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Acupuncture has a solid reputation for supporting fertility for both men and women. So much so that many mainstream fertility clinics recommend and offer acupuncture. This article considers what optimal fertile health looks like through the Chinese medicine lens and how divergences from this can give helpful clues to an acupuncturist to help formulate a diagnosis and prepare a treatment plan and inform dietary tips or lifestyle modifications that can help to improve fertility.
Traditional Acupuncture is a branch of Chinese medicine, which is an excellent model to use to understand fertility. Chinese medicine is based on very simple principles that can be combined and interwoven to understand the very complex reality of an individual’s fertility and broader health.
The Yin and Yang of the Menstrual cycle
One of these sets of principles is the ebb and flow of Yin and Yang. This elegantly mirrors the different stages of the menstrual cycle. Yin is still and quiet, nurturing and moistening – it is the preparation phase. Yang is more dynamic and warming, it is the active growing phase.
The Yin phase equates to the oestrogen dominated half of the cycle prior to ovulation. It is the first half of the cycle, and is preparing for ovulation by first shedding the endometrial layer from the previous cycle (the period), building the new layer for an embryo to implant into and ripening the follicles. It is responsible for governing the cervical secretions which need to be rich in potassium to fuel the sperm and loose and slippery for the sperm to swim through easily. The middle of the cycle is dedicated to ovulation when the follicle ruptures and the egg is released. The next phase is the Yang phase, the progesterone dominated half of the cycle. It dries up mucosal secretions to allow smooth passage the fertilized zygote and aid implantation. It facilitates the release of nutrients from the endometrial layer to nourish the embryo. If there is no conception and implantation, Yang is the motive force that builds to get the next period started to begin the new cycle.
Observing the Menstrual Cycle
A very useful fertility to tool to view the health of the menstrual cycle is charting. It can help a couple to know when the most fertile time is, and provide useful information for the acupuncture practitioner to track not only the length of the menstrual cycle, but also the length of the Yin/oestrogen phase and the Yang/progesterone phase. Charting is done based on your Basal Body Temperature (taken on waking at the same time each morning) and recorded on a chart. Below is a typical temperature chart.
It shows that in the first half of a typical cycle the temperature is lower than the second half. It shows that there is a dip in body temperature, a result of an oestrogen surge just in advance of ovulation. Around this time you should also see an increase in cervical mucous. Shortly after ovulation at the start of the Yang phase, there should be a spike in temperature, which should stay relatively constant for the remaining half of the cycle.
Charting is not for everyone, it does take dedication to taking the temperature every morning and paying very close attention to the cycle. However, there are other signs and symptoms that can be very informative – details that may not be considered as particularly relevant by a Western medical doctor – but can provide insightful clues into why a couple may be having difficulty conceiving.
Examples of signs and symptoms of particular relevance are: when and how your period starts and finishes; colour of blood; pain at any time during your cycle; headaches; cervical secretions; sleeplessness; mood. These signs and symptoms and temperature fluctuations help to understand the how the balance of Yin and Yang is in the individual and therefore where the focus of treatment should be.
For example, the first half of the cycle is very susceptible to emotional strain and can cause early ovulation (i.e. before day 14). Emotional strain can cause imbalances resulting in a slightly raised temperature, irritability and a degree of insomnia. Early ovulation can mean that eggs are being released before they are fully ripe and therefore either might not be fertilized or may not implant well if they are fertilized. Acupuncture treatment in this instance would focus on regulating your temperature, calming the mind and reducing stress.
Another example can be where the temperature is too low in the second half of the cycle and this can cause poor implantation or early miscarriage. In this instance treatment would focus on raising temperatures and nourishing the endometrial layer.
Each individual woman’s cycle is different and as such each treatment is personalized for whatever your particular set of circumstances might be. Advice around observing the fluctuations in the menstrual will help to maximize chances of conception and can be provided around diet and lifestyle for each individual’s health.
Acupuncture is not just used to support female fertility but male as well. There are a variety of signs and symptoms that can help to identify areas of treatment to focus on for men too. For example, men who experience feelings of coldness, fatigue and reduced sexual desire may well have sperm with low motility. In this case, treatment would focus on supporting the Yang aspect of a man’s health and advice around eating habits may be appropriate.
