UWS acupuncture researcher shows pins beat pain

Date: 29/09/2009

A University of Western Sydney researcher has won a major award for her pioneering clinical research into acupuncture techniques for women.

Associate Professor Caroline Smith, from the UWS Centre for Complementary Medicine (CompleMed), was handed the inaugural Award for Translational Research at the National Institute of Complementary Medicine's symposium in Brisbane.

The prize is designed to recognise complementary medical techniques that improve health outcomes and further the national research and innovation agenda.

"I'm thrilled to have won the award, and for my work to be acknowledged by my peers and other experts," Associate Professor Smith says.

Associate Professor Smith has attracted international acclaim for her clinical research and summaries of evidence regarding complementary therapies to treat morning sickness and labour pain.

"Two of my reviews have been prioritised by consumers as being particularly relevant to them, which illustrates the importance among pregnant women of exploring all the options for pain management," Associate Professor Smith says.

"Many women are reluctant to take medication while they are pregnant, which meant that in the past they didn't have anywhere to turn to for relief."

"One of my goals is to see the results of my research being used in clinical practice, and there are now several examples of my work to treat morning sickness and pain management in labour being incorporated into clinical practice guidelines, which may lead to consumers having access to complementary therapies based on clear clinical evidence," she says.

The Executive Director of the National Institute for Complementary Medicines Alan Bensoussan paid tribute to Associate Professor Smith's research.

"By acknowledging her research, we are encouraging projects that build evidence of safety and efficacy, and that seek ways to deliver products and therapies in a cost effective manner," he says.



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Mark Smith
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