Acupuncture and the cardiovascular; circulatory system
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Acupuncture Migraine Remedy Found

Acupuncture Migraine Remedy Found | Acupuncture and the cardiovascular; circulatory system | Scoop.it
Acupuncture eliminates migraines according to new discoveries using scientific investigations.

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Acupuncture Causes Brain Repair After Stroke - New Research

Acupuncture Causes Brain Repair After Stroke - New Research | Acupuncture and the cardiovascular; circulatory system | Scoop.it
New research examines the role of acupuncture in nerve regeneration of the brain following a stroke due to cerebral ischemia.

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Acupuncture Lowers Blood Pressure - New Research

Acupuncture Lowers Blood Pressure - New Research | Acupuncture and the cardiovascular; circulatory system | Scoop.it

New research finds acupuncture effective for reducing high blood pressure and preventing damage to the kidneys. Acupoint LI11 LocationIn a controlled laboratory experiment, researchers applied two acupuncture points to laboratory rats with hypertension and renal interstitial fibrosis, a kidney disease characterized by destruction of the renal tubules and capillaries. Acupuncture “significantly decreased” blood pressure and decreased “damage of kidney morphology.”

Three groups were compared. Group 1 received acupuncture. Group 2 was a control group and group 3 received pharmaceutical medication. The drug group received perindopril, an ACE inhibitor used for the treatment of high blood pressure and other forms of heart disease. The acupuncture group received electroacupuncture at LI11 (Quchi) and ST36 (Zusanli) for a period of 20 minutes, once per day. Blood pressure, kidney morphology, optical densities of kidney collagen with immunohistochemistry, and expression of TGF-beta1 mRNA with reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction method changes were measured.

The acupuncture group had similar results as the medication group in that TGF-beta1 mRNA expression was decreased. The acupuncture group showed significantly lower blood pressure and less pathological structural changes to the kidneys. The pathological depositional area of collagen in the acupuncture group also showed clinical benefits with a significant reduction of both type I and type III collagen. The researchers concluded that acupuncture at LI11 and ST36 “probably intervenes the process of RIF (renal interstitial fibrosis) by reducing synthesis of kidney type I, III collagen and restraining expression of TGF-beta1.”

This new research supports research released last month. Investigators measured the effectiveness of acupuncture for the treatment of hypertension in a human clinical case study. Two acupuncture points were identical across both studies: ST36, LI11. Additionally, the human study included LI4, ST9, CV6, CV6 and SP6. The patient showed significant reductions in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

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Acupuncture For Heart Failure Recovery - Research

Acupuncture For Heart Failure Recovery - Research | Acupuncture and the cardiovascular; circulatory system | Scoop.it

Acupuncture improves the functional and physical health of the heart in cases of chronic heart failure (CHF). Research published in the American Journal of Physiology, Heart and Circulatory Physiology demonstrates several major clinical benefits provided by acupuncture in cases of CHF. One of the most important discoveries is that acupuncture reduces the physical size of damage to the heart, infarct size, due to heart failure.

The researchers note that CHF is associated with significant neurohumoral responses including excess sympathetic nervous system activity. In this laboratory experiment, acupuncture demonstrated significant homeostatic regulatory effects on sympathetic nervous system responses. Excess cardiac sympathetic afferent reflexes resulting in overactive sympathetic tone combined with deficient parasympathetic activity is contributory towards heart failure and the risk of sudden death. Acupuncture successfully demonstrated regulatory responses on these systems to improve overall cardiac health. 

Echocardiography and other scientific tests demonstrated that acupuncture reduces infarct size and improves important aspects of cardiac function including ventricular ejection and fraction shortening. Acupuncture demonstrated several other important cardiovascular benefits. Acupuncture significantly lowered blood pressure, successfully inhibited sympathetic afferent reflexes (CSAR) and was also effective in reducing renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA). Other benefits include “dramatically increased” left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), left ventricular fraction shortening (LVFS), a reversal of left ventricular end-systolic dimension (LVESD) enlargement and left ventricular end-diastolic dimension (LVEDD).

Acupuncture significantly reduced infarct sizes and electroacupuncture significantly regulated excess sympathetic nerve stimulation of the cardiovascular system. The researchers note that the beneficial cardiac function effects are long-term. The researchers concluded that acupuncture is a “potentially useful therapy for treating CHF.”

The researchers note that prior research demonstrates that electroacupuncture at acupoints PC5 and PC6 is effective in regulating “cardiovascular sympathoexcitatory reflex-induced” responses. As a result, these acupuncture points were chosen for this controlled laboratory investigation. Based on the important findings in this study, the researchers recommend continued investigation into the mechanisms and applications of acupuncture for improved cardiac health.


Reference:
Ma, Luyao, Bai-Ping Cui, Yongfeng Shao, Buqing Ni, Weiran Zhang, Yonggang Luo, and S. Zhang. "Electroacupuncture improves cardiac function and remodeling by inhibition of sympathoexcitation in chronic heart failure rats." American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology (2014).

- See more at: http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1272-acupuncture-for-heart-attack-recovery-new-research#sthash.YrFU7Ge0.dpuf

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Acupuncture Reduces Hypertension Over Drugs

Acupuncture Reduces Hypertension Over Drugs | Acupuncture and the cardiovascular; circulatory system | Scoop.it

Acupuncture reduces high blood pressure for patients with hypertension. In a surprising result, acupuncture was found more effective than a pharmaceutical medication commonly used for the treatment of high blood pressure and heart failure. Additionally, acupuncture was clinically successful in controlling symptoms associated with high blood pressure including dizziness, aching of the waist and knees, and palpitations. 

Researchers conducted a randomized controlled study and divided 60 patients with hypertension into two groups. Group 1 received acupuncture. Group 2 received the drug catopril, an antihypertensive and renal protective agent given the trade name Capoten. The drug is an ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitor. Common uses for catopril include the treatment of hypertension, congestive heart failure and protection of kidney function for diabetics.

All acupuncture patients in group 1 received a standardized, protocolized acupuncture point prescription. The acupuncture point selection was Hegu (LI4), Taichong (LR3), Quchi (LI11) and Xingjian (LR2). LI4 and LR3 are commonly paired in treatment protocols and this pairing is given the name Siguan, translated as four gates.

Both groups showed significant reductions in blood pressure. However, the acupuncture group showed greater improvement. Measurements of diastolic blood pressure at 14 days and 21 days into the treatment regime revealed that the acupuncture group showed greater diastolic reductions. The same was true for improvement of symptoms associated with hypertension. The acupuncture group demonstrated clinical superior patient outcomes for reductions in dizziness, aching of the waist and knees, and palpitations. Moreover, the acupuncture group demonstrated less adverse reactions than the drug group. This last result is not surprising since adverse events associated with catopril intake include light-headedness, fainting, dizziness, abnormal frequency of urination, bodily pain, fever, chills, abnormal bleeding (vagina, mouth, nose, rectum), difficulty concentrating and shortness of breath. Based on the findings, the researchers concluded that acupuncture is safer and more effective than catopril for the treatment of hypertension. 

The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) differential diagnosis for all patients admitted to this study was hypertension due yin deficiency with excess yang uprising. This type of hypertension is characterized by a small, wiry, rapid pulse often accompanied by a red tongue with a yellow coating. There may be headaches, light-headedness, irritability, burring of vision and dizziness in addition to high blood pressure. The acupuncture point prescription was chosen based on this differential diagnosis. As a result of the study’s findings, acupuncture was determined to be both safe and effective for lowering high blood pressure and reducing symptoms associated with hypertension due to yin deficiency with yang uprising type hypertension.

Reference:
Xie, B., and Y. P. Lin. "[Efficacy observation on acupuncture for essential hypertension of yin deficiency due to yang hyperactivity pattern]." Zhongguo zhen jiu= Chinese acupuncture & moxibustion 34, no. 6 (2014): 547-550.

- See more at: http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1358-acupuncture-reduces-hypertension-over-drugs#sthash.xZOaQQsp.dpuf

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Acupuncture article: EJOM Blood deficiency


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High Blood Pressure research - Traditional Medicine and acupuncture

High Blood Pressure research  - Traditional Medicine and acupuncture | Acupuncture and the cardiovascular; circulatory system | Scoop.it
China have generally led the research into traditional medicine as a treatment for hypertension and there is evidence that the following can help to lower blood pressure. New studies are being carried out using improved trial techniques in order to fully confirm the positive effects of the treatments. Other countries carrying out research into their […
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Cardiovascular and endocrine effects of acupuncture in hypertensive patients [Clin Exp Hypertens. 1997] - PubMed - NCBI

Cardiovascular and endocrine effects of acupuncture in hypertensive patients [Clin Exp Hypertens. 1997] - PubMed - NCBI | Acupuncture and the cardiovascular; circulatory system | Scoop.it

Clin Exp Hypertens. 1997 Oct;19(7):1047-63.

 

Cardiovascular and endocrine effects of acupuncture in hypertensive patients

 

.Chiu YJ1, Chi A, Reid IA.Author information 

 

Abstract

It has been reported that acupuncture can decrease blood pressure in patients with hypertension, possibly by an endocrine mechanism. T

 

he aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of acupuncture on arterial blood pressure and the secretion of renin, vasopressin and cortisol in hypertensive patients. Acupuncture was performed in fifty untreated essential hypertensive patients resting in the supine position.

 

Thirty min after acupuncture there were decreases in systolic pressure from 169 +/- 2 to 151 +/- 2 mm Hg, diastolic pressure from 107 +/- 1 to 96 +/- 1 mm Hg, and heart rate from 77 +/- 2 to 72 +/- 2 bpm (P < 0.01). Plasma renin activity decreased from 1.7 +/- 0.4 to 1.1 +/- 0.2 ng/ml/2h (P < 0.01), but there were no significant changes in plasma vasopressin or cortisol concentrations.

 

These results confirm that acupuncture decreases blood pressure in hypertensive patients, and suggest that the decrease results, at least in part, from a decrease in renin secretion.

 

PubMed comprises more than 23 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.


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Clinical trial: Acupuncture for migraine - brain functional activity and mechanism

Clinical trial: Acupuncture for migraine - brain functional activity and mechanism | Acupuncture and the cardiovascular; circulatory system | Scoop.it

The central analgesic mechanism ofacupuncture for migraine remains poorly understood.

