Acupuncture and the immune system
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Acupuncture modulates the neuro-endocrine-immune network. [QJM. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI

Acupuncture modulates the neuro-endocrine-immune network. [QJM. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI | Acupuncture and the immune system | Scoop.it

QJM. 2013 Oct 17. [Epub ahead of print]Acupuncture modulates the neuro-endocrine-immune network.Ding SS1, Hong SH, Wang C, Guo Y, Wang ZK, Xu Y.Author information 

 

Abstract

 

As a nonspecific physical stimulation, the effect of acupuncture on diseases is produced by motivating the inherent regulatory system in the body, having the characteristics of whole regulation, dual directional regulation, etc. Modern scientific researches show that body's inherent regulatory system is neuro-endocrine-immune (NEI) network. Hence, we speculate that the regulatory effect of acupuncture may be produced through its regulation of NEI network. In this article, we reviewed the recent researches about acupuncture's effect on the NEI network, to find out the evidence of acupuncture adjusting NEI network and provide some evidences for revealing the mechanism of acupuncture.

PMID: 24106314 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

 

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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Acupuncture Holds Promise for Treating Inflammatory Disease | Media Relations

Acupuncture Holds Promise for Treating Inflammatory Disease | Media Relations | Acupuncture and the immune system | Scoop.it
Acupuncture Holds Promise for Treating Inflammatory DiseaseRutgers-led study suggests pathways to alleviating inflammation in disorders such as sepsis, arthritisSunday, February 23, 2014
  

When acupuncture first became popular in the Western Hemisphere it had its doubters. It still does. But over time, through detailed observation, scientists have produced real evidence that ancient Chinese practitioners of the medical arts were onto something. 

Now new research documents a direct connection between the use of acupuncture and physical processes that could alleviate sepsis, a condition that often develops in hospital intensive care units, springs from infection and inflammation, and takes an estimated 250,000 lives in the United States every year. 

 

Photo: Rob FormanLuis Ulloa of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School says there may be future treatments for deadly inflammation that use either acupuncture or medications.High Res“Sepsis is the major cause of death in the hospital,” says Luis Ulloa of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School's Center for Immunity and Inflammation, who led the study, which has been published by the journal Nature Medicine. “But in many cases patients don’t die because of the infection. They die because of the inflammatory disorder they develop after the infection. So we hoped to study how to control the inflammatory disorder.”

 

The researchers already knew that stimulation of one of the body’s major nerves, the vagus nerve, triggers processes in the body that reduce inflammation, so they set out to see whether a form of acupuncture that sends a small electric current through that and other nerves could reduce inflammation and organ injury in septic mice. Ulloa explains that increasing the current magnifies the effect of needle placement, and notes that electrification is already FDA-approved for treating pain in human patients.   

When electroacupuncture was applied to mice with sepsis, molecules called cytokines that help limit inflammation were stimulated as predicted, and half of those mice survived for at least a week. There was zero survival among mice that did not receive acupuncture.

Ulloa and his team then probed further, to figure out exactly why the acupuncture treatments had succeeded. And they made a discovery that, on its face, was very disappointing. They found that when they removed adrenal glands – which produce hormones in the body – the electroacpuncture stopped working.

 

 Evidence that acupuncture produces beneficial effects continues to grow. That discovery presented a big potential roadblock to use of acupuncture for sepsis in humans, because most human cases of sepsis include sharply reduced adrenal function. In theory, electroacupuncture might still help a minority of patients whose adrenal glands work well, but not many others.

 

So the researchers dug even deeper – to find the specific anatomical changes that occurred when electroacupuncture was performed with functioning adrenal glands. Those changes included increased levels of dopamine, a substance that has important functions within the immune system. But they found that adding dopamine by itself did not curb the inflammation. They then substituted a drug called fenoldopam that mimics some of dopamine’s most positive effects, and even without acupuncture they succeeded in reducing sepsis-related deaths by 40 percent.

Ulloa considers the results a double triumph. 

On the one hand, he says, this research shows physical evidence of acupuncture’s value beyond any that has been demonstrated before. His results show potential benefits, he adds, not just for sepsis, but treating other inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and Crohn’s disease.   

On the other hand, by also establishing that a drug reduced sepsis deaths in mice, he has provided an innovative road map toward developing potential drugs for people. That road map may be crucial, because no FDA-approved drug to treat sepsis now exists. 

“I don’t even know whether in the future the best solution for sepsis will be electroacupuncture or some medicine that will mimic electroacupuncture,” Ulloa concludes. The bottom line, he says, is that this research has opened the door to both.

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Acupuncture for Arthritis Pain is Histamine Dependent

Acupuncture for Arthritis Pain is Histamine Dependent | Acupuncture and the immune system | Scoop.it

New research finds that acupuncture’s effectiveness for the relief of arthritis pain is dependent on acupuncture’s ability to stimulate histamines at the needling site. In the laboratory experiment, an injection of a histamine antagonist prior to acupuncture needling reduced the effectiveness of acupuncture’s ability to eliminate pain. This is one of numerous studies measuring the benefits of acupuncture for the relief of arthritis.

Acupuncture NeedlingA recent analysis of fourteen controlled clinical trials involving 3,835 patients notes, “Acupuncture provided significantly better relief from knee osteoarthritis pain and a larger improvement in function than sham acupuncture, standard care treatment, or waiting for further treatment.” The researchers stated that acupuncture for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis is “better at relieving pain and restoring function” than both standard biomedical care and sham acupuncture.

About HealthCMi: The Healthcare Medicine Institute provides acupuncture CEU continuing education credit for licensed acupuncturists. The HealthCMi news division provides up-to-date research, healthcare and acupuncture continuing education news.

References:
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 810512, 6 pages. doi:10.1155/2012/810512. In Adjuvant-Induced Arthritic Rats, Acupuncture Analgesic Effects Are Histamine Dependent: Potential Reasons for Acupoint Preference in Clinical Practice. Meng Huang, Di Zhang, Zhe-yan Sa, Ying-yuan Xie, Chen-li Gu and Guang-hong Ding.

Saudi Med J. 2012 May;33(5):526-32. Needle acupuncture for osteoarthritis of the knee. A systematic review and updated meta-analysis. Cao L, Zhang XL, Gao YS, Jiang Y. Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Shanghai Sixth People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China.

- See more at: http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/642-acupunctureceuarthritishistamine?__scoop_post=4017963248&__scoop_topic=2067343#__scoop_post=4017963248&__scoop_topic=2067343

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Is Acupuncture an Antidote for Allergies? | TIME.com

Is Acupuncture an Antidote for Allergies? | TIME.com | Acupuncture and the immune system | Scoop.it

Acupuncture already helps to relieve pain in some patients, and the latest study hints that it might relieve sneezing and itchy eyes as well.

Most patients plagued with sniffles brought on by seasonal allergies turn to antihistamines for relief, but when they don’t get relief, some opt for alternative treatments like acupuncture, in which tiny needles inserted just under the skin at specific points in the body are used to reduce certain symptoms.

 

In a study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers examined 422 people who tested positive for pollen allergies and had allergic nasal symptoms such as a runny nose. The participants reported their symptoms as well as what medication and doses they used to treat them. The researchers then divided them into three groups; one received 12 acupuncture treatments and took antihistamines as needed, a second group received 12 fake acupuncture treatments (needles placed at random, non-meaningful points in the body) and took antihistamines as needed, while the final group only took antihistamines for symptoms.

After two months, the researchers asked the patients about their symptoms and how much medication they used. The participants who received the real acupuncture treatments with their antihistamines showed a greater improvement in their allergy symptoms and less use of antihistamines compared to the other groups. But the fact that even the participants receiving the sham acupuncture therapy reported some relief of their symptoms suggests that a strong placebo effect may be responsible for at least part of the improvement.

That possibility was supported by the fact that after four months of follow-up, the difference between the groups was less pronounced. The researchers speculate that the patients’ expectations of how much the acupuncture might help them could have influenced their reports of improved symptoms.

But if the treatments are providing some type of relief, then acupuncture’s potential role in treating allergies should be investigated further, the authors say. “The effectiveness of acupuncture for [seasonal allergies] compared with other antiallergic interventions and the possible underlying mechanisms of any effect, including context effects, need to be addressed in further research,” they write in the study.

 

That view is supported by Dr. Remy Coeytaux of the Duke Clinical Research Institute and Dr. Jongbae J. Park of the Regional Center for Neurosensory Disorders and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who wrote an editorial accompanying the study. They note that acupuncture’s benefits have started to emerge over the last 15 years and enough high-quality clinical trials support “patient-level meta-analyses for several clinical indications.” They suggest that more rigorous research, which would incoude comparing acupuncture with existing teatments for conditions such as allergies, should be conducted in coming years.

