The results of a large study undertaken in China suggest that using acupuncture for constipation is as effective as drug therapy. A total of 684 patients with chronic functional constipation, were randomly allocated to receive one of three acupuncture protocols or the drug mosapride, for four weeks. Sixteen acupuncture treatments were given over the four weeks, with electrical stimulation on the needles.
After four weeks, the number of spontaneous bowel movements had increased significantly and fairly equally across all four groups. At eight week follow up however, the change had become significantly smaller in the drug group compared with all three acupuncture groups.
(Acupuncture for patients with chronic functional constipation: A randomized controlled trial. Neurogastroenterology & Motility, 2 February 2018.)