary care: large, pragmatic, randomised trial

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 25 March 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:744

Rapid Response:

Re: Weekly Visits for 3 months help patients with chronic headache?


I would be most grateful for research references from Dr Patterson
that support his contention that any person who "visits another human
being for input for a mean 11 visits" will invariably see an improvement
to migraine/chronic headaches that exceeds the results expected from
visits, as made in Vickers et al study, to GPs for standard care.

I could then refer to these to justify telling chronic
migraine/headache sufferers (that I usually benefit with as many
acupuncture & moxibustion treatments as it takes - supported with
dietary and lifestyle advice) who have run the gauntlet of GPs and
neurologists for decades to no avail that another alternative is to seek
"another human being who will provide input for a mean 11 visits" to
attain the elusive improvement.

If that intervention works, as Dr Patterson and other "pragmatic
neurologists" suggest, why do neurologists and GPs insist on prescribing
drug regimes for so long without benefit when 11 visits to a human being
may suffice; and why have I never heard from a patient that they were
advised by their physician to try the "11 visit to a human being"


John H.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

09 April 2004
John P Heptonstall
Director of The Morley Acupuncture Clinic and Complementary Therapy Centre
LS27 8EG