They write:

It may be time to begin asking such questions as: How does acupuncture compare directly with other therapeutic approaches? Which of the many acupuncture traditions or approaches is most effective or appropriate for a given clinical indication? What outcomes or process measures should we be assessing in clinical trials of acupuncture? Is the magnitude of effect, if any, associated with acupuncture for a given clinical indication “worth it” from the perspective of patients, payers, or policymakers?

In the meantime, study author Dr. Benno Brinkhaus of the Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics at Charité University Medical Center in Berlin wrote in an email response describing the study that “From my experience as a physician and acupuncturist, and as a researcher, I would recommend trying acupuncture if patients are not satisfied with the conventional anti-allergic medication or treatment or they suffer from more or less serious sides effects of the conventional medication. Also because acupuncture is a relative safe treatment.” Until more stringent studies document what effects acupuncture might have on the sneezing and sniffling of allergies, however, you may not know for sure whether those sessions under the needles are likely to do you any good.

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Acupuncture Effect on Inflammatory Markers in Pediatric Otitis Media With Effusion: A Pilot Study - myTomorrows

Acupuncture Effect on Inflammatory Markers in Pediatric Otitis Media With Effusion: A Pilot Study - myTomorrows | Acupuncture and the immune system | Scoop.it

Brief summary:
Objective: to evaluate acupunctures effect on inflammatory markers in pediatric Otitis Media
with Effusion Methods: 100 Children with otitis media with effusion (OME) diagnosis, who are
in watchful waiting for 3 month, will be randomized in two groups: acupuncture and control.
50 Children in the acupuncture group will receive standard treatment combined with
acupuncture for 3 months. 50 Children in the control group will receive standard treatment
only, for the same time period. After 3 months, both groups will be reassessed for OME.
Children with no improvement from both groups will be assigned for tympanostomy.
Data collection: in children undergoing tympanostomy, middle ear effusion (MEE) will be
collected, analyzed and evaluated for group differences. 

Official title:
Acupuncture Effect on Inflammatory Markers in Pediatric Otitis Media With Effusion: A Pilot Study 

Eligibility:
Inclusion Criteria:
- otherwise healthy children ages 2-8 years
- autoscopic OME diagnosis
- tympanometry type B
- conductive hearing impairment of 30 decibel or more
- who are at watchful waiting treatment for 3 months
- signed parental consent.
Exclusion Criteria:
- lack of parental consent
- known coagulopathy
- past tympanostomy
- regular intake of steroids or cytotoxic drugs
Both
2 Years
8 Years
No 

Contacts:
PETER Gilbey, MD
972-4-6828883
peter.g@ziv.health.gov.il 

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The might of mites

The might of mites | Acupuncture and the immune system | Scoop.it

An estimated 20% of the UK’s population suffers from allergic rhinitis (an allergic inflammation of the nasal airways). One of the common causes of these allergic reactions is dust mites – tiny creatures that tend to like sharing close quarters with humans. The allergic reactions do not occur because of the mites themselves, but are triggered by certain proteins that are found in their microscopic droppings.

For people who find they are wheezing, getting eczema, or having other strong allergic reactions as a result of dust mites, there are a series of recommendations that can go some way to helping reduce the symptoms. These include: using allergen-proof materials on beds and pillows; washing all bedding at a high temperature (60 degrees of above); removing carpeting in the bedroom; increasing ventilation in the room; and vacuuming and cleaning all surfaces regularly.

In terms of medical treatment, the most common medications are antihistamines which help to block the allergic reaction and the sensation of itching. Of the commonly prescribed medications is loratadine, a ‘non-drowsy antihistamine’.

In a recent paper on acupuncture for allergic rhinitis, researchers compared the effects of acupuncture versus loratadine.(1) Although the sample size was small (24 patients) the methods were interesting because they combined the subjective views of the patients receiving treatment, and objective ‘rhinoconjunctivitis symptom scores’ based on specific biological and immune reactions within the patients’ bodies.

Although there were no changes in immunoglobulin levels –  an indicator of a person’s level of allergic reaction – other immune system changes showed that both the acupuncture and the loratadine were having an impact. Overall, both treatments had an effect on the allergic reaction of patients.
The paper concludes that: Acupuncture is a clinically effective form of therapy in the treatment of patients suffering from persistent allergic rhinitis. The results indicate the probability of an immunomodulatory effect.

In other words, acupuncture is able to produce a change, or modulation, in the body’s immune system. A number of other studies have shown this before.(2) What acupuncture research needs now are larger sample sizes: more patients and larger trials.

Click here to see an acupuncture practitioner in the York area.

*With apologies for the pun in the title of this blog post

References

(1).     Hauswald B, Dill C, Boxberger J, Kuhlisch E, Zahnert T, Yarin YM. The effectiveness of acupuncture compared to loratadine in patients allergic to house dust mites. Journal of Allergy. 2014;2014:654632.

(2).     Joos S, Schott C, Zou H, Daniel V, Martin E. Immunomodulatory effects of acupuncture in the treatment of allergic asthma: a randomized controlled study. Journal Alternative Complementary Medicine N Y N. 2000 Dec;6(6):519–25.

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Surviving Sepsis: Detection and Treatment Advances - including acupuncture

Surviving Sepsis: Detection and Treatment Advances - including acupuncture | Acupuncture and the immune system | Scoop.it

A leading cause of death in U.S. intensive care units is sepsis, an overwhelming immune response to infection that triggers body-wide inflammation and can cause organ failure.  

Sepsis is challenging to diagnose and treat. Many of its early signs, such as fever and difficulty breathing, are similar to those of other conditions. When doctors do not detect sepsis until a more advanced stage, they are often unable to stop its progression or prevent its complications. 

“Sepsis is a complex problem,” says Sarah Dunsmore of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). “We need more research at all levels — from the molecular to the patient — to improve sepsis diagnosis and treatment and to enhance the quality of life for sepsis survivors.” 

Here’s a sampling of NIH-funded research efforts to detect sepsis early,treat it quickly  and reduce its later effects.

Detecting Sepsis Early

By the time a person develops the inflammation characteristic of sepsis, the condition may have already progressed to a life-threatening stage. But according to James Mapes of diagnostic test developer Myriad RBM, “If you can identify sepsis earlier, then you can treat it before it gets out of control.”   

Mapes and his research team are developing a tool for detecting sepsis early in infants with very low birthweights (VLBW). More than 20 percent of infants who weigh less than 3 pounds, 4 ounces are affected by sepsis. 

As sepsis progresses, the amounts of certain proteins in an infant’s bloodstream increase while others decrease. Mapes’ team tested the levels of hundreds of proteins in the blood of VLBW infants with and without sepsis. The scientists are now using statistical techniques to determine which combinations of these proteins are most associated with sepsis.

Their goal is to use this protein profile to develop a rapid blood test to detect sepsis in VLBW infants before the physical signs of the condition appear. 

Treating Sepsis Quickly

The antibiotics that treat infections do not prevent the dangerous inflammation that is a hallmark of sepsis. But a study led by Luis Ulloa of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School suggests that a form of acupuncture — or a drug that mimics its effect — might one day lead to an anti-inflammatory therapy for people with sepsis. 

The research team applied needles with weak electric voltages to an acupuncture point on mice with a sepsis-like condition. The “electro-acupuncture” treatment stimulated the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back to the foot. This then set off a nerve network that triggered the adrenal gland to produce the chemical dopamine, and the mice experienced reduced inflammation and greatly improved survival.  

But unlike the mice in this study, humans with sepsis often have underperforming adrenal glands. The effectiveness of the electro-acupuncture therapy, however, depended on a working adrenal gland. To overcome this obstacle to developing a potential therapy, the researchers tested whether dopamine-like drugs could have the same effect as electro-acupuncture, even in mice lacking adrenal glands. One of these drugs, fenoldopam, reduced deaths by 40 percent.    

The team hopes this research may one day lead to a new way of treating sepsis.

Preventing Secondary Infections

Some people who survive sepsis can develop secondary infections days or even months later. A research team that included Richard Hotchkiss, Jonathan Green and Gregory Storch of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suspected that this is because sepsis might cause lasting damage to the immune system. To test this hypothesis, the scientists compared viral activation in people with sepsis, other critically ill people and healthy individuals. The researchers looked for viruses like Epstein-Barr and herpes simplex that are often dormant in healthy people but can reactivate in those with suppressed immune systems. [Sepsis Has Long-Term Impact for Older Adults, Study Finds]

Of the three study groups, people with sepsis had much higher levels of these viruses, suggesting reactivation due to compromised immune responses. Immune suppression could make it difficult to defend against the reactivated viruses as well as new infections like pneumonia. The team now plans to test whether immune-boosting drugs can prevent deaths in sepsis survivors.

This Inside Life Science article was provided to Live Science in cooperation with the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health.

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Acupuncture in inflammation - The Star Online

Acupuncture in inflammation - The Star Online | Acupuncture and the immune system | Scoop.it
Acupuncture in inflammation The Star Online NEW research published in the journal Nature Medicine details a direct connection between acupuncture and the treatment of sepsis, a condition stemming from exposure to infection in hospital intensive...