There has been research into how acupuncture can help support fertility naturally. Showing that it can:
be effective in regulating the hormones involved in fertility (Jin 2009, Huang 2009).reduce the stress response, also known as “the fight or flight response” which can have a significant impact on the function of the reproductive organs and can inhibit ovulation (Magarelli 2008, Anderson 2007 ).increase blood flow to reproductive organs – improving the supplying of oxygen and nutrients to developing eggs in the ovaries and improve the blood supply to the uterus, thus making a healthier, thicker endometrial layer – which improves chances of successful implantation. (Stener-Victorin 2006, Lim 2010, Liu 2008)work to counteract the effects of PCOS – balancing hormone levels, increasing ovulation and warming the uterus to improve blastocyst implantation (Stener-Victorin 2000, 2008, 2009, Zhang 2009.can help to improve sperm maturation (Crimmel 2001), lower scrotal temperature (Siterman 2009), improving blood supply to the reproductive organs (Komori 2009).
Via Shaftesbury Clinic Bedford
Acupuncture with Herbs Clears Acne - New Finding
on 18 June 2013.
Acupuncture is effective in the treatment of acne. A meta-analysis of 43 acupuncture acne trials with approximately 3,500 patients was reviewed. Several types of acne were investigated: vulgaris, papulopustular, inflammatory, adolescent and polymorphic. The researchers discovered that when acupuncture is added to a therapeutic regime, it synergistically enhances the medicinal benefits of the treatment protocol and leads to superior patient outcomes. Acupuncture combined with herbal medicine yields better results than herbal medicine as a standalone modality. Acupuncture combined with herbal face masks yields better results than herbal face masks as a standalone therapy. Interestingly, the researchers discovered that adding cupping therapy also enhanced clinical outcomes. No serious adverse effects were reported for any of the patients. The researchers note that acupuncture is both safe and effective for the treatment of acne and recommend further research.
These findings are consistent with a recent study showing that acupuncture regulates hormone levels in women with PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome. PCOS is marked by hirsutism, acne, insulin resistance and infertility. The study showed that acupuncture successfully regulated endogenous sex steroids in the ovaries and in the blood. The research was conducted by the Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology and was published in the American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism. This study indicates that acupuncture may be helpful in controlling symptoms associated with PCOS, including acne.
The use of herbal teas and face masks for the treatment of acne has a long and well-documented historical record in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The herb Qing Dai is often powdered and mixed with either bitter melon or cucumber juice to form a paste. The paste is applied as a mask and is retained for about a half hour. Its anti-toxin and anti-inflammatory properties helps to reduce even the most pernicious cystic acne. The new research demonstrates that the addition of acupuncture to an herbal face mask protocol increases positive clinical outcomes. Prof. Jeffrey Pang, L.Ac. of the Healthcare Medicine Institute notes that acupuncture opens the channels and guides the herbs to deliver their clinical benefits. Prof. Pang will be presenting new dietetics webinars throughout the year at the Healthcare Medicine Institute. Take a look at the video below to view a sample of a dietetics webinar.
Via Shaftesbury Clinic Bedford
Keywords:Acupuncture;Bibliometrics;Clinical and fundamental studies;Research evidenceAbstract
Objective: To systematically review the status quo, issues, and challenges from home and abroad for acupuncture research evidence, in order to identify global acupuncture research datum lines and policy-making evidence for future research direction.
Method: To carry out computed searching through the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, CNKI, SCI, WHO-ICTRP, and Chinese Clinical Trials Registry (ChiCTR) (up to January, 2010) for acupuncture-related secondary studies (systematic reviews and meta-analysis), animal randomized controlled trials (RCTs), published human RCTs (fundamental research with the human body or human body specimens as subjects), and registered on-going clinical trials (regardless of subject recruiting), and to analyze yearly publishing trends and research hotspots on subject headings for secondary studies and published and registered RCTs.