Acupuncture has been shown to become a recommended treatment for migraine sufferers.

However, a single acupuncture stimulus cannot be indicative of the cumulative effects of acupuncture treatment.

Prof. Fanrong Liang and colleagues from Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine recruited migraine sufferers receiving 1 month of acupuncture treatment and explored the central analgesic mechanism of the cumulative effects of acupuncture for migraine.

The aim of their study was to examine changes in brain functional activity and central networks in subjects with migraine undergoing acupuncture at Shaoyang uncommon acupoints.

This trial has been registered on http://www.clinicaltrial.gov/ and provides a further explanation of the central analgesic mechanism by which acupuncture at Shaoyang acupoints treats migraine.

These findings are published in Neural Regeneration Research (Vol. 8, No. 28, 2013)


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Utilization of Group-Based, Community Acupuncture Clinics: A Comparative Study with a Nationally Representative Sample of Acupuncture Users

Utilization of Group-Based, Community Acupuncture Clinics: A Comparative Study with a Nationally Representative Sample of Acupuncture Users | Acupuncture and the cardiovascular; circulatory system | Scoop.it

J Altern Complement Med. Jun 2012; 18(6): 561–566.doi:  10.1089/acm.2011.0128PMCID: PMC3390970Utilization of Group-Based, Community Acupuncture Clinics: A Comparative Study with a Nationally Representative Sample of Acupuncture UsersMaria T. Chao, DrPH, MPA,1 Kimberly M. Tippens, ND, MSAOM,2 and Erin Connelly, MA2Author information ► Copyright and License information ► This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Go to:AbstractObjectives

Acupuncture utilization in the United States has increased in recent years, but is less common among racial/ethnic minorities and those of low socioeconomic status. Group-based, community acupuncture is a delivery model gaining in popularity around the United States, due in part to low-cost treatments provided on a sliding-fee scale. Affordable, community-based acupuncture may increase access to health care at a time when increasing numbers of people are uninsured. To assess the population using local community acupuncture clinics, sociodemographic factors, health status, and utilization patterns compared to national acupuncture users were examined.

Design

Data were employed from (1) a cross-sectional survey of 478 clients of two community acupuncture clinics in Portland, Oregon and (2) a nationally representative sample of acupuncture users from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey.

Results

Portland community acupuncture clients were more homogeneous racially, had higher educational attainment, lower household income, and were more likely to receive 10 or more treatments in the past 12 months (odds ratio=5.39, 95% confidence interval=3.54, 8.22), compared to a nationally representative sample of U.S. acupuncture users. Self-reported health status and medical reasons for seeking acupuncture treatment were similar in both groups. Back pain (21%), joint pain (17%), and depression (13%) were the most common conditions for seeking treatment at community acupuncture clinics.

Conclusions

Study findings suggest that local community acupuncture clinics reach individuals of a broad socioeconomic spectrum and may allow for increased frequency of treatment. Limited racial diversity among community acupuncture clients may reflect local demographics of Portland. In addition, exposure to and knowledge about acupuncture is likely to vary by race and ethnicity. Future studies should examine access, patient satisfaction, frequency of treatment, and clinical outcomes of group-based models of community acupuncture clinics located in racially and socioeconomically diverse communities.

Go to:Introduction

Increasing evidence suggests the effectiveness of acupuncture for a range of health conditions, such as chronic pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea, insomnia, substance abuse, and post-traumatic stress disorder.1–6 Such conditions have high social and economic costs exacerbated by a lack of adequate conventional treatments. Thus, models of service delivery that promote acupuncture utilization are worthwhile areas of investigation. Although the use of acupuncture in the United States has risen significantly in recent years,7–9 utilization is least common among blacks and Hispanics, and those with limited household income and education.10,11 Demand for acupuncture services is sensitive to price,12 and high out-of-pocket costs for treatment are among the factors that limit access to treatment. In 2007, at least 25% of acupuncture users paid $75 or more per visit, and median out-of pocket costs per person was $122.9

The cost of and limited access to acupuncture services has prompted the establishment of group-based, community acupuncture clinics in the United States. Community acupuncture refers to a specific model of providing acupuncture treatments with two defining features. First, community acupuncture clinics utilize a common space with multiple recliners, which enables the practitioner to treat more than one client at a time. Appointments are staggered 10–15 minutes apart, with as many as 6 patients treated by 1 practitioner in an hour. Providing acupuncture in a group setting resembles the model of delivery commonly used in China and, more recently, in multi-bed and high-volume acupuncture clinics in the United Kingdom.13–15 A second feature of community acupuncture clinics is the provision of treatments based on a sliding-scale fee ranging from $15 to $40 per session with no means testing. Patients determine their own payment, but community acupuncture treatments are not free, nor are they subsidized by grant funding. The group setting, community-based locations, and low cost per visit potentially reduce barriers to access for those who might not otherwise utilize acupuncture.13 Furthermore, affordable visits using the community acupuncture model may allow for more frequent treatments, which in turn could improve the effectiveness of acupuncture.16

Since 2004, nearly 200 community acupuncture clinics have opened across the United States.17 Despite the recent proliferation of community acupuncture clinics in the United States, research on this model of acupuncture delivery is limited. To the authors' knowledge, no extant research has evaluated group-based, community acupuncture as a model of affordable delivery nor characterized differences between clients of community acupuncture clinics and those using other acupuncture services (i.e., individual-based treatments). To address this gap, a study was conducted comparing clients of local community acupuncture clinics in Portland, Oregon with national acupuncture users. Specifically, sociodemographic characteristics, medical reasons for using acupuncture, and frequency of acupuncture treatment were compared between clients of Portland community acupuncture clinics and national acupuncture users.

Go to:MethodsData sources

This study employed observational, cross-sectional data from two sources: (1) local, community-based data obtained from a survey of clients at two community acupuncture clinics in Portland, Oregon and (2) nationally representative data of acupuncture users from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).

 

Community-based data

To obtain data from local community acupuncture clinics in Portland, Oregon, a voluntary survey was distributed to clients at two affiliated community acupuncture clinics. One clinic was established in 2002 and currently provides over 400 acupuncture treatments per week. It is one of the first and largest community acupuncture clinics in the United States. To expand affordable acupuncture to additional neighborhoods, the same owners opened a second clinic in a different area of Portland in 2007. Due to their strong neighborhood ties and commitment to serving their communities, these clinics were chosen as optimal research sites to develop an understanding of the scope of health conditions treated and the population reach of local, community acupuncture clinics.

 

Survey development

A 33-item survey was developed by the research team in collaboration with the community acupuncture clinic staff and administrators. Open- and closed-ended questions were designed to examine sociodemographic data, conditions treated, satisfaction with acupuncture services provided, and the relationship of use with conventional Western medical care. This study reports findings on sociodemographic data, health conditions, cost, and frequency of treatment. Data regarding patient satisfaction based on qualitative data will be reported in a subsequent article. The survey instrument included questions adapted from the NHIS Supplement on complementary and alternative medicine and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.18,19Additional items were developed by the research team to meet the information needs of the community acupuncture clinic. The survey instrument is available from the authors by request.

 

Data collection

All study procedures and instruments were reviewed and approved by the National College of Natural Medicine institutional review board. Data collection occurred via survey. The paper survey was made available to all clients visiting the community acupuncture clinics for a period of 6 weeks during December 2009–January 2010. To achieve a margin of error of ±4% at a 95% confidence interval, the investigative team aimed to gather survey data from 500 clients: 350 surveys from the higher-volume clinic site and 150 from the newer, smaller site. The survey was presented to adult clients of both community acupuncture clinic sites in new client paperwork. Returning clients were asked by front desk staff to complete the survey when they arrived for their appointments. Surveys did not request names or other identifying information from clients. Front desk staff reported that the survey took most clients 10–15 minutes to complete. Clients were asked to deposit their completed anonymous surveys in a collection box placed in the clinic waiting area; the box was emptied weekly by research staff. Participation was voluntary, and the clinic staff reported that the survey was acceptable to most clients, but did not document a rate of refusal. Respondents were instructed not to take the survey more than once. To ensure that duplicate data were not included from any individual, one item on the survey asked people whether they had taken the survey before. Data from participants who reported having previously completed the survey or from participants who did not respond to this question were excluded from the study analyses.

 

National data

The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) is a nationwide, personal interview household survey conducted annually through the National Center for Health Statistics. The NHIS is representative of the civilian, noninstitutionalized population of the United States and employs a complex multistage design with oversampling for minority populations. In 2007, NHIS included a supplement that collected data on use of over 20 complementary and alternative medicine health care practices and reasons for using each modality.18 The final Sample Adult response rate in 2007 was 67.8%. For the current study, data were extracted from the NHIS Sample Adult and Family Cores, which include sociodemographic data, and the complementary and alternative medicine supplement. The present study analyses were based on 344 respondents who had seen a practitioner for acupuncture during the past 12 months. Respondents were asked a series of additional questions to obtain details about their acupuncture use, including frequency of visits in the past 12 months, average out-of-pocket payment for each visit, and health problems or conditions for which they used acupuncture.

Data analyses

All analyses were performed with Stata version 10.1.20 To ensure comparability between nationally representative data and community-based data, sociodemographic variables with the same coding in each of the two datasets were created. Race/ethnicity was coded as non-Hispanic white, African American, Latino, Asian American, or other. Education level was coded with four categories: high school or less, some college, college graduate, or graduate degree. Household income was coded in three categories: less than $35,000, $35,000–$74,999, and $75,000 or more. In both datasets a dichotomous variable was also created for the frequency of acupuncture treatments, coded as (1) 10 or fewer treatments in the prior 12 months and (2) more than 10 treatments in the prior 12 months.

Analyzing NHIS data requires adjustment for complex multistage sampling procedures to obtain nationally representative estimates. All analyses based on NHIS data were conducted using Stata svy-based commands that adjust for probability sampling units, weights, and strata to account for survey design effects.20 Using one sample mean comparison and one sample proportion tests, the sample of Portland community acupuncture clients were compared with NHIS population-based estimates. Unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios for frequency of treatment were analyzed through logistic regression analyses.