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Acupuncture pain management for chikungunya - Health - Jamaica Gleaner - Wednesday | September 24, 2014

Acupuncture pain management for chikungunya - Health - Jamaica Gleaner - Wednesday | September 24, 2014 | Acupuncture and the immune system | Scoop.it

The chikungunya virus has landed on our shores and many of us are now in full mosquito management mode.

By now we know that the main symptoms are fever and severe joint pain, which maybe accompanied by other symptoms such as headache, muscle pain, joint swelling or rash.

Unfortunately, there is no medicine for the chikungunya virus and the course of treatment is simply to ease symptoms.

Fortunately, most persons with the virus will begin to feel better after a week or two, although in some cases the joint pain will persist for months. In cases where there is severe pain extending for a long time, acupuncture can be used as part of a management plan, to reduce pain and swelling and improve mobility.

WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE?

Acupuncture is the insertion of very thin needles at specific points on the body in order to treat a number of conditions in what is typically a comfortable procedure. Acupuncture points, of which there are close to 1,000, are grouped into pathways/meridians all over the body. Acupuncture is most popularly used in the treatment and management of pain arising from a number of conditions. Treatments can be administered regularly to reduce pain, tenderness and swelling in the affected joints, relieve headache and muscle pain.

HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?

Acupuncture points stimulate the central nervous system to release chemicals which either change the experience of pain or release other chemicals, such as hormones that influence the body's self-regulating systems. These biochemical changes stimulate the body's natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being.

TREATMENT

Since several joints are usually affected, acupuncture points are selected that have an effect on the overall musculo-skeletal system and are able to relieve pain in cases where several joints are affected. These points are primarily found along meridians whose points are indicated for any disease of the joint or muscles in the body. In the joints, which are most affected, additional acupuncture points are also selected which circle the affected joint.

Once the very thin acupuncture needles have been inserted in the selected points, a mild electrical charge is usually applied to some of the needles to enhance the stimulation at the acupuncture point and the effectiveness of the treatment.

Primary acupuncturepoints for pain in the hands:

Baxie points - located at the junction of the finger digits.

Primary acupuncture points for pain in the neck and back: Back bladder points - located 1.5" lateral to the lower border of each vertebrae along the spine.

Primary acupuncture points for pain in the knee:

XIYAN and ST.35 - These two points are located at the lower inner and outer border of the patella of the knee.

In addition, if you are infected with the chikungunya virus, it is important to get plenty of rest and drink fluids to prevent dehydration. Paracetamol may be also be used to relieve pain and reduce fever.

PREVENTION

The best approach is to adopt measures to prevent the infection by avoiding mosquito bites. These include using mosquito bed nets, window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside, ensuring there are no containers with standing water outside your home, wearing clothing that covers as much of the body as possible, and using insect repellants containing DEET for long-lasting protection.

Dr Tracey-Ann Brown is an oriental medicine practitioner of acupuncture and herbal medicine, adjunct lecturer at the University of Technology in Oriental/ Chinese Medicine. Email: traceyannbrown@gmail.com, yourhealth@gleanerjm.com

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Acupuncture Lowers Chemo Side Effects, Ups Immunity

Acupuncture Lowers Chemo Side Effects, Ups Immunity | Acupuncture and the immune system | Scoop.it

Acupuncture Lowers Chemo Side Effects, Ups Immunity

on 11 June 2014.

 

Acupuncture reduces chemotherapy side effects for colorectal cancer patients. New research confirms that acupuncture benefits the immune system and improves the psychological state for these patients. Blood samples prove that acupuncture enhances the immune system’s NK (natural killer) cells for colorectal cancer patients. Subjective testing showed improved mental health scores after acupuncture. The researchers concluded that acupuncture is both “feasible and safe for CRC (colorectal cancer) patients….”

The research team commented that NK cells are “a first line of defence against the metastatic spread of tumour cells.” Data shows that decreases in NK cell numbers and activity correspond to the progression of cancer. NK cells are immune system lymphocytes that are part of bodily responses to pathological concerns including tumors and virally infected cells. The new study shows that acupuncture benefits NK cell numbers thereby supporting the immune system. 

The study used a randomized, controlled investigation model. The acupuncture group received acupuncture treatments twice a week starting one week prior to chemotherapy for a total of six acupuncture treatments. A standardized protocol was used in the administration of care. Normally, acupuncture point prescriptions are customized contingent upon an individual’s differential diagnosis. In this case, a standard set of acupuncture points were used to eliminate variables.

Lower extremity acupuncture points were: LV3, ST36, SP9, GB39. Upper extremity points were LI4, PC5, TB5, LU7. Moxibustion was applied to SI6, TB5, ST32 and CV6 for two minutes at each acupuncture point. Each acupuncture treatment lasted for a total of 45 minutes. Average needle depth was 10mm and manual acupuncture was applied until a de qi sensation was achieved. Disposable acupuncture needles of 36 gauge (Tewa brand) were used. 

The objective testing revealed benefits to NK cell levels while subjective testing revealed psychological and physical benefits to patients receiving acupuncture. Improvements included reductions of gastrointestinal disorders, urological disorders and male sexual dysfunction. The acupuncture group also reported fewer side effects due to chemotherapy. The acupuncture study group had significantly less depression reported when compared with the control group.

The researchers discovered that acupuncture reduced both anxiety and depression and exerted “positive trends on the levels of WBC, ANC, B and NK cells….” In addition, “The increase on WBC and ANC resulted in approximately a 1.5x reduction in leukopenia and neutropenia rates. The acupuncture group showed a twofold increase in NK cells rate compared to the control group.” The team notes that this data indicates that acupuncture exerts an immunomodulatory effect in colorectal cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.

No adverse events occurred as a result of acupuncture. As a result, the research team concluded that acupuncture is both “feasible and safe.” The team notes that acupuncture may “stimulate anticancer immunity” and “promote a myeliprotective effect.” The team notes that this data warrants continued investigation into the integration of acupuncture into colorectal cancer patient care.

Reference:
Pais, Irene, Nuno Correia, Isabel Pimentel, Maria José Teles, Esmeralda Neves, Júlia Vasconcelos, Judite Guimarães4 Nancy Azevedo et al. "EFFECTS OF ACUPUNCTURE IN LEUKOPENIA, NEUTROPENIA, NK AND B CELLS IN CANCER PATIENTS UNDERGOING CHEMOTHERAPY: A RANDOMIZED PILOT STUDY."

 

- See more at: http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1324-acupuncture-lowers-chemo-side-effects-ups-immunity#sthash.ne48Vp35.dpuf


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5 things acupuncture is good for - Candis

5 things acupuncture is good for - Candis | Acupuncture and the immune system | Scoop.it
5 things you didn’t know acupuncture was good for Research shows that 26% of people believe that an acupuncture needle is as large as those used for normal injections and that it can only be used to treat pain. Acupuncture … Read more…
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Study finds acupuncture benefits for range of cancer related symptoms | University of Western Sydney (UWS)

Study finds acupuncture benefits for range of cancer related symptoms | University of Western Sydney (UWS) | Acupuncture and the immune system | Scoop.it
 Study finds acupuncture benefits for range of cancer related symptoms

 

Cancer patients could benefit from acupuncture and other forms of Chinese medicine, according to an expert presenting at the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia(opens in new window) Annual Scientific Meeting in Melbourne.

Dr Xiaoshu Zhu, from the National Institute of Complementary Medicine at the University of Western Sydney, has reviewed evidence that suggests acupuncture can help with cancer symptoms including pain, chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, hot flushes and numbness.

Dr Zhu says that while more research was needed into the mechanisms behind the effectiveness, it was thought to relate to sending signals to the central nervous system, activating neurological and hormonal responses in the brain.

"In the past, complementary Chinese medicine such as acupuncture hasn't been recommended or researched by conventional medical practitioners involved in cancer care," says Dr Zhu. "I want to challenge this view by presenting a range of evidence that demonstrates that acupuncture has a valuable role to play in patient care."

Dr Zhu, who is also the Director of the Chinese Medicine Academic Program in the UWSSchool of Science and Health, is currently working with researchers at the South West Sydney Local Health District Cancer Services exploring evidenced based approaches with integration of complementary therapies in cancer survivorship.

Ends

5 December 2014

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Preventing hay fever - Live Well - NHS Choices

Preventing hay fever - Live Well - NHS Choices | Acupuncture and the immune system | Scoop.it
Self-help tips to avoid pollen and reduce hay fever symptoms, such as sneezing, itchy throat, runny nose and watery eyes. From Allergy UK.