Result: (1) 63.7% of acupuncture clinical RCTs were published in the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), while RCTs published in MEDLINE, SCI, and CNKI each accounted for a third of all acupuncture fundamental RCTs. Publishing trends of acupuncture clinical RCTs indicated three periods – a period of slow growth before 1998, a period of gradual growth between 1999 and 2005, and a period of rapid growth after 2005. While few fundamental acupuncture RCTs were published before 2004, the period after 2005 demonstrated an increasing trend, but did not exhibit the same rapid growth as with clinical RCTs. Publication of Cochrane systematic reviews (CSRs) exhibited a time-dependent effect with acupuncture clinical RCTs, a trend that became more pronounced as time passed, while time intervals between CSR and acupuncture clinical RCT publications decreased. (2) Nine SRs were published in China, accounting for 30% of the global total of 29, while China's 68 RCTs accounted for 21% of global RCTs. Among five CSRs affirming the effects of acupuncture, only one contained four RCTs from China, which accounted for 10% of all RCTs included in that CSR. All information provided above demonstrates a deficiency of high-quality evidence from China affirming the efficiency of acupuncture. (3) Nine CSRs published by Chinese researchers included 38 RCTs (44%) from China, as well as 48 foreign RCTs; four of these CSRs included RCTs from China only. (4) Over 70% of acupuncture fundamental RCTs were carried out by China alone while only 11% of acupuncture clinical RCTs included in SCI were from China, both of which suggest the methodology quality of acupuncture clinical RCTs in China should be raised to meet international standards. (5) Clinical research was the primary focus of acupuncture studies in Europe and the US. (6) Acupuncture studies were divided into nine research areas according to the top 50 disease-related high-frequency words in acupuncture RCTs. The first three disease categories, comprehensively ranked using published clinical RCTs, were pain and analgesia, cardio-cerebrovascular diseases, and the neuropsychological system. The top three disease categories of both on-going clinical RCTs and acupuncture fundamental RCTs, respectively, were in accordance with those of published clinical RCTs.
Conclusion: (1) CL CTRD is the key database in searching for published acupuncture clinical RCTs, and thus should be used first. Databases such as MEDLINE, SCI, and CNKI are all indispensable in retrieving acupuncture fundamental RCTs. (2) China leads the world in terms of both clinical and acupuncture fundamental RCTs, but while publication occurs rapidly, there is a lack of high-quality RCTs, suggesting future acupuncture clinical RCTs in China should place a higher emphasis on quality. Further development of acupuncture fundamental studies with little clinical research is a coming challenge for China. The US provides many of the RCTs published in SCI and on-going RCTs registered in WHO-ICTRP. Its small but high-quality publication will increasingly strengthen its impact on acupuncture research. (3) The fact that the top three disease categories of on-going clinical RCTs and of acupuncture fundamental RCTs, respectively, were in accordance with published clinical RCTs indicate that pain, cardio-cerebrovascular diseases, and neuropsychological diseases are major treatment disease categories for acupuncture and also primary development directions for the future. (4) CSRs will achieve synchronized updates with acupuncture clinical RCTs and its influence in guiding acupuncture clinical RCTs will grow clearer day by day. (5) Though registration of on-going RCTs is still in its initial stage and the number of RCTs registered is still relatively small, that the continued operation of the WHO-ICTRP will boost both the number of acupuncture RCTs registered and their quality. Innovation and time in acupuncture methodology will definitely advance the development of acupuncture research, while national and international cooperative programs in acupuncture research need evidence to support their claims throughout the course of project approval to implementation to inspection and acceptance to transformation to follow-up appraisal, in order to supply scientific and transparent research, thus improving credibility and practicality of the results.
Via Bedford Acupuncture
ACC's $24m spending on acupuncture needles someBEN HEATHERLast updated 05:00, January 24 2015Share
- The Dominion Post
Objective: to evaluate acupunctures effect on inflammatory markers in pediatric Otitis Media
Via Shaftesbury Clinic Bedford
Rady Children's Hospital's Dr. James Ochi is one of the few doctors around the country using acupuncture in lieu of pain medicine.
NBC 7’s Greg Bledsoe shares the story of how Dr. James Ochi, of Rady Children's Hospital, is using acupuncture instead of pain medications on his latest patient, Tasha Bruner, an 18-year-old student who suffers from severe sinus issues. Under Ochi's watchful eye, Bruner had polyps removed for the third time. (Published Tuesday, Dec 17, 2013)Tuesday, Dec 17, 2013 • Updated at 5:24 PM PST
The operating room is not where most 18-year-old cheerleaders would choose to spend their spare time, but Tasha Bruner is getting used to it.