Go to:Results

Of the 500 surveys distributed, 478 (96%) were returned. Thirteen (13) surveys were excluded from the current analyses: four from participants who reported having previously completed the survey and nine from participants for whom it was unknown whether they had previously completed the survey. Thus, study analyses are based on 463 respondents completing the survey for the first time. During the 6-week period that the survey was administered, 1154 patients visited the clinics for 2443 visits (an average of 2.1 visits per client). Thus, the completed surveys included 40% of the client base during the survey period.

Sociodemographic factors

Shown in Table 1 are sociodemographic factors of acupuncture users, at Portland community acupuncture clinics and in the United States. Portland community acupuncture clients were slightly younger on average (43 versus 48 years of age, range 18–87) and more likely to be female (72% versus 65%) compared to national acupuncture users. Portland community acupuncture clients (87% white, 2% black, 5% Latino, 3% Asian, 4% other) were less heterogeneous racially compared to national acupuncture users (73% white, 5% black, 10% Latino, 12% Asian, <1% other). Slightly less than 8% of Portland community acupuncture clients were foreign born compared to 20% of national acupuncture users. Interestingly, Portland community acupuncture clients had higher educational attainment than national acupuncture users (72% versus 57% had completed college-level education or more) but lower household income (46% versus 25% with income less than $35,000). Self-reported health status was comparable in both groups, with the majority in good or very good health.

Table 1.Sociodemographic Factors of Acupuncture Users, Portland Community Acupuncture Clinics Versus Nationally Representative SamplePrimary medical reasons for seeking acupuncture treatment

Compared to national acupuncture users, Portland community acupuncture clients had similar medical reasons for seeking acupuncture treatment (87% used acupuncture for a specific health problem; data not shown). As shown in Table 2, back pain was the most common medical reason individuals sought acupuncture treatment at Portland community acupuncture clinics and nationwide (21% and 29%, respectively). The two samples were similar in proportion reporting neck pain, arthritis, and fibromyalgia as medical reasons for using acupuncture. A statistically significant difference was observed for depression, which was cited as a primary medical reason for treatment among 13% of Portland community acupuncture clients but less than 1% among national acupuncture users (p<0.001).

Table 2.Primary Medical Reasons for Use of Acupuncture, Portland Community Acupuncture Clients Versus Nationally Representative SampleCost and frequency of treatments

Among national acupuncture users, 45% paid an average of $40 or less for acupuncture treatments, compared to 100% of Portland community acupuncture clients (data not shown). Less than 15% of national acupuncture users received more than 10 treatments in the prior 12 months, compared to 48% of Portland community acupuncture clients. In unadjusted analyses, Portland community acupuncture clients were 5 times more likely to have more than 10 acupuncture treatments in the prior 12 months. This statistically significant difference remained (adjusted odds ratio=5.73) when controlling for age, sex, health status, education, and income (Table 3).

Table 3.Unadjusted and Adjusted Odds Ratios of Receiving More Than 10 Acupuncture Treatments in the Previous 12 MonthsGo to:Discussion

Prior descriptive research of acupuncture in the United States has characterized utilization nationally,10,11 in regional private practices,21,22 and at teaching clinics.23This study is the first to characterize clients of community acupuncture clinics, a recent trend in the provision of acupuncture in the United States through affordable treatments using a group-based model. The authors sought to ascertain whether there are differences between community acupuncture clients in Portland, Oregon and a nationally representative sample of acupuncture users in the United States. Study findings suggest that, relative to national acupuncture trends, local community acupuncture clinics have a broader reach to those with limited income; nearly half of the Portland community acupuncture clients surveyed have an annual household income of less than $35,000.

Despite greater economic diversity among community acupuncture clients, the vast majority of clients were non-Hispanic white. Portland has a smaller proportion of minority residents than the United States as a whole, which is likely reflected in the racial/ethnic demographics of the community acupuncture clients in the present study.24 In addition, as with other types of complementary and alternative medicine, differences in sociocultural exposure to and perceptions of acupuncture, such as knowledge, beliefs, and expectations of treatment, are likely to play a role in limited utilization among certain racial/ethnic minorities.25 Factors such as limited English proficiency, health literacy, and structural barriers that impede access to conventional health care services may also create barriers to acupuncture use.

The low-cost fee structure of the community acupuncture model may allow for higher frequency of treatment, as supported by data of this study. The frequency of acupuncture treatments was assessed among the national sample and Portland community acupuncture clients. The findings indicate that Portland community acupuncture clients are more likely than national acupuncture users to receive frequent acupuncture treatments (defined as 10 or more treatments in the prior 12 months), regardless of age, sex, income, education, and health status. While recommended frequency of treatments is individual and condition specific, it is notable that weekly or monthly visits are more typical of American acupuncture practice, whereas daily treatments of acupuncture therapy are commonplace in China.26 While both samples had similar health status and medical reasons for using acupuncture, the extent to which frequency of treatment affects clinical outcomes is an important area for future investigation.

Study limitations and future research

Study findings are limited by a number of factors. The surveys were distributed using a convenience sample and therefore may not be fully representative of the clients at Portland community acupuncture clinics. The survey instrument was self-administered and only available in English. Thus, potential respondents with limited literacy or English proficiency may not have completed the survey. In addition, the sampling method did not allow for accessing clients who were dissatisfied with care and do not continue seeking care at Portland community acupuncture clinics. As a result, this sample is more likely to represent individuals who are satisfied with Portland community acupuncture clinics, which may have resulted in an overestimation of frequency of acupuncture treatments. The objective was to compare individuals who sought care at community acupuncture clinics versus other types of acupuncture provision. Unfortunately, data on the specific types of acupuncture utilized by the nationally representative sample is not available from the NHIS. Despite this limitation, NHIS provides a useful comparative sample given the high average cost of acupuncture reported and the fact that the majority of acupuncturists in the United States treat patients individually. A final limitation is that this study utilizes national data collected in 2007 and community-based data collected in 2009. Study findings may therefore be biased by differential time effects between these 2 years, such as inflation or other social influences that impact on the use of acupuncture. Based on analyses adjusting for inflation using the standard consumer price index,27 it was found that differences in the findings on household income and cost of acupuncture treatment were negligible.

Despite these limitations, the current study provides important preliminary information on local, community-based acupuncture clinics, including differences and similarities between community acupuncture and national acupuncture trends. Given the exponential growth of the community acupuncture movement in recent years, continued monitoring of community acupuncture clinics is warranted to examine issues of access, patient satisfaction, and clinical outcomes of affordable, frequent acupuncture. Currently, over 150 community acupuncture clinics exist but little is known about the health impact of this growing movement. A national study of community acupuncture clinics is needed in order to assess how community acupuncture complements other health behaviors, how community acupuncture is integrated into patients' overall self-management of health, and how frequency of treatment affects various health conditions, including preventive, chronic, and acute conditions.

Go to:Conclusions

Various subsidized programs have improved access to acupuncture by offering free treatments for specific conditions (e.g., drug detoxification) or to high-risk populations (e.g., minority adolescents).28–30 Community acupuncture clinics, in contrast, are not limited by disease condition or population and utilize a sliding scale for payment. Community acupuncture clinics may therefore improve access to acupuncture treatments for the working poor and other segments of the population who would not otherwise use acupuncture. Prior research has documented that utilization of acupuncture is a function of distance from a practitioner.31 Thus, community acupuncture clinics, which are often located in storefronts and other community-based sites, may reduce geographic barriers to access. In addition, community acupuncture clinics may offer individuals the opportunity for increased frequency of treatments, which raises important questions about the dose–response relationship of acupuncture and health outcomes.

Go to:Acknowledgments

Many thanks to Lisa Rohleder, Skip VanMeter, Lupine Hudson, and the staff at Working Class Acupuncture for their support and collaboration in collecting data for this study; Michael Acree, PhD at University of California, San Francisco for his statistical input; and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) for providing publicly available national data on acupuncture use. Analyses and interpretations presented here do not necessarily reflect the views of the NCHS. Dr. Chao and Dr. Tippens received funding support from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National-Institutes of Health (NCCAM/NIH grant nos. 5T32AT003997 and F32AT004342, respectively). Analyses and interpretations presented here do not necessarily reflect the views of the NCHS or NCCAM/NIH.

Go to:Disclosure Statement

No competing financial interests exist.