 

 

COMMENT: 

 

Also worth noting that great deal of research has been done, supporting‪#‎acupuncture‬ for ‪#‎hayfever‬ (a.k.a. allergic rhinitis):http://bit.ly/BAcCAllergicRhinitis Particularly the recent Brinkhaus et al study: "The researchers concluded that results suggest that treating patients with ‪#‎allergic‬ ‪#‎rhinitis‬ in routine care with additional acupuncture leads to clinically relevant and persistent benefits." And positive cost-effectiveness data, too. Plus no side effects!

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Acupuncture compared with oral antihistamine for type I hypersensitivity itch and skin response in adults with atopic dermatitis: a patient- and examiner-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled, cr...

Acupuncture compared with oral antihistamine for type I hypersensitivity itch and skin response in adults with atopic dermatitis: a patient- and examiner-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled, cr... | Acupuncture and the immune system | Scoop.it

Allergy. 2012 Apr;67(4):566-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2012.02789.x. Epub 2012 Feb 8.Acupuncture compared with oral antihistamine for type I hypersensitivity itch and skin response in adults with atopic dermatitis: a patient- and examiner-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial.

 

Pfab F1, Kirchner MT, Huss-Marp J, Schuster T, Schalock PC, Fuqin J, Athanasiadis GI, Behrendt H, Ring J, Darsow U, Napadow V.Author information 

 

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Itch is the major symptom of atopic dermatitis (AD). Acupuncture has been shown to exhibit a significant effect on experimental itch in AD. Our study evaluated acupuncture and antihistamine itch therapy (cetirizine) on type I hypersensitivity itch and skin reaction in AD using a patient and examiner-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial.

 

METHODS:

Allergen-induced itch was evaluated in 20 patients with AD after several interventions in separate sessions: preventive (preceding) and abortive (concurrent) verum acupuncture (VAp and VAa), cetirizine (10 mg, VC), corresponding placebo interventions (preventive, PAp, and abortive, PAa, placebo acupuncture; placebo cetirizine pill, PC) and a no-intervention control (NI). Itch was induced on the forearm and temperature modulated over 20 min, using our validated model. Outcome parameters included itch intensity, wheal and flare size and the D2 attention test.

 

RESULTS:

Mean itch intensity (SE: 0.31 each) was significantly lower following VAa (31.9) compared with all other groups (PAa: 36.5; VC: 36.8; VAp: 37.6; PC: 39.8; PAp: 39.9; NI: 45.7; P < 0.05). There was no significant difference between VAp and VC (P > 0.1), although both therapies were significantly superior to their respective placebo interventions (P < 0.05). Flare size following VAp was significantly smaller (P = 0.034) than that following PAp. D2 attention test score was significantly lower following VC compared with all other groups (P < 0.001).

 

CONCLUSIONS:

Both VA and cetirizine significantly reduced type I hypersensitivity itch in patients with AD, compared with both placebo and NI. Timing of acupuncture application was important, as VAa had the most significant effect on itch, potentially because of counter-irritation and/or distraction. Itch reduction following cetirizine coincided with reduced attention.

© 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

 

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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Effect of Acupuncture on Immune Function

Effect of Acupuncture on Immune Function | Acupuncture and the immune system | Scoop.it

60% of people surveyed in an oncology clinic agreed that acupuncture helped with a wide variety of problems. From, pain, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, and vasomotor symptoms to name but a few. Integrative medicine is the way forward in the 21st century. Hopefully more studies will back this up again and again.

Article Link: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/acupuncture/healthprofessional/page5

Brief: At least seven human studies have evaluated the effect of acupuncture on immune system function in patients with cancer.[1-7] These studies were all conducted in China. Five were reported in English,[1-3,6,7] and two were reported in Chinese with English abstracts.[4,5]

Four randomized controlled trials,[1,2,4,5] a nonrandomized clinical study,[3] and two case series [6,7] found that acupuncture enhanced or regulated immune function.

The first randomized controlled trial found that acupuncture treatment enhanced platelet count and prevented leukocyte decrease after radiation therapy or chemotherapy, in comparison with the control group.

A second study involved a group of 40 postoperative cancer patients, 20 of whom received daily acupuncture treatment and 20 of whom served as a control group. After 3 days, leukocyte phagocytosis was enhanced in the treated group, compared with the baseline measurement (P < .01); no such enhancement was observed in the control group.[2]

A third study observed the effect of acupuncture on interleukin-2 (IL-2) and natural killer (NK) cell activity in the peripheral blood of patients with malignant tumors. The patients were divided into an acupuncture treatment group (n = 25), which received 30 minutes of acupuncture daily for 10 days, and a nonacupuncture control group (n = 20). The data showed that IL-2 level and NK cell activity were significantly increased in the acupuncture group, compared with the control group (P < .01).[4]

A fourth study observed the effect of acupuncture on T-lymphocyte subsets (CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+), soluble IL-2 receptor (SIL-2R), and beta-endorphin (beta-EP) in the peripheral blood of patients with malignant tumors. The data showed that acupuncture treatment increased the proportion of the CD3+ and CD4+ T-lymphocyte subsets, the CD4+/CD8+ ratio (P < .01), and the level of beta-EP. It decreased the level of SIL-2R (P < .01). The investigators suggested that the anticancer effect of acupuncture may be mediated via the mechanism of immunomodulation. [5]

About the ACHMI:
The purpose of the ACHMI group is to provide a forum for interested parties of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine in Ireland and abroad.

We aim to improve the PR for practitioners and and highlight awareness for the public within Ireland.We aim to improve the PR for practitioners and and highlight awareness for the public internationally.

Do not hesitate to contribute to the debates or even post your own comments.

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Acupuncture and Immune Function | Kristen Sparrow, MD Medical Acupuncture

Acupuncture and Immune Function | Kristen Sparrow, MD Medical Acupuncture | Acupuncture and the immune system | Scoop.it
I will post the pdf's from two of the presentations from Barcelona on acupuncture and immune function. This connects to my research on the autonomic nervous

 

11/29/2014

Acupuncture and Immune Function 

I will post the pdf’s from two of the presentations from Barcelona on acupuncture and immune function.  This connects to my research on the autonomic nervous system and acupuncture since the autonomic nervous system affects immunity.  I also see this area as very ripe for acupuncture input.  Immune dysfunction is very wide spread and may even be involved in autism.  Autoimmune disease is only becoming more common.

09.15h Lundeberg, Thomas

Immune system Ishar Dalmau

a few of the slides from their presentations (dense and confusing, I know)

 

FILED UNDER: ACUPUNCTURE RESEARCH, AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTE

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Study: Acupuncture induces a pro-inflammatory immune response intensified by a conditioning-expectation effect. [Forsch Komplementmed. 2010] - PubMed - NCBI

Study: Acupuncture induces a pro-inflammatory immune response intensified by a conditioning-expectation effect. [Forsch Komplementmed. 2010] - PubMed - NCBI | Acupuncture and the immune system | Scoop.it
Forsch Komplementmed. 2010 Mar;17(1):21-7. doi: 10.1159/000264657. Epub 2010 Mar 4.Acupuncture induces a pro-inflammatory immune response intensified by a conditioning-expectation effect.Karst M1, Schneidewind D, Scheinichen D, Juettner B, Bernateck M, Molsberger A, Parlesak A, Passie T, Hoy L, Fink M.Author information AbstractBACKGROUND:

In a previous study it has been shown that acupuncture activates the respiratory burst (RB) of neutrophils as measured by the differences to baseline of the mean channel number of fluorescence intensity (mfi) in volunteers. Since this result could have been affected by a placebo effect, a study has been designed that controls for the different facets of placebo mechanisms such as expectancy, suggestibility, and conditioning.

PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS:

60 healthy volunteers were randomized either to acupuncture of the acupoint Large Intestine 11 (LI 11) (groups 1 and 2) or relaxation (group 3) twice a week for 4 weeks. Only acupuncture group 1 and the relaxation group were provided with the additional suggestion that the treatment may strengthen the immune system.

RESULTS:

The repeated measurement analysis for differences of follow-ups to baseline showed significantly different treatment effects for neutrophils but not for monocytes (unprimed neutrophils: p = 0.004; neutrophils primed with TNF-alpha/FMLP or with FMLP only: p = 0.026 and p = 0.019, respectively) between groups. For both cell types post-hoc Dunnett's t-tests using the relaxation group as control showed significantly stronger treatment effects for acupuncture group 1. Combining all priming procedures, the average increase in mfi for both cell types was about 30% greater in acupuncture group 1 than in the relaxation group. Plasma concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines only increased significantly in the acupuncture groups.

CONCLUSION:

Repetitive acupuncture increases the cytotoxicity of leukocytes in healthy volunteers, which might be intensified by a conditioning-expectation effect.

Copyright (c) 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.

 

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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Acupuncture Thwarts Lung Toxic Shock - New Study

Acupuncture Thwarts Lung Toxic Shock - New Study | Acupuncture and the immune system | Scoop.it

Scientists have discovered that acupuncture prevents toxins from damaging the lungs. In an incredible investigation, microphotographs reveal that bilateral electroacupuncture at acupoints ST36 and BL13 successfully protect the lungs from endotoxic shock when exposed to injurious toxic exposure. Immunofluorescence analysis reveals an important secret power of electroacupuncture; it stimulates an increase of Nrf2 nucleoproteins that are responsible for increased expression of protective antioxidant enzymes. 

