Acupuncture improves esophageal function for patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease, even in cases where drugs are ineffective.

Researchers find acupuncture effective for alleviating gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Patients unresponsive to drug therapy saw significant improvements after receiving acupuncture care. High resolution measurements of the esophagus confirm that acupuncture improves the activity of the valve whose proper functioning prevents acid reflux.

Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine researchers (Lin et al.) conclude that acupuncture greatly improves esophageal motility in refractory GERD patients. The results were confirmed with high resolution esophageal impedance manometry, a test measuring the function of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and esophageal muscles.

Acupuncture successfully improved LES pressure and function, thereby increasing resistance to acid reflux. The LES is a valve preventing the backflow of gastric acid into the esophagus. Acupuncture increased esophageal peristaltic pressure and integrity, an important function for gastric acid clearance. In addition, acupuncture improved swallowing.


Lin H, Sun J, Yuan YZ & Tang YM. (2014). Effects of acupuncture on esophageal motility of patients with refractory gastroesophageal reflux disease. Chinese Journal of Digestion. 34(10).

Ates F & Vaezi MF. (2014). New approach to management of PPI in treating refractory gastroesophageal reflux disease. Curr Treat Options Gastroenterol. 12(1): 18-33.

HealthCMi. 2016. Acupuncture Reverses Acid Reflux Disease After Drugs Fail . [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 15 August 2016].

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