Go to:References1. Asher GN. Jonas DE. Coeytaux RR, et al. Auriculotherapy for pain management: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Altern Complement Med. 2010;16:1097–1108. [PMC free article] [PubMed]2. Trigkilidas D. Acupuncture therapy for chronic lower back pain: A systematic review.Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2010;92:595–598. [PMC free article] [PubMed]3. Ezzo JM. Richardson MA. Vickers A, et al. Acupuncture-point stimulation for chemotherapy-induced nausea or vomiting. Cochrane Database Syst Rev.2006;2:CD002285. [PubMed]4. Cao H. Pan X. Li H. Liu J. Acupuncture for treatment of insomnia: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. J Altern Complement Med. 2009;15:1171–1186.[PMC free article] [PubMed]5. Liu TT. Shi J. Epstein DH, et al. A meta-analysis of acupuncture combined with opioid receptor agonists for treatment of opiate-withdrawal symptoms. Cell Mol Neurobiol.2009;29:449–454. [PMC free article] [PubMed]6. Pease M. Sollom R. Wayne P. Acupuncture for refugees with posttraumatic stress disorder: Initial experiences establishing a community clinic. Explore (NY) 2009;5:51–54. [PubMed]7. Barnes PM. Powell-Griner E. McFann K. Nahin RL. Complementary and alternative medicine use among adults: United States, 2002. Adv Data. 2004;343:1–19. [PubMed]8. Barnes PM. Bloom B. Nahin RL. Complementary and alternative medicine use among adults and children: United States, 2007. Natl Health Stat Report. 2008;12:1–23.[PubMed]9. Nahin RL. Barnes PM. Stussman BJ. Bloom B. Costs of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and frequency of visits to CAM practitioners: United States, 2007. Natl Health Stat Report. 2009;18:1–14. [PubMed]10. Burke A. Upchurch DM. Dye C. Chyu L. Acupuncture use in the United States: Findings from the National Health Interview Survey. J Altern Complement Med.2006;12:639–648. [PubMed]11. Upchurch DM. Burke A. Dye C, et al. A sociobehavioral model of acupuncture use, patterns, and satisfaction among women in the United States, 2002. Womens Health Issues. 2008;18:62–71. [PMC free article] [PubMed]12. Sommers E. Porter K. Price elasticities for three types of CAM services: Experiences of a Boston Public Health Clinic. J Altern Complement Med. 2006;12:85–90. [PubMed]13. Stone C. Multi-bed acupuncture clinics: A new model of practice. J Chin Med.2008;88:18–22.14. Berkovitz S. Cummings M. Perrin C. Ito R. High volume acupuncture clinic (HVAC) for chronic knee pain: Audit of a possible model for delivery of acupuncture in the National Health Service. Acupunct Med. 2008;26:46–50. [PubMed]15. Freedman J. Richardson M. Setting up an acupuncture knee clinic under Practice Based Commissioning. Acupunct Med. 2008;26:183–187. [PubMed]16. Rohleder L. The Remedy: Integrating Acupuncture into American Health Care.Portland: Working Class Acupuncture; 2006.17. Community Acupuncture Network. Locate a clinic.www.communityacupuncturenetwork.org/clinics. [Oct 14;2010 ].www.communityacupuncturenetwork.org/clinics18. National Center for Health Statistics. Data File Documentation, National Health Interview Survey, 2007 (machine readable data file and documentation) Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2008.19. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Questionnaire. Atlanta, GA: 2008.20. Stata statistical software: Release 10.0 [computer program] College Station, TX: StataCorp; 2007.21. Sherman KJ. Cherkin DC. Eisenberg DM, et al. The practice of acupuncture: Who are the providers and what do they do? Ann Fam Med. 2005;3:151–158. [PMC free article][PubMed]22. Cherkin DC. Deyo RA. Sherman KJ, et al. Characteristics of licensed acupuncturists, chiropractors, massage therapists, and naturopathic physicians. J Am Board Fam Pract.2002;15:378–390. [PubMed]23. Maiers M. McKenzie E. Evans R. McKenzie M. Patient outcomes at a traditional Chinese medicine teaching clinic: A prospective data collection project. J Altern Complement Med.2008;14:1083–1088. [PubMed]24. U.S. Census Bureau. State and County QuickFacts. Data derived from Population Estimates, Census of Population and Housing, Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates, State and County Housing Unit Estimates, County Business Patterns, Nonemployer Statistics, Economic Census, Survey of Business Owners, Building Permits, Consolidated Federal Funds Report. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/41000.html. [May 16;2011 ]. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/41000.html25. Chao MT. Wade C. Kronenberg F, et al. Women's reasons for complementary and alternative medicine use: Racial/ethnic differences. J Altern Complement Med.2006;12:719–722. [PMC free article] [PubMed]26. Dharmananda S. Restructuring American acupuncture practices.www.itmonline.org/arts/restructure.htm. [Oct 15;2010 ].www.itmonline.org/arts/restructure.htm27. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Consumer Price Index.www.bls.gov/cpi/ [May 24;2011 ]. www.bls.gov/cpi/28. Highfield ES. Barnes L. Spellman L. Saper RB. If you build it, will they come? A free-care acupuncture clinic for minority adolescents in an urban hospital. J Altern Complement Med. 2008;14:629–636. [PMC free article] [PubMed]29. Santasiero R. Neussle G. Cost-effectiveness of auricular acupuncture for treating substance abuse in an HMO setting: A pilot study. Med Acupunc. 2005;16:39–42.30. Russell LC. Sharp B. Gilbertson B. Acupuncture for addicted patients with chronic histories of arrest: A pilot study of the Consortium Treatment Center. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2000;19:199–205. [PubMed]31. Bonafede M. Dick A. Noyes K, et al. The effect of acupuncture utilization on healthcare utilization. Med Care. 2008;46:41–48. [PubMed]


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Neural specificity of acupuncture stimulation at pericardium 6: Evidence from an FMRI study - Bai - 2009 - Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging - Wiley Online Library

Neural specificity of acupuncture stimulation at pericardium 6: Evidence from an FMRI study - Bai - 2009 - Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging - Wiley Online Library | Acupuncture and the cardiovascular; circulatory system | Scoop.it

AbstractPurpose:

To investigate the neural specificity of pericardium PC6, with the same meridian acupoint PC7 and a treatment-irrelevant acupoint GB37 as separate controls.

Materials and Methods:

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the whole brain was performed in 36 healthy subjects receiving acupuncture at three acupoints, respectively: the study acupoint (PC6), and control acupoints (PC7 and GB37). A novel nonrepeated event-related (NRER) design paradigm was applied to separately detect neural activities related to different stages of acupuncture (needling manipulation and post-acupuncture rest epoch). Psychophysical responses (Deqi sensations) were also assessed.

Results:

Neuroimaging studies of PC6 presented extensive signal attenuations in the cerebrocerebellar and subcortical areas, whereas acupuncture at GB37 induced widespread signal potentiations. In addition, acupuncture at PC6, in comparison with stimulations at PC7 and GB37, selectively evoked neural responses of the insula, hypothalamus, and flocculonodular lobe of cerebellum (nodulus and uvula).

Conclusion:

These findings may provide preliminary evidence for specific involvements of the cerebellar-hypothalamus and insula following acupuncture at PC6, which underlies the autonomic regulation of vestibular functions. The predominantly time-prolonged deactivations in these areas may also serve the clinical efficacy of PC6 in producing a sedative or tranquilizing effect in antiemetic treatment. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2010;31:71–77.


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Pericardium acupuncture point for frequent ventricular extrasystole

Pericardium acupuncture point for frequent ventricular extrasystole | Acupuncture and the cardiovascular; circulatory system | Scoop.it

ANTI-ARRHYTHMICS

Abstract of "Frequent Ventricular Extrasystole Treated by Needling Neiguan (PC 6) plus Oral Administration of Mexiletine ? A Report of 30 Cases" (Zhang,J.). J Chin Med 2004. Vol.76, p.61. 

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Video: Acupuncture for Strokes : cerebrovascular health

This health video looks at the improvement in stroke patients who under went acupuncture.
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Acupuncture Boosts Heart Attack Survival Rates

Acupuncture Boosts Heart Attack Survival Rates | Acupuncture and the cardiovascular; circulatory system | Scoop.it
Acupuncture increases the survival rates after a heart attack.

 

Acupuncture pretreatment increases survival rates in cases of heart attacks. Needling acupuncture point PC6 (Neiguan) protects the heart. The benefit is measurable through gene expression, histology and enzyme sections. Researchers conducted a placebo controlled experiment comparing real acupuncture with sham acupuncture. Preventative acupuncture care reduces damage to the heart from myocardial ischemia reperfusion, a condition that occurs during heart attacks causing tissue damage. Two key physiological findings were that acupuncture reduces arrhythmias and infarction size.

Reperfusion damage is caused by the return of blood circulation after a period of ischemia, restricted blood supply. The sudden return of blood to oxygen and circulation deprived tissues causes inflammation and oxidative stress. In this study, acupuncture prevented damage to the heart caused by reperfusion. The laboratory findings measured that acupuncture prevents this damage by regulating enzyme secretions and gene expression. Lab results also demonstrate that acupuncture prevents proinflammatory responses by regulating oxidative stress, calcium channels and many other biological pathways in a broad cascade of healthy effects.

The laboratory experiment revealed that acupuncture successfully downregulated serum concentrations of CK, LDH, CK-Mb, and plasma levels of cTnT. These enzymes are proteins that significantly increase in concentration after myocardial ischemia reperfusion. Electroacupuncture at PC6 successfully reversed this pathological response.

Hundreds of genes are known to increase and decrease in concentration following myocardial ischemia reperfusion. Electroacupuncture uniquely affected genes through several pathways when compared with sham acupuncture. An RNA evaluation revealed that acupuncture successfully regulated gene expression in multiple pathways including MAPK signaling, cytokine, oxidative stress, cardiac muscle contraction, B-cell receptor and leukocyte pathways.

The research team cited one of these pathways as essential to protecting the heart. Myocardial ischemia reperfusion upregulates genes (Myh7b, My13…) relating to pathology in cardiac muscle contraction. This leads to poor functioning of the left ventricle. The research team notes that electroacupuncture pretreatment successfully “reversed” this pathological gene expression. 

Myocardial ischemia reperfusion also causes oxidative stress leading to pathological changes in cell calcium levels. This contributes to morbidity and mortality. A sudden influx of calcium increases through an L-type calcium channel and causes heart diseases. Electroacupuncture pretreatment successfully downregulated this pathological response. The researchers note that this suggests a cardioprotective effect of acupuncture.

Numerous other pathways demonstrated the same healthy effects of acupuncture pretreatment on heart tissue and function. The researchers conclude, “PC6 Neiguan acupoint specifically regulated cardiac muscle contraction, vascular smooth muscle contraction, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, oxidative phosphorylation, inflammation and immune response, and apoptosis pathways, thus effectively protected against I/R (myocardial ischemia reperfusion) injury in a pretreatment approach.” 

The findings demonstrate that acupuncture care helps to prevent damage to the heart in cases where there is a sudden lack of blood, oxygen and nutrients. This investigation looks at the effects of acupuncture in a pretreatment scenario and therefore points to acupuncture as preventative care for the heart. Acupuncture’s cardioprotective effects have now been documented through numerous biomedical tests in study.

Reference:
Huang, Yan, Sheng-Feng Lu, Chen-Jun Hu, Shu-Ping Fu, Wei-Xing Shen, Wan-Xin Liu, Qian Li et al. "Electro-Acupuncture at Neiguan Pretreatment Alters Genome-Wide Gene Expressions and Protects Rat Myocardium against Ischemia-Reperfusion." Molecules 19, no. 10 (2014): 16158-16178.

- See more at: http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1389-acupuncture-boosts-heart-attack-survival-rates#sthash.KAFkFQ12.dpuf

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The effect of acupuncture on endocrine regulation in hypertensive patients [Vopr Kurortol Fizioter Lech Fiz Kult. 1991 Jan-Feb] - PubMed - NCBI

The effect of acupuncture on endocrine regulation in hypertensive patients [Vopr Kurortol Fizioter Lech Fiz Kult. 1991 Jan-Feb] - PubMed - NCBI | Acupuncture and the cardiovascular; circulatory system | Scoop.it

Vopr Kurortol Fizioter Lech Fiz Kult. 1991 Jan-Feb;(1):29-32.[The effect of acupuncture on endocrine regulation in hypertensive patients].[Article in Russian]Bobkova AS, Gaponiuk PIa, Korovkina EG, Sherkovina TIu, Leonova MV.