The study was well designed, controlled and randomized. Sham acupuncture did not protect the lungs and did not increase Nrf2 nucleoproteins. True acupuncture repeatedly demonstrated the ability to protect the lungs from damage and to increase Nrf2 expression. Critics have often argued that needle stimulation at random points achieves similar therapeutic effects as acupuncture through the placebo effect. Not so. The researchers have clearly demonstrated that true acupuncture prevents endotoxic shock, not sham acupuncture. They have proven this using microphotography, histopathological grading, blood analysis and measures of serum GPx, CAT, MDA, SOD, TNF-alpha, IL-6 and BALF. Western blot and real-time PCR confirm the findings with improved regulatory expression of HO-1 mRNA, Nrf2 total protein and Nrf2 nucleoprotein in lung tissue. 

The results of lung protection were not only clinically significant, the researchers termed the protection afforded by acupuncture as “dramatic.” The researchers administered electroacupuncture prior to lung toxin exposure in this laboratory experiment. The prophylactic acupuncture pre-treatments were administered with disperse-dense waves at 2 -15 Hz. Treatments were administered for a total of 15 minutes for 5 consecutive days prior to lung toxin exposure. Incredible immunofluorescence assays reveal that true acupuncture translocated Nrf2 from cytoplasm into the nucleus and sham acupuncture did not. Three independent experiments with ten controls verified the results. The rigors of this investigation leave no doubt. Acupuncture protects the lungs from toxin damage and now we know how. 

In related news, researchers at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School discovered that electroacupuncture controls inflammation and fights infections, including polymicrobial peritonitis. In a major discovery, the research team has proven that electroacupuncture reduces severe systemic inflammation due to infections, sepsis. Only true acupuncture worked and sham acupuncture had no effect on preventing death due to sepsis. True acupuncture successfully increased dopamine levels and regulated cytokine levels that produced anti-inflammatory effects thereby preventing death.

Sepsis is responsible for almost 10% of all deaths in the USA annually. Now, research proves that electroacupuncture helps to prevent sepsis. The researchers note that the anti-inflammatory mechanism of electroacupuncture is “mediated by the sciatic and vagus nerves that modulates the production of catecholamines in the adrenal glands.” The researchers note that “electroacupuncture is endorsed by the US National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization. They add that there is ”growing evidence supporting its effects in postoperative and stroke rehabilitation.”

References:
Yu, Jian-bo, Jia Shi, Li-rong Gong, Shu-an Dong, Yan Xu, Yuan Zhang, Xin-shun Cao, and Li-li Wu. "Role of Nrf2/ARE Pathway in Protective Effect of Electroacupuncture against Endotoxic Shock-Induced Acute Lung Injury in Rabbits." PLOS ONE 9, no. 8 (2014): e104924.

Rafael Torres-Rosas, Ghassan Yehia, Geber Peña, Priya Mishra, Maria del Rocio Thompson-Bonilla, Mario Adán Moreno-Eutimio, Lourdes Andrea Arriaga-Pizano, Armando Isibasi, Luis Ulloa. Dopamine mediates vagal modulation of the immune system by electroacupuncture. Nature Medicine, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/nm.3479.

- See more at: http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1356-acupuncture-thwarts-lung-toxic-shock-new-study#sthash.XGPVbfVW.dpuf

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Effects of Acupuncture on Leucopenia, Neutropenia, NK, and B Cells in Cancer Patients: A Randomized Pilot Study

Effects of Acupuncture on Leucopenia, Neutropenia, NK, and B Cells in Cancer Patients: A Randomized Pilot Study | Acupuncture and the immune system | Scoop.it
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (eCAM) is an international, peer-reviewed journal that seeks to understand the sources and to encourage rigorous research in this new, yet ancient world of complementary and alternative medicine.

 

Abstract

Chemotherapy is one of most significant therapeutic approaches to cancer. Immune system functional state is considered a major prognostic and predictive impact on the success of chemotherapy and it has an important role on patients’ psychoemotional state and quality of life. In Chinese medicine, chemotherapy is understood as “toxic cold” that may induce a progressive hypofunctional state of immune system, thus compromising the fast recovery of immunity during chemotherapy. In this study, we performed a standardized acupuncture and moxibustion protocol to enhance immunity in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and to assess if the improvement of immunity status correlates with a better psychoemotional state and quality of life.

1. Introduction

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common cancers and a major cause of death due to cancer worldwide. The functional state of the host immune system has a major prognostic and predictive impact on the fate of cancer patients treated with conventional or targeted chemotherapies [1].

According to the immunoediting theory [2], cancer cells and immune cells reciprocally modulate each other and the two possible outcomes are either the elimination or escape of tumour cells. NK cells are considered to represent a first line of defence against the metastatic spread of tumour cells. This idea is supported by the report of an association between the decreased activity or low numbers of circulating NK cells with progression of cancers and correlation between an absolute decrease in the activity of the NK cells and an absolute decrease in the lytic potential of these cells [3]. As effector members of the innate immunity, NK cells play a major role in anti-infection activity and tumour surveillance. NK cells can directly kill target cells to which they are capable of adhering within 1 to 4 hours without prior activation, priming or assistance by cytokines. NK cells have been recognized as major producers of cytokines in many physiological and pathological conditions, such as interferon  (IFN), tumour necrosis factor (TNF), and interleukin-10 (IL-10), as well as growth factors such as granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), and IL-3. NK cells also secrete several chemokines, which are vital for their colocalization with other hematopoietic cells such as dendritic cells (DC) in areas of inflammation.

Recent studies [4] provide the notion that tumour-induced alterations of activating NK cell receptor expression may hamper immune surveillance and promote tumour progression and reveal that NK cell activity is reduced in patients with metastatic CRC, pointing out to NK cells as a first line of defence against metastasis.

 

According to psychoneuroimmunology theory, psychological and emotional stress induces several alterations in diverse biological responses. The activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) and thesympathetic nervous system (SNS) may generate a change in the immune cell traffics and promotes inflammation via multiple neuroendocrine and immune pathways. Higher stress levels were associated with poorer immune responses (low NK cell activity) and the stress reduction with improvement of immune responses, in women with breast cancer [5].

Humoral and, especially, cellular immune functions have been reported as being boosted by acupuncture and moxibustion in cancer patients with significant increases in several T lymphocyte subsets. Immune system modulation has been noted also for various other conditions, such as asthma and autoimmune and inflammatory diseases [6, 7].

A review on the ascribed immunomodulation of acupuncture concludes that acupuncture treatment appears to be able to modulate immunosuppressed or immunoactivated conditions through different mechanisms, including macrophages, neutrophils, NK cells and lymphocytes stimulation, immunoglobulin production, and complement system activation [8]. In fact, two possible implicated mechanisms were previously reported: NK-related gene expression in the spleen [9] and the sympathetic nervous system [10]. Another study revealed that acupuncture enhances the NK cells activity and modulates the balance between Th1 and Th2 [11].

We aimed to evaluate the effect of acupuncture on the immune system (namely, on WBC, ANC, lymphocytes, and NK cells activity) on CRC patients and assess if the ascribed immunomodulatory effects of acupuncture have implications on patients’ psychoemotional state and quality of life.

2. Patients and Methods2.1. Selection of Patients

This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of S. João and Vila Nova de Gaia/Espinho Hospital Centers, Oporto, Portugal. Written informed consent was obtained from all patients before study enrollment. Patients were eligible for inclusion as follows: recently diagnosed or recurrent colorectal cancer, regardless of stage, receiving chemotherapy, no regular use of acupuncture within 120 days prior to enrollment, ability to give informed consent, and >18 years of age. Exclusion criteria were the following: (a) absolute neutrophil count (ANC) less than 500/L, (b) platelet count less than 25,000/L, (c) altered mental state, (d) clinically significant cardiac arrhythmias, and (e) other unstable medical conditions.

2.2. Study Design

All patients enrolled were evaluated at baseline. Patients were randomized into one of two groups: active acupuncture (AcuMoxa) or nonacupuncture (control group). All of the study patients were blinded to randomization assignments (Figure 1).

Figure 1: CONSORT flow of participants through the study.

Patients in the experimental group received 6 sessions of acupuncture, twice a week, beginning one week prior to cycle of chemotherapy and ending at the beginning of the following cycle of chemotherapy (Figure 2). At the end of the intervention, patients in the active arm continued their remaining chemotherapy cycles without any acupuncture treatment. Patients in the control arm were offered the active acupuncture protocol immediately after they completed the four weeks of blood sampling as a courtesy.

