This study reveals that a combination of acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and the prescription drug Tamsulosin (Flomax) offered an 88.7% efficacy rate in forcing the expulsion of kidney stones, while patients who received Tamsulosin and Chinese herbal medicine (without acupuncture) had a 73.6% efficacy rate. Tamsulosin alone was not found to be an effective treatment.

Integrative medicine, defined here as the combination of Chinese medicine (acupuncture and Chinese herbs) with Western medicine, provides best outcomes for patients with kidney stones. The researchers note, “While effective, the downside of the medication is that it is slow to act, with many adverse effects, higher medical costs and even drug dependence. By comparison, acupuncture is instant, sustainable, green, and convenient.”