 

Abstract

 

Thirty-five stage I-II essential hypertension subjects aged 25-63 were examined after the 1st and 10th acupuncture to clarify the effect of a single procedure and a course of acupuncture treatment on blood ACTH, STH, TTH, beta-endorphine, neurotensin, thyroxine, aldosterone, hydrocortisone and plasma renin activity. The hormonal spectrum was determined by radioimmunoassay using special kits. The blood was obtained before acupuncture, 5 min after introduction of the needles, immediately and 30 min after their removal. It is shown that acupuncture-related decline of arterial pressure occurs in participation of pituitary and adrenal hormones as well as polypeptides beta-endorphine and neurotensin.

PMID: 1646516 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]  

 

 

PubMed comprises more than 23 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.

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Integrated approach to treatment-resistant atrial fibrillation: additional value of acupuncture -- Jonkman and Jonkman-Buidin -- Acupuncture in Medicine

Integrated approach to treatment-resistant atrial fibrillation: additional value of acupuncture -- Jonkman and Jonkman-Buidin -- Acupuncture in Medicine | Acupuncture and the cardiovascular; circulatory system | Scoop.it
FAM Jonkman; ML Jonkman-BuidinAbstract

A 62-year-old patient with chronic bronchitis had treatment-resistant atrial fibrillation. Electrical cardioversion was performed, but sinus rhythm (SR) lasted only for some minutes. Administration of amiodarone was withheld in favour of a course of acupuncture treatment in order to increase the success rate of a second attempt of electrical cardioversion. After two acupuncture treatments, spontaneous conversion to SR occurred. Relapses into atrial fibrillation in the following five winters, associated with attacks of bronchitis, also responded to acupuncture. The mechanisms of action of the acupuncture treatment and the value of this integrated approach to treatment are discussed.

Introduction

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a rhythm disorder which increases in prevalence with age. It is known to be precipitated by hypertension, valve disorders, heart failure and coronary artery disease, after surgery and by pulmonary problems.1 ,2

Amiodarone is very effective in the treatment of paroxysmal AF but may cause severe side effects. It is often administered prior to electrical cardioversion in order to increase the success rate of restoring and preserving sinus rhythm (SR).1

In a Chinese study, two groups of 40 patients with AF were treated with amiodarone and acupuncture, respectively. Acupuncture was shown to be as effective as intravenous amiodarone in conversion of AF into SR.3 Several other case studies suggest the efficacy of acupuncture in preventing AF.4 ,5

Case study

On 24 March 2006 a 62-year-old patient presented with dyspnoea and loss of physical condition in a nearby clinic (clinic A). The treating cardiologist diagnosed AF with rapid ventricular response and the patient was prescribed oral anticoagulants as well as digoxin for ventricular rate reduction. Prior to the occurrence of AF, the patient suffered from periods of overwork and chronic bronchitis. Since echocardiography could not be performed in this clinic within 3 months, the patient was referred to our clinic (clinic B) on 5 May 2006 with AF and still a mean ventricular response of 113 beats/min (figure 1) and blood pressure of 120/70 mm Hg. Echocardiography was reported as showing dilation of the left ventricle (LV) with globally reduced systolic ventricular function, left ventricular end diastolic diameter (LVED) 60 mm and minor mitral regurgitation and dilation of the left atrium (LA) of 40×57 mm. The dimensions of the right side of the heart were higher but without tricuspid regurgitation.

View larger version: In a new window Download as PowerPoint SlideFigure 1

ECG upon referral to our clinic: atrial fibrillation with ventricular response of 113 beats/min.

 

The patient was administered sotalol in order to further reduce the ventricular rate and facilitate easier conversion to SR. Quinapril was added for afterload reduction to enable remodelling of the tachycardia-induced dilation of the LV and additional sedation of the neurohumoral renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS). These and several other mechanisms could be the pathogenic pathways by which inhibition of the RAAS prevents AF.6–8 Because of a pre-existent chronic cough, additional diagnostics were requested by his GP.

Eleven days later, on 16 May 2006, cardioversion was performed with 100 and 200 Joule of triggered electrical cardioversion (ECV) in clinic C, resulting in short-lasting SR before recurrence of AF. In order to improve the outcome of a future ECV, the attending cardiologist of clinic C suggested adding amiodarone to the medication as preparation for a second attempt. Amiodarone, although very effective in the treatment of AF, may cause many side effects (blurred vision, gastrointestinal problems, oversensitivity to sunlight, pulmonary fibrosis, in many patients thyroid disorders on chronic use). The choice of medication and other routes were discussed with the patient and we chose to avoid amiodarone in agreement with the cardiologist of clinic C. Consequently, the dose of sotalol was increased from 80 mg twice daily to 160+80 mg each day, and the patient was referred to our acupuncture clinic for treatment as an intermediate measure in preparing him for a second attempt of ECV.

The treatment goals of acupuncture treatment were:

Sedation of the RAAS and noradrenergic autonomic nerve system.9

Stabilisation of the parasympathetic autonomic nerve system.10 ,11

Improvement of pulmonary condition.12

Reduction of impact of circumstantial stress (patient was overworked).13

Improvement of general condition.

We intended that the second cardioversion should be performed after 6 weeks of weekly acupuncture treatment.

Acupuncture treatment

During the initial consultation according to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) principles, the patient’s tongue showed the presence of coating with red sides and tip and stagnation in the sublingual veins. The pulse showed an empty quality of the Heart, Lung and Kidney positions and a slippery quality in the Spleen position. The TCM diagnosis was Liver, Lung and Kidney Yin deficiency, Dampness and Blood stagnation.

Two acupuncture treatments were administered on 30 May and 6 June 2006. Stimulation of the needles was kept at an even method, which means no stimulation or sedation, for the length of 30 min per session. Treatment plans and points used were as follows:

Tonify Liver, Kidney and Heart Yin: LR8, KI3-BL23, HT6-PC6

Promote Qi and blood circulation: LR3-LI4, SP6-BL17

Disperse Damp and tonifying Lung Qi: ST40, LU7

Regulate sympathetic system: GB20

Ear needles: Shen Men, Heart-Lung point.

Outcome

The third acupuncture treatment was scheduled for 14 June 2006. At this point the patient reported feeling substantially better and indicated he had started working again. His GP had ordered a chest x-ray which proved to be normal. Given the patient's self-assessment, an ECG was performed which showed a regular SR of 52 beats/min and incomplete right bundle branch block (figure 2). In spite of this new presentation, acupuncture was nevertheless administered in a supportive role but there was no need for a second ECV. The patient showed further general improvement with acupuncture treatment.

View larger version: In a new window Download as PowerPoint SlideFigure 2

ECG after conversion: sinus rhythm of 52 beats/min.

 

In the following years the patient's AF recurred almost annually upon exacerbation of his chronic bronchitis. Each time he was treated with acupuncture for his pulmonary complaints, at which point his AF converted to SR again. In 2009 his GP diagnosed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease GOLD stage II and started inhalation therapy. The presence of predominantly SR resulted in complete restoration of the shape of the LV (echocardiography 22 Nov 2011: LVED 49 mm). The blood pressure over this period was 100–120/60–70 mm Hg.

In 2012 the recurrence of AF was resistant to the therapeutic measures that had proved effective since 2006. Given his comorbid condition, our intention was to avoid amiodarone and instead opt for catheter ablation, which had developed into a common and effective treatment in recent years. The restoration of the shape of the LV upon conversion to SR was an important argument by the electrophysiological team of clinic D to accept this patient for the ablation procedure. In the preparation of the catheter ablation an MRI showed a thoracoabdominal aneurysm. Although correction of the aneurysm and ablation was planned in one procedure in clinic E, the surgical intervention was restricted to the aneurysm because it proved to be too extensive. The postoperative course was delayed due to difficulties in weaning the patient off artificial ventilation given the existing pulmonary weakness. Incidentally, the surgeon in charge of the procedure reported that pulmonary function was abnormal upon thoracotomy: the lungs showed no collapse under pressure changes to the chest cavity but required manual assistance to be held aside as ‘big rigid sacs’.

Discussion

Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in achieving and maintaining SR in patients with paroxysmal AF. From a western point of view, we suggest that the pathogenic mechanisms that may be involved in acupuncture could be:

Reduction of sympathetic tone.9 An additional advantage of acupuncture is that sympathetic tone can be reduced without considerable hypotension, which is a common drawback of many cardiovascular drugs and is especially important in patients with a compromised left ventricular function.13 ,14

Prevention of unstable bursts of adrenergic and vagal tone.10 ,11

Improvement of the pulmonary condition,12 which can be considered a contributing factor in AF. The yearly success in restoring SR after relapses of AF due to exacerbations of his chronic bronchitis is in line with the importance of a good pulmonary condition in this type of patient with existing comorbid conditions. The restoration of SR through acupuncture in this patient suggests that pulmonary function was even more crucial than first assumed; the chance of pulmonary fibrosis under an average dose of amiodarone is small, but could have been detrimental to the health status of this particular patient.

Improvement of the general condition.

There is much ongoing research related to the efficacy of inhibitors of the RAAS in primary and secondary prevention of AF.7 ,8 Apart from the known beneficial effects such as neurohormonal sedation and afterload reduction, other direct effects on the arrhythmogenic substrate in the LA are discussed: inhibition of fibrosis, inflammation14 ,15 and LA remodelling as a pathogenic mechanism in the prevention of AF. Further research could help to determine similar mechanisms through acupuncture since the existing data suggest that acupuncture sedates the neurohormonal systems9–11 and inhibits the inflammatory processes.15–18

In this patient with chronic bronchitis, ‘spontaneous’ conversion to SR without the need for administration of amiodarone or ECV proved to be an effective route and underlines the value of an integrative approach. These findings indicate the need for additional clinical research in order to further determine the mechanism of action in acupuncture and establish its place in the integrative treatment of AF.