Figure 2: Study flow chart. Black solid dots: time points of outcome measurements. Open circle: first chemotherapy day. Black diamonds: the primary endpoints of the study. Dashed lines: the expected changes, during chemotherapy, of white blood cells (WBC) and absolute neutrophil counts (ANC). Short, blue down arrows: acupuncture treatments. CBC, complete blood counts; NK, NK cells and subsets.

Based on previous trials [12, 13], blood samples were collected at baseline (preintervention) 7 days before chemotherapy and then every 7 days during four weeks. Blood samples of both groups, experimental and control, were taken under the same conditions.

2.3. Acupuncture Protocol

All acupuncture treatments were performed at S. João and Vila Nova de Gaia/Espinho Hospital Centres, Porto, Portugal. The acupuncture treatments were administered only by one acupuncturist (the main researcher; master degree on TCM by the University of Porto). A standardized acupuncture protocol was developed based on the Heidelberg model of Chinese medicine (CM), in which CM is explained as a comprehensive model of system biology based on a technical understanding of the regulatory core termini of CM, such as Yin, Yang, the phases, and the Shan Hang Lung theory [14–17].

The experimental group (AcuMoxa): acupuncture points and their anatomical locations were as follows: lower extremity (LV3, ST36, SP3, and GB39) and upper extremity (LI4, PC5, TB5, and LU7), and disposable acupuncture needles with a size of 36 G, 0.20 × 25 mm (Tewa). The depth of needling was at approximately 10 mm. The de qi sensation was required [18]. Smokeless moxibustion treatment was used in the following points: SI6, TB5, ST32, and CV6; 2 minutes per point. Each session had a duration of 45 minutes.

2.4. Clinical and Laboratory Evaluation

Complete blood counts were collected at baseline and then once every 7 days at 3 time points during the study period (Figure 2). The timing for collecting blood samples was based on previous trials [12, 13].

Lymphocyte populations T, B, and NK were analysed by flow cytometry (Coulter, EPICS XL-MCL flow cytometer) with a combination of monoclonal antibodies anti-CD3-FITC/(CD56 + CD16)-PE (Immunotech).

Anxiety and depression scores as well as patients quality of life were assessed through Hospital anxiety and depression scale (HADS) and EORTC-QoL CR-29 questionnaires, respectively, in the beginning and at the end of the study for both groups.

2.5. Statistical Analysis

This study was designed to provide preliminary data about its feasibility and analysis to support a subsequent large-scale, fully powered study to evaluate the effects of acupuncture on NK cells in patients with CRC.

Differences between groups were assessed through Mann-Whitney  test. Intragroup analyses were assessed by Friedman test. In order to explore variables correlations, the Pearson correlation analyses was performed. Missing data were handled based on available data approach. SPSS for Windows was used for statistical computation. Results yielding a  value < 0.05, with alpha = 0.05 and C.I. level = 95, were considered statistically significant.

3. Results3.1. Baseline Sample Characterization

At baseline, patients in both groups shared similar demographic and clinical characteristics (Table 1). The majority of patients (88.9%) have a colon cancer, with Stage II (16.7%) and Stage III (55.6%); 66.7% of the patients were submitted to the FOLFOX and 16.7% to XELOX chemotherapy regimens.

Table 1: Baseline comparison between groups: sociodemographic and clinical characteristics; blood analyses and QOL-CR 29 and HADS scores.

Comparison of blood analyses at baseline showed no statistical differences among groups (Table 1).

A total of 18 (100%) patients completed the questionnaires of QOL-CR29 and HADS at the beginning and at the end of the study.

Comparison of QOL and anxiety and depression scores at baseline did not reveal any statistical differences among groups (Table 1); however the experimental group revealed high scores of depression.

3.2. Effect of Acupuncture on WBC and ANC

The effects of acupuncture treatment on WBC counts and ANC in study patients are shown in Figure 3. Comparison analyses between the two groups showed that AcuMoxa group had statistically significant higher values on WBC () as well as on ANC () at time point .

Figure 3: WBC and ANC. Comparison between groups.

Within group analyses showed that the changes in each group across time were significant: in the control group diminishing levels of WBC were seen (, , ); on AcuMoxa group (), there was an increasing level of these parameters overtime (, ; , , resp.) as well as the ANC ().

3.3. Effect of Acupuncture on Lymphocyte Populations

Although differences on total lymphocyte populations among control and experimental group were identified only after 6 sessions of AcuMoxa treatment (), higher values of B cells at time point  () and  () were seen in the AcuMoxa group. With respect to T cells, no statistical differences among groups were found (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Total lymphocytes and T and B cells. Comparison between groups.

Total lymphocytes as well as B and T cells intragroup analyses did not reveal differences across time.

3.4. Effect of Acupuncture on NK Cells

Comparison between groups showed significant higher values of NK cells on the AcuMoxa group from time point  until time point  (,  and , resp.) (Figure 5).

Figure 5: Total NK cells counts. Comparison between groups.

Within group analyses revealed significant increases on NK cells across time (, , ), while the control group showed a significant decrease of NK cells (, , ).

3.5. Effect of Acupuncture on Anxiety and Depression Levels

The comparison between the two groups did not reveal significant differences on anxiety (0.050) and depression levels (0.094) (Figure 6). However, when analyzing each group, it was shown that the experimental group had a significant decrease depression mean (), whereas in the control group the anxiety () and depression () levels increased significantly. In addition, exploratory analyses on a possible correlation between NK cells and depression and anxiety levels did not reveal any significant correlation, despite the observation of a decrease on anxiety and depression levels along with an increase of NK cells.

Figure 6: HADS scores. Differences among groups, at beginning () and at the end () of the study.3.6. Effect of Acupuncture on Patients QOL

With respect to the analyses of the different items of QOL questionnaires, no significant differences were identified between the control and experimental groups (Figure 7). However, data collected from QOL questionnaires showed a tendency of reduction of several symptoms such as gastrointestinal symptoms, urological symptoms, stoma-related symptoms, male sexual dysfunction, and chemotherapy side effects (Figure 5).

Figure 7: Symptoms related to QOL questionnaires. Differences among groups at the beginning () and at the end () of the study. CT, control group; AcuMoxa, experimental group.

Intragroup variability analyses showed a significant decrease of chemotherapy side effects (Figure 8) on the experimental group ().

Figure 8: Chemotherapy side effects. Intragroup analyses show significant decrease of chemotherapy side effects among AcuMoxa group.4. Discussion

The host immune system functional state has a major prognostic and predictive impact on the outcome of cancer patients treated with conventional or targeted chemotherapies [1].

Several authors revealed that acupuncture modulates NK cell number and function in diverse clinical situations such as in women with severe anxiety [19], in pain syndromes [20], and in healthy volunteers [21].

Studies regarding the effect of acupuncture and moxibustion on CRC patients are scarce. In fact, only two eastern studies have addressed modulation of NK cells activity in CRC patients [22, 23].

To the best of our knowledge, this research protocol is the first study on acupuncture for cancer patients conducted in the Portuguese National Health System and is the first controlled clinical trial on the West that addressed acupuncture and moxibustion NK cells modulation, its implications on psychoemotional state, and on the QOL of CRC patients.

Although our data must be carefully interpreted due to methodological limitations, some conclusions may be pointed out.

Firstly, we observed (1) a reduction on anxiety and depression and (2) consistent positive trends on the levels of WBC, ANC, and B and NK cells in the AcuMoxa group versus the control group. The increase on WBC and ANC resulted in approximately a 1.5x reduction in leukopenia and neutropenia rates. The acupuncture group showed a twofold increase in NK cells rate compared to the control group. These preliminary results indicate an immunomodulatory effect of acupuncture in CRC patients undergoing chemotherapy. Acupuncture stimulation may yield a myeloprotective effect as suggested by Lu et al. on a study on electroacupuncture plus TDP infrared lamp effect in gynaecologic malignancies. Despite the differences in the selection of acupoints and type of acupuncture, WBC and ANC levels were similar to those obtained by Lu et al.

Secondly, our preliminary results show that acupuncture benefits the emotional status by decreasing anxiety and depression levels. This effect may contribute to improvement on NK cells activity. As reported recently on a study on women with breast cancer [24], the emotional state influences NK cells numbers and activity.

Thirdly, with respect to quality of life, our study did not reveal significant differences between the two groups. However, we observed a tendency for decreasing certain symptoms on the AcuMoxa group, such as gastrointestinal and urological symptoms and chemotherapy side effects as well as the improvement of sexual function in men. This is probably due to the short period of treatment. In addition, intragroup analyses reveal a significant decrease of chemotherapy side effects on the AcuMoxa group indicating an overtime protective role of acupuncture for CRC patients during chemotherapy.

Fourthly, no acupuncture and moxibustion-related adverse events were observed. Globally, these preliminary results indicate that our AcuMoxa protocol is feasible and safe for CRC patients undergoing chemotherapy.

What may be the physiological explanation for the observed results of AcuMoxa stimulation?