Footnotes

Contributors FAMJ was responsible for the western medical and pharmacological part; MLJ-B was responsible for the TCM part.

Competing interests None.

Patient consent Obtained.

Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

Open Access This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 3.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 3.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

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Chōng meridian 衝脈 an ancient Chinese description of the vascular system?Acupuncture in Medicine

Chōng meridian 衝脈 an ancient Chinese description of the vascular system?Acupuncture in Medicine | Acupuncture and the cardiovascular; circulatory system | Scoop.it
Acupunct Med doi:10.1136/acupmed-2013-010496Education and practiceChōng meridian 衝脈 an ancient Chinese description of the vascular system? AuthorsAbstract

The objectives of this research are, first, to establish if the extraordinary acupuncture meridian known as Chōng (衝脈), Penetrating Vessel or Sea of Blood, is in essence a description of certain macroscopic parts of the underlying vascular system and, second, by extension, to show that it is likely that cadaveric dissection would have been used as a tool to arrive at this understanding. Generally accepted scholarly opinion holds that the ancient Chinese rarely used dissection in order to explore the anatomy of the human body, and that the meridians are therefore invisible metaphysical structures corresponding to lines drawn on the body. However, the seminal text, ‘The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine’, describes using palpation to examine the living and dissection to examine the dead. This implies that the original authors of these texts were observing physical structures visible to the naked eye. Dissection has therefore been used to compare the descriptions of the Chōng meridian in ‘The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine’ with the vascular anatomy of the human body. Fifteen acupuncture points located on various different ordinary meridians but bearing the same name, Chōng (衝/ 沖), were also examined to see if they bore any relationship to the vascular system. The dissections clearly show that the Chōng meridian correlates to certain main blood vessels in the body, in particular the vena cava. Similarly, most Chōngacupuncture points have a strong correspondence with blood vessels, marking terminal arteries on the hands, feet and forehead and anastomoses on the face, body and feet. These findings strongly suggest that the ancient Chinese texts relating to this meridian are likely to have been a ‘description’ of the vascular system. Furthermore, the ancient Chinese apparently had a high degree of anatomical skill in the practice of dissection and acute powers of observation.

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Integrated approach to treatment-resistant atrial fibrillation: additional value of acupuncture

Integrated approach to treatment-resistant atrial fibrillation: additional value of acupuncture | Acupuncture and the cardiovascular; circulatory system | Scoop.it

INTEGRATED APPROACH TO TREATMENT-RESISTANT ATRIAL FIBRILLATION: ADDITIONAL VALUE OF ACUPUNCTURE

Posted by City Acupuncture Pain Clinic on Saturday, 31 August 2013  F A M Jonkman1,2,3, M L Jonkman-Buidin1,2,3 1Department of Acupuncture, Acupuncture Outpatient Clinic Heel de Mens, Heelsum, The Netherlands 2Department of Cardiology, Stichting Cardiologie Heelsum, Heelsum, The Netherlands 3Training Centre Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine, Human Balance Teachings, Heelsum, The NetherlandsCorrespondence to F A M Jonkman, Human Balance Teachings, Training Centre Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine, Veentjesbrug 5, 6866 NC Heelsum, The Netherlands;info{at}humanbalance.nl, fokke{at}zorggroepjonkman.nl Received 19 April 2013 Accepted 3 July 2013 Published Online First 24 July 2013

A 62-year-old patient with chronic bronchitis had treatment-resistant atrial fibrillation. Electrical cardioversion was performed, but sinus rhythm (SR) lasted only for some minutes. Administration of amiodarone was withheld in favour of a course of acupuncture treatment in order to increase the success rate of a second attempt of electrical cardioversion. After two acupuncture treatments, spontaneous conversion to SR occurred. Relapses into atrial fibrillation in the following five winters, associated with attacks of bronchitis, also responded to acupuncture. The mechanisms of action of the acupuncture treatment and the value of this integrated approach to treatment are discussed.

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 3.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Last modified on Saturday, 31 August 2013

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New MRI Acupuncture Study Finds Stomach & Heart Point Specificity

New MRI Acupuncture Study Finds Stomach & Heart Point Specificity | Acupuncture and the cardiovascular; circulatory system | Scoop.it

ON 13 MAY 2013.

 

A new study confirms that acupuncture’s medical benefits are acupuncture point specific for its effective actions on the stomach, intestines and heart. Researchers discovered that needling acupuncture point CV12 increases HRV, heart rate variability, an important ability of the human heart to vary its rate in reaction to bodily demands. Needling CV12 did not affect electrogastrogram signals, a measure of electric signals in the stomach and intestines. The converse is true of needling acupuncture point UB32. Applying an acupuncture needle to this point affects electrogastrogram readings but does not affect HRV.

AcupunctureThis is the latest in a series of investigations proving that specific acupuncture points have specific effects. In a related MRI acupuncture study, investigators note that acupuncture “induce(s) different cerebral glucose metabolism changes in pain-related brain regions and reduce(s) intensity of pain” for patients with migraines. PET-CT neuroimaging (positron emission tomography - computed tomography) revealed that the choice of acupuncture points used determines exact changes in brain glycometabolism in specific regions of the brain.

Researchers at the University of California School of Medicine (Irvine, California) came up with similar results, “Recent evidence shows that stimulation of different points on the body causes distinct responses in hemodynamic, fMRI and central neural electrophysiological responses.” The investigators reviewed MRI results and noted that “stimulation of different sets of acupoints leads to disease-specific neuronal responses, even when acupoints are located within the same spinal segment.”

This type of research demonstrates that acupuncture points have specific biophysical effects on human health. For centuries, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) scholars have documented specific clinical results for individual acupuncture points and groupings of acupuncture points. Researchers investigated this theoretical and clinical construct with MRI imaging technology to test for acupuncture point specificity. Their findings agree with the traditional view that the functional medicinal actions of individual acupuncture points have unique biophysical affects and render specific beneficial clinical outcomes for patients.

Reference:
Minagawa, Munenori, Yasuzo Kurono, Tatsuyo Ishigami, Atsushi Yamada, Toshinori Kakamu, Ryoichi Akai, and Junichiro Hayano. "Site-specific organ-selective effect of epifascial acupuncture on cardiac and gastric autonomic functions." Autonomic Neuroscience (2013).

A PET-CT study on specificity of acupoints through acupuncture treatment on migraine patients. Jie Yang1, Fang Zeng1, Yue Feng1,Li Fang1, Wei Qin2, Xuguang Liu1, Wenzhong Song3, Hongjun Xie3 , Ji Chen1, Fanrong Liang1.

Point specificity in acupuncture. Chinese Medicine 2012, 7:4 doi:10.1186/1749-8546-7-4. Emma M Choi, Fang Jiang, John C Longhurst. Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California, Irvine CA

 

- See more at: http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/754-acupuncturecv12ub32#sthash.3DzPH8ng.vhv6rgfC.dpuf

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Electroacupuncture at Acupoints Reverses Plasma Glutamate, Lipid, and LDL/VLDL in an Acute Migraine Rat Model: A (1) H NMR-Based Metabolomic Study. [Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014] - PubM...

Electroacupuncture at Acupoints Reverses Plasma Glutamate, Lipid, and LDL/VLDL in an Acute Migraine Rat Model: A (1) H NMR-Based Metabolomic Study. [Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014] - PubM... | Acupuncture and the cardiovascular; circulatory system | Scoop.it

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:659268. doi: 10.1155/2014/659268. Epub 2014 Jan 28.

 

Electroacupuncture at Acupoints Reverses Plasma Glutamate, Lipid, and LDL/VLDL in an Acute Migraine Rat Model: A (1) H NMR-Based Metabolomic Study.

 

Gao Z1, Liu X2, Yu S2, Zhang Q3, Chen Q4, Wu Q2, Liu J3, Sun B3, Fang L4, Lin J5, Zhu BM6, Yan X3, Liang F2.Author information 

 

Abstract

 

 

Background. The objective of this study was to identify potential biomarkers of electroacupuncture (EA) on relieving acute migraine through metabolomic study. Methods. EA treatments were performed on both acupoints and nonacupoints on the nitroglycerin (NTG)-induced migraine rat model. NMR experiments and multivariate analysis were used for metabolomic analysis. Results. The number of head-scratching, the main ethology index of migraine rat model, was significantly increased (P < 0.01) after NTG injection.

 

The plasma metabolic profile of model group was distinct from that of the control group. Glutamate was significantly increased (P < 0.01), whereas lipids were significantly decreased (P < 0.01) in model rats. After EA at acupoints, the metabolic profile of model rats was normalized, with decreased glutamate (P < 0.05) and increased lipids (P < 0.01). In contrast, EA at nonacupoints did not restore the metabolic profile, but with six metabolites significantly different from acupoints group. Interestingly, the number of head-scratching and glutamate level were significantly decreased (P < 0.05) after receiving EA at both acupoints and nonacupoints.

 

Conclusions. EA at acupoints may relieve acute migraine by restoring the plasma metabolic profile and plasma glutamate, while EA at nonacupoints may modestly relieve acute migraine by decreasing plasma glutamate.

 

PMID: 24592282 [PubMed] Free full text

 

PubMed comprises more than 23 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.


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Neuroendocrine mechanisms of acupuncture in the treatment of hypertension [Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012] - PubMed - NCBI

Neuroendocrine mechanisms of acupuncture in the treatment of hypertension [Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012] - PubMed - NCBI | Acupuncture and the cardiovascular; circulatory system | Scoop.it

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:878673. doi: 10.1155/2012/878673. Epub 2011 Dec 18.

 

Neuroendocrine mechanisms of acupuncture in the treatment of hypertension

 

.Zhou W1, Longhurst JC.Author information 

 

Abstract

 

Hypertension affects approximately 1 billion individuals worldwide. Pharmacological therapy has not been perfected and often is associated with adverse side effects. Acupuncture is used as an adjunctive treatment for a number of cardiovascular diseases like hypertension. It has long been established that the two major contributors to systemic hypertension are the intrarenal renin-angiotensin system and chronic activation of the sympathetic nervous system. Recent evidence indicates that in some models of cardiovascular disease, blockade of AT1 receptors in the rostral ventrolateral medulla (rVLM) reduces sympathetic nerve activity and blood pressure, suggesting that overactivity of the angiotensin system in this nucleus may play a role in the maintenance of hypertension.

 

Our experimental studies have shown that electroacupuncture stimulation activates neurons in the arcuate nucleus, ventrolateral gray, and nucleus raphe to inhibit the neural activity in the rVLM in a model of visceral reflex stimulation-induced hypertension. This paper will discuss current knowledge of the effects of acupuncture on central nervous system and how they contribute to regulation of acupuncture on the endocrine system to provide a perspective on the future of treatment of hypertension with this ancient technique.

 

PubMed comprises more than 23 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.


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Research: Five Key Acupuncture Discoveries, including hypertension

Research: Five Key Acupuncture Discoveries, including hypertension | Acupuncture and the cardiovascular; circulatory system | Scoop.it
Five new acupuncture discoveries made a major global impact. The new research changes the way science views this ancient art.

 

on 02 May 2014

 

Five new acupuncture discoveries received widespread global attention. Number one on the list was that of CT scans capturing acupuncture points. CT (computerized tomography) X-ray scans now reveal the anatomical structure of acupuncture points. This rocked the research world after being published in the Journal of the Electron Spectroscopy and Related Phenomena. 

Prior to these findings, researchers were able to map electrical, heat and oxygen density patterns for acupuncture points. This most recent discovery finding, however, included the very first CT images of acupuncture point structures. To learn more, take a look at the Healthcare Medicine Institute's acupuncture continuing education article.

 

Number two on the list has important implications for patients suffering from depression. Electroacupuncture is shown to increase brain cell health associated with mental health. An examination of brain cells following acupuncture treatments uncovered important mechanisms by which acupuncture exerts its antidepressant effects.

 

The researchers discovered that acupuncture exhibits regulatory effects on special brain cells in the hippocampus called neural progenitor cells (NPs). These cells contribute to the maintenance of the brain and spinal cord. A major function of NPs is in the replacement of damaged or dead cells. Injured cells activate NPs to differentiate into the target tissue. 

 

The research team cited numerous studies demonstrating “that acupuncture is an effective remedy for depression and it may be as effective as antidepressant drugs.” They also note that electro-acupuncture increases neurogenesis in the hippocampus as do SSRIs (serotonin reuptake inhibitors), a class of antidepressant medications. Neurogenesis is the process by which neurons are generated from neural stem and progenitor cells. To learn more, a full write-up isavailable online at HealthCMi.

 

Number three on the list confirms prior findings that acupuncture significantly reduces hypertension. Researchers conclude that acupuncture has a “stable antihypertensive effect.” Acupuncture point KI3, located in the ankle region, was shown to have an “antihypertensive effect for essential hypertension.” Over 1.5 billion people have high blood pressure and it is the leading cause of death amoung cardiovascular disorders. In the USA, high blood pressure is the most common chronic medical disorder associated with doctor office visits. The American Heart Association estimated that the cost of this disorder exceeded $76 billion dollars in 2010. To find out more, visit the HealthCMi page on this topic. 

 

Number four on the list produced overwhelming scientific evidence that acupuncture reduces pain. The discovery created a great stir because it was published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Researchers from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York and Technical University, Munich conclusively proved that acupuncture reduces pain. The sham-placebo controls examined in the meta-analysis met the highest standards and put to rest the age old question, does it work? The comprehensive investigation reviewed 31 studies involving 19,827 patients. After 2,000 years of clinical success it is now official, acupuncture stops pain. Learn more in the full news article. 

Number five on the list is new research demonstrating that acupuncture significantly improves pregnancy rates and has potent effects in reversing infertility. The study measured acupuncture’s success in patients using IUI, IVF and for those using no biomedical interventions. All three groups showed significant improvements in pregnancy rates. Lear more in the article on acupuncture for fertility. 

 

Another recent investigation demonstrated that acupuncture is safe and effective for relieving pain and nausea in the emergency room setting. The study concluded that acupuncture combined with biomedical care improves patient outcomes. This type of study reflects a myriad of new research demonstrating the role of acupuncture in an integrative medical environment. Read about this finding in the aricle on acupuncutre emergency room care. 

Another investigation receiving widespread attention is that acupuncture combined with ginger moxibustion has a curative effect on patients with intractable tinnitus, ear ringing. Researchers from a hospital in Hubei province treated cases of intractable tinnitus using acupuncture and ginger moxibustion. They achieved an overall effective rate of 91.18%. The study outlined a special protocol for the treatment of this pernicious and often difficult to treat disorder. Lean more in the article on acupuncture for tinnitus. 

 

Another recent study finds that acupuncture benefits the ovaries by regulating sex hormones for cases of PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome. According to the research, acupuncture facilitated “the normal transformation of ovarian androgen to estrogen” and restored normal endocrine system functions. This type of laboratory research, now common, measures the direct impact on bodily biochemicals by acupuncture. This helps to explain the long-lasting therapeutic effects caused by acupuncture care. Learn more in the article Acupuncture Regulates Sex Hormones in PCOS. 

 

References:
Yang, Liu, Na Yue, Xiaocang Zhua, Qiuqin Hana, Bin Lia, Qiong Liu, Gencheng Wu, and Jin Yu. "Electroacupuncture promotes proliferation of amplifying neural progenitors and preserves quiescent neural progenitors from apoptosis to alleviate depressive-like and anxiety-like behaviours.”

Chenglin, Liu, Wang Xiaohu, Xu Hua, Liu Fang, Dang Ruishan, Zhang Dongming, Zhang Xinyi, Xie Honglan, and Xiao Tiqiao. "X-ray phase-contrast CT imaging of the acupoints based on synchrotron radiation." Journal of Electron Spectroscopy and Related Phenomena (2013).

Antihypertensive Effect of Acupuncturing at KI3 in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats, Shaoyang CUI, Mingzhu Xu, Shuhui Wang, Chunzhi Tang, Xinsheng Lai, Zhiqi Fan; Shenzhen Futian Hospital of TCM, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine; 2013 IEEE International Conference on Bioinformatics and Biomedicine.

Vickers AJ, Linde K. Acupuncture for Chronic Pain. JAMA. 2014;311(9):955-956. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.285478.

Chui, Shiu Hon, Fung Chun Chow, Yim Tong Szeto, Kelvin Chan, and ChristopherWK Lam. "A Case Series on Acupuncture Treatment for Female Infertility with some cases supplemented with Chinese Medicines." European Journal of Integrative Medicine (2014).

Zhang, Anthony L., Shefton J. Parker, David McD Taylor, and Charlie CL Xue. "Acupuncture and standard emergency department care for pain and/or nausea and its impact on emergency care delivery: a feasibility study." Acupuncture in Medicine (2014): acupmed-2013.

Li, Shilin, Yan Xiao, Yingli Song, and Jiang Wu. "Efficacy Observation of Acupuncture Combined with Ginger Moxibustion to Treatment of 34 Cases of Intractable Tinnitus." Zhongyi Zhongyao (Traditional Chinese Medicine and Herbs) Aug. 2013: 277-278.

- See more at: http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1303-five-key-acupuncture-discoveries#sthash.mqd2Rrxl.dpuf


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Resource: Evidence Based Acupuncture

Resource: Evidence Based Acupuncture | Acupuncture and the cardiovascular; circulatory system | Scoop.it

#Evidence #Based #Acupuncture was created to show the current state of knowledge about acupuncture,  using the language understood by Western #scholars – the language of science.

 

The amount of available #data is overwhelming. This project is still evolving and probably will never be finished as new data is produced almost every day. Any help would be useful - in analysing data, writing #articles, translating them into different languages. If You think this idea fits You – write to us, join the team, lets change the world together!


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Acupuncture Lowers Hypertension - New Finding

Acupuncture Lowers Hypertension - New Finding | Acupuncture and the cardiovascular; circulatory system | Scoop.it
Acupuncture has been shown to reduce high blood pressure in this new lab experiment.

Newly published research confirms that acupuncture reduces hypertension, high blood pressure. Real acupuncture was found more effective than both a non-acupuncture control and a sham acupuncture control in this new laboratory experiment. As a result of this controlled experiment, the researchers concluded that acupuncture has a “stable antihypertensive effect.”

The researchers investigated the effects of needling acupuncture point KI3 (KD3, K3, Taixi). Interest for this study was based on other recent published research. The researchers note, “Many animal and clinical studies have reported the efficacy of acupuncture in reducing hypertension.”

Standard acupuncture treatments usually involved the application of acupuncture point prescriptions with more than one acupuncture point. This study isolated the effects of a single acupuncture point on laboratory rats with hypertension. The researchers conclude acupuncture at KI3 has an “antihypertensive effect for essential hypertension.” 

This new research manages to isolate a single acupuncture point in a laboratory animal experiment. Human clinical studies have confirmed these results. This includes individual case studies and group controlled trials. These studies demonstrate that acupuncture lowers blood pressure in cases of hypertension and reduces or eliminates the side effects of medications.

A recent human case study measured significant results using acupuncture points LI4, LI11, ST36 and ST9. A patient began the study with blood pressure at 160/100 mm Hg. Medications lowered the blood pressure to 150/99 mm Hg. Acupuncture was added to the clinical regime and the blood pressure reduced to 130/80 mm Hg. This is a modern example of combining acupuncture with medications to achieve optimum results in patient outcomes.

Acupuncture was also successful in eliminating the side effects of the antihypertensive medication. Acupuncture points CV4, CV6 and SP6 were used to combat flushing, diarrhea, palpitations, fatigue, decreased sexual function and several other adverse effects caused by the antihypertensive medication. Acupuncture served two successful functions. It allowed a further lowering of blood pressure to normal levels and acupuncture eliminated the side effects of the medication.

The acupuncture needles were inserted bilaterally and perpendicularly to a depth of 0.8 to 1.0 cun. Tonification needle techniques were applied to LI11, ST36 and ST9 using a twirling technique for a duration of 1 minute. LI4 was stimulated with a twirling, reducing method for 1 minute. The total duration of needle retention per acupuncture treatment was 30 minutes. A total of 60 acupuncture treatments over the course of 12 weeks was administered.