It is generally accepted that acupuncture induces an increase on the release of -endorphin [5, 23] via the stimulation of the HPA axis. -Endorphins consequently influence immune cells by binding to opioid receptors on the surface of the cells, namely, on NK cells [25] promoting the expression of cytotoxic molecules and the production of IFN. In turn, IFN would further increase the expression of NK cells receptors and cytokine secretion by other immune cells, thereby amplifying anticancer immune functions.

The HPA axis and SNS are generally activated in cancer, resulting in high levels of catecholamine and glucocorticoids, which augments the sympathetic outflow and decreases NK activity in the periphery [25].

Therefore, we may hypothesize that acupuncture, by acting on the SNS and the HPA axis, may reduce the levels of catecholamines and consequently attenuate their suppressive effects on NK cells.

There are limitations in our preliminary study to be considered.(1)Although the patients were randomly allocated in each group, there is the possibility that results may have occurred by chance due to the small sample size. A larger study based on this protocol is required to precisely evaluate the effects of acupuncture on CRC patients during chemotherapy and to explore the relation of the cancer severity and different types of chemotherapy on the possible acupuncture immunomodulatory effect. Nevertheless, the small sample of patients allowed assessing the trial feasibility and preliminary data on efficacy.(2)Another limitation of our study was the heterogeneity on chemotherapy protocols which may have influenced the hypothesized AcuMoxa effects and results.(3)Finally, the short duration of the study did not allow obtaining more precise data regarding the impact of acupuncture on patients QOL and prognosis.

5. Conclusions

Our pilot study suggests that acupuncture and moxibustion may (1) stimulate anticancer immunity, (2) promote a myeloprotective effect, (3) improve the psychoemotional status and quality of life, and (4) minimize chemotherapy side effects.

This study protocol proved to be feasible and safe for CRC patients.

A larger and long-term acupuncture trial is needed to clarify acupuncture’s immunomodulatory effects in CRC. If this effect is ultimately established, then this treatment may serve as a possible complementary therapy for CRC treatment and possibly contribute to improving patients’ prognosis and quality of life.

Conflict of Interests

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interests regarding the publication of this paper.

Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to all the nurse staff from the Departaments of Oncology of V.N.Gaia/Espinho and S. João Hospital Centers, Oporto, Portugal, for their contribution on collecting blood samples as well as to the administrative personnel involved in this project.

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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 immune 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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Acupuncture as a cure for allergies | Time Magazine  - the Classical Medicine Journal - Health, Medicine, And Breaking News on the Alternative Treatment Front.

Acupuncture as a cure for allergies | Time Magazine  - the Classical Medicine Journal - Health, Medicine, And Breaking News on the Alternative Treatment Front. | Acupuncture and the immune system | Scoop.it
Acupuncture as a cure for allergies | Time Magazine FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013 AT 9:48AM

Acupuncture already helps to relieve pain in some patients, and the latest study hints that it might relieve sneezing and itchy eyes as well.

From Time/CNN

Most patients plagued with sniffles brought on by seasonal allergies turn to antihistamines for relief, but when they don't get relief, some opt for alternative treatments like acupuncture, in which tiny needles inserted just under the skin at specific points in the body are used to reduce certain symptoms.

In a study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers examined 422 people who tested positive for pollen allergies and had allergic nasal symptoms such as a runny nose. The participants reported their symptoms as well as what medication and doses they used to treat them.

The researchers then divided them into three groups; one received 12 acupuncture treatments and took antihistamines as needed, a second group received 12 fake acupuncture treatments (needles placed at random, non-meaningful points in the body) and took antihistamines as needed, while the final group only took antihistamines for symptoms.

After two months, the researchers asked the patients about their symptoms and how much medication they used. The participants who received the real acupuncture treatments with their antihistamines showed a greater improvement in their allergy symptoms and less use of antihistamines compared to the other groups.

But the fact that even the participants receiving the sham acupuncture therapy reported some relief of their symptoms suggests that a strong placebo effect may be responsible for at least part of the improvement.

That possibility was supported by the fact that after four months of follow-up, the difference between the groups was less pronounced. The researchers speculate that the patients' expectations of how much the acupuncture might help them could have influenced their reports of improved symptoms.

But if the treatments are providing some type of relief, then acupuncture's potential role in treating allergies should be investigated further, the authors say. "The effectiveness of acupuncture for (seasonal allergies) compared with other antiallergic interventions and the possible underlying mechanisms of any effect, including context effects, need to be addressed in further research," they write in the study.

Read more: Acupuncture for allergies

 

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Acupuncture and Cancer: How This Natural Treatment Can Help | image.ie

Acupuncture and Cancer: How This Natural Treatment Can Help | image.ie | Acupuncture and the immune system | Scoop.it

If you or someone you know has been recently diagnosed with cancer, or you find yourself facing the dreaded chemo, we're taking a look at the ways in which acupuncture can really help you along as an alternative, holistic treatment.

Here, acupuncturist Hannah O'Connell explains how it all works.

In short, Acupuncture supports Vital qi (energy) which enhances the immune system, allowing the body to withstand disease. It regulates Yin and Yang and factors in the internal and external elements and emotional health while helping to prevent, correct or reduce iatrogenic pain due to surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

In my private practice and in my clinic at ARC Cancer support centre, I would see patients at various stages of treatment from diagnosis right through to recovery, treating a variety of symptoms and conditions associated with cancer and the side effects of various treatments.

Diagnosis

A cancer diagnosis can send you into a state of shock and create anxiety that would previously never have been present. It can cause sleepless nights, mental exhaustion and appetite loss, none of which are the best start to cancer treatment. Acupuncture can help here by calming the mind, restoring sleep and appetite and boosting energy, creating a more balanced state from which to begin treatment.

Postoperative

Like any surgery, you can be left inflamed and in pain. In acupuncture terms, pain is seen as an interruption of qi, blood or even phlegm in the channels or meridians. In many cases this pain is quite significant and long lasting, causing sleep disturbance and fatigue. Acupuncture is a very effective treatment for managing the pain that surgery, tumors, inflammation, chemotherapy and radiation cause. Research shows, the use of acupuncture activates the spinal chord, midbrain and the hypothalamic-pituitary centres, activating the release of endorphins, enkephalins, monoamines and cortisol to block the pain messages therefore inducing an analgesic effect. Unlike the pain medications often prescribed, that can cause nausea, constipation and fatigue in the patient, acupuncture is side effect free.

Chemotherapy & Radiotherapy

Acupuncture is known to be very effective in relieving the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy treatment, in fact it's been well documented in many studies.

Again, it's also very valuable in terms of the exhaustion and fatigue associated with chemo and radiotherapy. Fatigue is the most common symptom experienced by patients with cancer, which is also one of the most common adverse effects that occur during and after cancer treatment. Cancer treatment-related fatigue generally improves after treatment ends, but some degree of fatigue may persist for months or even years. Fatigue affects multiple aspects of life– physical, mental, and emotional – and has a significant negative impact on patients’ physical functioning and overall quality of life. In TCM terms, any chronic disease process depletes the energy level in the organism. Such depletion can be relieved, at least temporarily, by tonification, a process of imparting energy into the system via acupuncture. This is deemed necessary for more durable, successful pain control. It can also add to the patients' sense of well being and decrease the malaise associated with any chronic disease, especially cancer.

Hormone therapy

Breast cancer patients and prostate cancer patients suffer while undergoing hormonal treatment. Hot flashes can disrupt sleep, cause distress and discomfort and be quite overwhelming. Studies suggest that acupuncture may be as effective as Effexor (an anti depressant used as a treatment for hot flashes) at reducing the frequency of hot flashes in breast cancer patients treated with hormonal therapy, minus the side effects. In prostate cancer patients, a study using acupuncture showed results of reduction in symptoms of 89.2% after 6 weeks of treatment.

Remission

The war is over and you’re now cancer-free, business as usual, right? Wrong. Not only has the cancer taken its toll on the body’s processes but the treatment has really knocked it for six. You may feel exhausted and emotionally dazed after the whole ordeal. At this point regardless of whether you’ve had no acupuncture or have been attending regularly, acupuncture can be invaluable now at getting you back on track to enjoying life! It will boost energy, promote smooth flow of emotions, aid sleep and create the well deserved sense of well being after what may have been a lengthy and trying experience.

One thing I am often asked in clinic is “Should I wait until after my radiotherapy/chemotherapy to begin acupuncture?” Absolutely not, acupuncture is entirely safe throughout your treatment, it does not interfere with the medications in any way. It simply supports you physically and mentally throughout the process, shortening recovery time so you can feel like you again.

When considering acupuncture, always check the Acupuncture Council of Ireland website atwww.acupuncturecouncilofireland.com for a fully trained and registered acupuncturist in your area.

Hannah O'Connell @hocacupuncture

www.hannahoconnellacupuncture.com

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Acupuncture and moxibustion for stress-related disorders - "good for musculoskeletal symptoms" ... "effect on central, autonomic nervous, immune, metabolic, and endocrine systems to regulate the wh...