The authors of the study note that abundant research supports the use of acupuncture points LV3, LI11, GB20, ST36 and ST40 for the treatment of hypertension. The researchers chose the acupuncture point prescription for this patient based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) meridian theory. Yangming channel acupuncture points such as LI11, ST36 and LI4 were chosen for their ability to ‘reconcile qi and blood.’ Additionally, ST9 was included for its specific function in regulating qi and blood and because it is a meeting point of the Stomach and Gallbladder meridians. The authors also note ST9’s proximity to the carotid sinus and its specialized ability to regulate blood pressure.

Additional research finds acupuncture effective in reducing blood pressure and in reducing the side effects of medications. Another recent study concluded that “acupuncture should be in the hypertension treatment guidelines and widely used for blood pressure regulation.”

Patients in this study had been taking antihypertensive medications for at least 24 months. Each subject was taking between one and three medications for the treatment of hypertension. The pharmaceutical classes of drugs were a combination of ACE inhibitors, diuretics and/or beta blockers. The patients experienced medication side effects including exhaustion, dizziness, weakness, joint pain, headaches, sleeping disorders, edema, a feeling of coldness in the extremities and depression.

The patients received acupuncture treatments every other day for a total of 15 treatments. The researchers discovered that combining acupuncture with medications resulted in two beneficial medical outcomes. Overall systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels reduced significantly. Secondly, patients reported less side-effects from the medications.

In yet another recent study, investigators discovered that acupuncture lowers blood pressure in human patients with hypertension who are taking hypertension medications. Acupuncture reduced the systolic and diastolic blood pressure and NO (nitric oxide) concentration increased. Prior research demonstrates that nitric oxide (NO) levels are directly related blood pressure levels and therefore the effect of acupuncture on NO levels were documented.

A total of ten acupuncture treatments were administered to each patient at a rate of one acupuncture treatment per week. The acupuncture points used in the study were Yintang, ST36, SP6, HT7, LI4, SP9, LV3 and KI3. The investigators documented that acupuncture is effective in lowering blood pressure levels for patients with hypertension.

These findings were confirmed in another study using a similar acupuncture point prescription. Patients were given acupuncture at acupoints SP9, LI4, LV3, LI11 and ST9. The researchers concluded that acupuncture reduces hypertension both in the long and short-term for both systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels.

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine and University of California, Los Angeles concur that acupuncture is effective in lowering blood pressure. Their study investigated the effectiveness acupuncture points P5, P6, LI10 and LI11 combined with electroacupuncture for the treatment of hypertension. The researchers concluded that acupuncture successfully reduces hypertension. The researchers discovered an additional finding; the application of this acupuncture treatment prescription protocol protected heart tissues and reduced arrhythmias.

Taking the study one step further, the researchers investigated how acupuncture achieves positive clinical outcomes for patients with high blood pressure. They discovered that electroacupuncture stimulates neurons in specific brain regions that control sympathetic nerve stimulation throughout the body. The investigators mapped the neurological network stimulated by acupuncture and concluded that it is acupuncture’s ability to activate brain centers that allows it to lower high blood pressure.

Another recent study finds acupuncture effective for reducing high blood pressure and preventing damage to the kidneys. In a controlled laboratory experiment, researchers applied two acupuncture points to laboratory rats with hypertension and renal interstitial fibrosis, a kidney disease characterized by destruction of the renal tubules and capillaries. Acupuncture “significantly decreased” blood pressure and decreased “damage of kidney morphology.”

Three groups were compared. Group 1 received acupuncture. Group 2 was a control group and group 3 received pharmaceutical medication. The drug group received perindopril, an ACE inhibitor used for the treatment of high blood pressure and other forms of heart disease. The acupuncture group received electroacupuncture at LI11 (Quchi) and ST36 (Zusanli) for a period of 20 minutes at a rate of once per day. Blood pressure, kidney morphology, optical densities of kidney collagen with immunohistochemistry, and expression of TGF-beta1 mRNA with reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction method changes were measured.

The acupuncture group had similar results as the medication group in that TGF-beta1 mRNA expression was decreased. The acupuncture group showed significantly lower blood pressure and less pathological structural changes to the kidneys. The pathological depositional area of collagen in the acupuncture group also showed clinical benefits with a significant reduction of both type I and type III collagen. The researchers concluded that acupuncture at LI11 and ST36 “probably intervenes the process of RIF (renal interstitial fibrosis) by reducing synthesis of kidney type I, III collagen and restraining expression of TGF-beta1.” 

The accelerating body of evidence demonstrating acupuncture’s ability to regulate blood pressure includes several important components. First, acupuncture is effective in combating hypertension. Secondly, acupuncture enhances medication therapy with a synergistic effect. Thirdly, acupuncture reduces the side effects of medications. Fourthly, acupuncture prevents damage to bodily tissues that are often pathologically affected by hypertension. Fifthly, the mechanisms of acupuncture’s effective action have been measured in cortical and biochemical experiments.

The quality and quantity of research into acupuncture’s effectiveness for the treatment of hypertension continues to improve. Laboratory experiments, case studies and group clinical trials now confirm positive clinical outcomes. The question moving forward is no longer, “Does acupuncture work?” The question is now, “How will acupuncture be integrated into conventional medical settings?”

The researchers performing the laboratory experiment on acupuncture KI3 cited important and somewhat alarming figures. Hypertension affects approximately 65% of individuals over the age of 60. Worldwide, hypertension affects approximately 1 billion people and is a risk factor for cardiovascular related diseases including stroke, heart failure and renal failure. Approximately 7 million people die every year as a result of hypertension.

The researchers note that antihypertensive medications are effective and have minimal side-effects. However, they also note that health care related costs continue to escalate. In 2010, hypertension is estimated to have cost more than $70 billion in “health care services, medications, and missed days of work in the United States.”

Issues with food production and distribution, exercise, stress and lifestyle contribute to the prevalence of widespread hypertension. Medications, dietetics, stress management and exercise are effective components to combatting this disease. Acupuncture has demonstrated efficacy in fighting hypertension and is already providing clinical results in small clinics, group practices and, on a limited scale, the hospital setting.

Scale becomes a major issue in advancing acupuncture therapy to patients with hypertension. There are only approximately 20,000 licensed acupuncturists in the USA and about half of them are in California. A major challenge will be to establish protocols for the integration of acupuncture into conventional medical settings.

The inclusion of acupuncture into the Medicare system has not been established. This greatly reduces utilization. Many insurance policies provide some form of acupuncture coverage, however, many health insurance policies limit reimbursement of acupuncture office visits to conditions involving acute and chronic pain. These barriers to care must be removed before large scale use of acupuncture can ramp up to meet the medical need of the public.

References:
Antihypertensive Effect of Acupuncturing at KI3 in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats, Shaoyang CUI, Mingzhu Xu, Shuhui Wang, Chunzhi Tang, Xinsheng Lai, Zhiqi Fan; Shenzhen Futian Hospital of TCM, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine; 2013 IEEE International Conference on Bioinformatics and Biomedicine.

Zhang, Lili, Pengfei Shen, and Shu Wang. "Acupuncture treatment for hypertension: a case study." Acupuncture in Medicine (2013): acupmed-2013.

Cevik, C., and S. O. Işeri. "The effect of acupuncture on high blood pressure of patients using antihypertensive drugs." Acupuncture & electro-therapeutics research 38, no. 1-2 (2012): 1-15.

Severcan, C., C. Cevik, H. V. Acar, A. B. Sivri, S. S. Mit, E. Geçioğlu, O. T. Paşaoğlu, and Y. Gündüztepe. "The effects of acupuncture on the levels of blood pressure and nitric oxide in hypertensive patients." Acupuncture & electro-therapeutics research 37, no. 4 (2012): 263.

Hongguo Zhen Jiu. 2012 Sep;32(9):776-8. [Observation of anti-hypertensive effect on primary hypertension treated with acupuncture at Renying (ST 9) mainly]. Yin C, Du YZ. Graduate Faculty of Tianjin University of TCM, China.

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 878673, 9 pages. doi:10.1155/2012/878673. Neuroendocrine Mechanisms of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Hypertension. Wei Zhou and John C. Longhurst. Department of Anesthesiology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles. Department of Medicine, University of California, Irvine.

Chen, Z. J., Y. Qu, L. D. Zhang, Y. Liu, S. S. Wang, and L. Y. Gu. "[Effects of acupuncture on kidney morphological structure and expression of TGF-beta1 mRNA in rats with spontaneous hypertension]." Zhongguo zhen jiu= Chinese acupuncture & moxibustion 33, no. 9 (2013): 824-828.

- See more at: http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1255-acupuncture-lowers-hypertension-new-finding#sthash.2QTKSih0.dpuf


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Experiences of acupuncture among women with migraine, Advances in Physiotherapy, Informa Healthcare

Experiences of acupuncture among women with migraine, Advances in Physiotherapy, Informa Healthcare | Acupuncture and the cardiovascular; circulatory system | Scoop.it

European Journal of Physiotherapy 

Original Articles

Experiences of acupuncture among women with migraine

 

2009, Vol. 11, No. 3 , Pages 130-136 (doi:10.1080/14038190802242053)

Stina Rutberg1*, Kerstin Öhrling11Department of Health Science, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden*Correspondence: Stina Rutberg, Division of Health and Rehabilitation, Department of Health Science, Luleå University of Technology, SE, 971 87, Luleå, Sweden stina.rutberg@ltu.se

 

 

The aim of this study was to describe experiences of acupuncture treatment among women with migraine. The study was based on narrative interviews with 10 women in the northern part of Sweden. The interview text was analysed using qualitative content analysis and the results were grouped into two categories: “experiences during acupuncture treatment” and “experiences afteracupuncture treatment” and five subheadings. The experience of acupuncture during treatment varied between women, over time, and depending on external circumstances. Women stated that the patient–therapist relationship affected the experience both during and the outcome afteracupuncture treatment. The results showed that acupuncture relieved pain, decreased the use of pharmaceuticals and increased emotional strength. When the migraine disappeared or was lessened, women felt that they could live life to the fullest again and felt that family and work did not suffer, as they did before the acupuncture treatment. Women felt a feeling of control over migraine and experienced safety in the effect of acupuncture. In conclusion, acupuncture seems to relieve the consequences of migraine and can be viewed as an alternative for physiotherapists in treating persons with migraine.

KeywordsAcupuncture treatment, content analysis, migraine, pain, qualitative research

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