Acupuncture and moxibustion for stress-related disorders - "good for musculoskeletal symptoms" ... "effect on central, autonomic nervous, immune, metabolic, and endocrine systems to regulate the wh... | Acupuncture and the immune system | Scoop.it

Acupuncture and moxibustion for stress-related disorders

Tetsuya Kondo and Masazumi Kawamoto

Additional article information

Abstract

Acupuncture and moxibustion, which medical doctors are licensed by the government of Japan to perform, can improve the psychological relationship between doctors and patients, especially when it is disturbed by a “game”, a dysfunctional interpersonal interaction that is repeated unintentionally.

 

This advantage is due to the essential properties of acupuncture and moxibustion. Acupuncture and moxibustion are helpful in treating somatoform disorders, especially musculoskeletal symptoms. In Japan, a holistic acupuncture and moxibustion therapy called Sawada-style has been developed. This is based on fundamental meridian points that are considered to have effects on central, autonomic nervous, immune, metabolic, and endocrine systems to regulate the whole body balance. In addition, some of the fundamental points have effects on Qi, blood, and water patterns associated with major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, eating disorders, and somatoform disorders.

 

The fixed protocol of Sawada-style would be suitable for large-scale, randomized, controlled studies in the future. Recent systematic reviews indicate that electroacupuncture would be a useful addition to antidepressant therapy for some symptoms accompanying fibromyalgia. Acupuncture and moxibustion are also recommended for irritable bowel syndrome, instead of Western drug therapy.

 

Surprisingly, the dorsal prefrontal cerebral cortex, which is associated with a method of scalp acupuncture applied for gastrointestinal disorders, has been found to be activated in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. It is quite possible that regulation of this cortical area is related to the effect of scalp acupuncture. This acupuncture method can be effective not only for irritable bowel syndrome but also for other stress-related gastrointestinal disorders.

 

Keywords: Acupuncture, Moxibustion, Stress, Fibromyalgia, Functional gastrointestinal disorder, Irritable bowel syndrome, Autonomic nervous system, Hypothalamo-pituitary adrenal axis, Sawada-style holistic therapy


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Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, including the research base

Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, including the research base | Acupuncture and the immune system | Scoop.it

Acupuncture treatments for fibromyalgia(FMS) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS orME/CFS) are becoming much more common, either alone or as a complementary therapy.

Chinese acupuncture dates back thousands of years as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) but only caught the attention of the American public in the 1970s. The National Institutes of Health formally recognized acupuncture as part of mainstream medicine in 1997, saying the procedure is safe and effective at treating a wide range of conditions, including fibromyalgia.

 

The Research

Multiple studies from both the East and the West suggest that acupuncture is effective for treating FMS. In the West, it hasn't been studied as much for ME/CFS, but many Chinese studies suggest it's effective for that condition. Meta analyses of acupuncture for both conditions conclude that it appears to be a beneficial treatment, but that further high-quality research is needed.

As acupuncture has moved more into the mainstream, many insurance companies have added it to their policies, and some doctor's offices and clinics have begun to offer it at their facilities. Make sure you know the details of your insurance policy before assuming it will cover acupuncture treatments.

How Does Acupuncture Work?

While multiple studies have shown that acupuncture does have the effects taught by TCM, researchers can't pinpoint exactly why it has the effects. Research suggests that it may produce complex changes in the brain and body, possibly by stimulating nerve fibers that then send signals to the brain and spinal cord to release certain hormones that block pain and makes you feel better. A study using images of the brain showed that acupuncture raises your pain threshold -- which is low in people with FMS and ME/CFS -- and therefore gives you long-term pain relief. One British experiment using magnetoencephalography (MEG) brain scans showed that acupuncture actually can deactivate part of your brain's pain matrix.

 

 

According to TCM, acupuncture works by correcting energy pathways through your body. This life-force energy is called qi or chi (pronounced "chee"). Qi flows through meridians in the body, each of which corresponds to an organ or group of organs. If you have too much, too little, or blocked qi, TCM teaches that it will create health problems.

If this is hard to understand, picture a stream. If something blocks the flow of water, pressure builds up behind the blockage and water can go spilling out over the banks. Too much water can lead to floods, while too little water can kill off plants and animals that live there. The purpose of acupuncture is to keep the stream flowing free and at desired amounts.

Benefits vs. Risks

When you consider treatment options for FMS and ME/CFS, or any health condition for that matter, it's important to weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks.

According to experts, both Eastern and Western, the potential benefits of acupuncture include:

Less painBetter sleepRelaxationPossible immune system boostBetter overall health

Research released in 2008 showed that after 20 acupuncture treatments, people with FMS had significant improvements in pain and quality of life that lasted for 3 months after treatment was stopped, with a gradual decline in those areas until all benefit was gone after 2 years.

Acupuncture can be much safer than other therapies, especially if you're combining several different treatments. Benefits as a complementary therapy include:

No negative interactions with other treatments, including drugsExtremely mild side effectsLow risk

Possible risks of acupuncture are extremely rare, especially with a licensed acupuncturist. Risks include:

Infection from non-sterile needlesOrgan puncture (very rare occurrence)NauseaDizziness & faintingBruising

Licensed practitioners in the United States are required to use sterile needles and dispose of them after each use, but this is not required in all parts of the world.

An Acupuncture Exam

When you go to an acupuncturist, he/she will likely take your pulse at several points along both wrists. Don't be surprised if you're asked to stick out your tongue; in TCM, the tongue's shape, color and coating are important diagnostic tools.

The needles only go in about a centimeter. After inserting them, the acupuncturist will twist or gently wiggle them to get them firmly into the proper point. You might get a muscle twitch or brief ache, or you might feel nothing at all. Once all the needles are in (the amount used varies), you'll stay in place and rest for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. You'll probably be extremely relaxed and could even fall asleep. Afterward, the acupuncturist will pluck out the needles, which doesn't hurt at all.

A few hours after your first treatment, you could feel some aches around your body. This is normal, and practitioners say it's a sign that the treatment is working. The aches don't typically last long, and over-the-counter pain relievers will help. It's common to sleep more deeply than usual that night, which is a definite bonus for anyone with FMS and ME/CFS.


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Acupuncture and a gluten-free diet relieve urticaria and eczema in a case of undiagnosed dermatitis herpetiformis and atypical or extraintestinal celiac disease: a case report

Acupuncture and a gluten-free diet relieve urticaria and eczema in a case of undiagnosed dermatitis herpetiformis and atypical or extraintestinal celiac disease: a case report | Acupuncture and the immune system | Scoop.it

Acupuncture and a gluten-free diet relieve urticaria and eczema in a case of undiagnosed dermatitis herpetiformis and atypical or extraintestinal celiac disease: a case report Bahia A. Ohlsen, DC, MS, MBA Abstract Objective The purpose of this case report is to describe the use of acupuncture and a gluten-free diet (GFD) for urticaria and severe eczema in a patient with undiagnosed dermatitis herpetiformis and atypical or extraintestinal celiac disease. Clinical Features A 48-year-old woman presented with intense urticaria, eczema, worsening heartburn, chronic constipation, headaches, and an intense feeling of heat for 4 months. Results of punch biopsies of the skin lesions and laboratory tests were inconclusive. After the acupuncture sessions reported here ended, human leukocyte antigen blood typing revealed celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis–associated human leukocyte antigen DQ-8. Results of an endoscopy and colonoscopy were negative. Intervention and Outcome The patient received 3 acupuncture treatments a week for 12 weeks. The patient's symptoms began in March 2008. She began using topical and oral steroids and felt that her symptoms were not responding. Acupuncture began in July 2008. At the end of the first 12 treatments, during which she was using topical and oral steroids, the urticaria and constipation resolved completely; and she had temporary relief from the heartburn. It is thought that the urticaria and constipation resolved because of the acupuncture as that was the only change. At the end of the second 12 treatments, during which time she had started Optifast, a GFD, the heartburn, headache, and eczema resolved. At the end of the third 12 treatments, all her symptoms remained resolved. Steroid treatment was discontinued after the first 12 treatments. Conclusion Acupuncture and diet changes appeared to provide relief from the urticaria and eczema of dermatitis herpetiformis beyond that obtained by traditional treatment of a GFD alone. Key indexing terms: Acupuncture therapy, Dermatitis herpetiformis, Celiac disease, HLA-DQ antigens, Gluten-free dietIntroduction Celiac disease (CD) is described in one of the following 4 ways: typical, atypical or extraintestinal, silent, or latent.1,2 All forms, with and without verifiable small intestinal damage and with and without positive anti-gliadin antibody (AGA) testing result, have been associated with increased mortality.3 Only typical CD is associated with the well-documented enteropathic symptoms of diarrhea, weight loss, malabsorption, and the criterion standard positive small bowel biopsy result showing


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