Tasha has severe sinus issues.
UCSD Medical Center's Smallest Baby Headed Home Six months ago, Alexis Clarke was born at UCSD Medical Center at just 25 weeks. Weighing a mere 11 ounces, Alexis is the smallest baby ever born at the medical center. These days, she's bigger and healthier, and hopefully headed home soon. NBC 7's Greg Bledsoe shares her story of survival. (Published Wednesday, Nov 6, 2013)
“It’s all stuffed up. I can’t smell. I can’t breathe. I have to breathe through my mouth,” she explained.
On Tuesday, Tasha had polyps removed for the third time at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego.
Although this surgery can be painful to wake up from, Dr. James Ochi won’t be using pain medication. Instead, he’s using acupuncture.
Ochi said placing needles at pressure points on the hands and face lessen pain.
Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration banned the use of codeine in child having their tonsils removed.
“The number of narcotics I prescribe for my patients has hit the floor,” Ochi said.
Besides the codeine ban, Ochi said there are other reasons to use acupuncture. He said it works, it’s safer, and it’s less expensive than drugs.
“Acupuncture is cheap,” Ochi said. “It costs pennies per needle.”
However, Ochi said that might be why he is one of the few doctors around the country doing it.
“The sad truth is that acupuncture does not generate much money,” he said.
Ochi recently published a study involving 31 kids who said their pain level, on average, was 5.5 on a 1 to 10 scale.
“After acupuncture for about 15 minutes, their pain level fell to about 2,” Ochi said.
“For me, it is extremely moving to look at a child who is unhappy after surgery and with a few needles make them smile.”
Via Shaftesbury Clinic Bedford
We might go out with the best of intentions but sometimes a hangover is inevitable during the festive period
I’ve always found that a little bit of light pressure applied between the webbing of the thumb and forefinger is a godsend for reducing the intensity of a pounding hangover headache.
I also wear acupressure wrist bands (designed for travel sickness) to help settle a delicate stomach the morning after.
Drinking plenty of water with lemon helps to remove toxins from the body.
But the best way for the body to repair and rebalance itself is sleep, so I have a lie-in and a nap later.
British Acupuncture Council practitioner Rhiannon Griffiths
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA—Appetite was improved in patients with GI cancer who received acupuncture therapy, according to a study presented at the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) 39th Annual Congress.
Acupuncture effectively improves appetite in patients with GI tract cancer
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA—Appetite was improved in patients with GI cancer who received acupuncture therapy, according to a study presented at the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) 39th Annual Congress.
Via Acupuncture Bedford
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.
Via Shaftesbury Acupuncture Clinic
Acupuncture and moxibustion for stress-related disorders
Tetsuya Kondo and Masazumi Kawamoto
Additional article information
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
Via Bedford Acupuncture, Shaftesbury Clinic, Shaftesbury Acupuncture Clinic
(Medical Xpress)—The pink plastic box that Cynthia Kim, MD, EdD, opens at the bedside of a young patient at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco looks like it might contain art supplies. But inside is everything she needs to provide an ancient form of pain relief.
Kim is one of three physicians within the UCSF Department of Pediatrics trained to perform acupuncture on hospitalized patients, making UCSF one of a very few academic medical centers to offer this complementary treatment to both inpatients and outpatients.
Kim, a hospitalist specializing in pain management and palliative care, grew up in Korea where traditional Chinese medicine was the first-line treatment for family ailments. Her pediatrics training in the United States schooled her in western medicine, but Kim now offers young patients the best of both worlds.
Kim, along with pediatric hospitalist Karen Sun, MD, and pediatric rehabilitation specialist Mitul Kapadia, MD, is a licensed medical acupuncturist – a physician trained to provide acupuncture to hospitalized patients.
Her expertise is provided through the Integrative Pediatric Pain and Palliative Care (IP3) service, which provides both traditional and complementary pain management and palliative care for children at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco.
An Effective Complementary Therapy
In light of studies that have shown the benefit of this 2,000-year old treatment for conditions such as nausea, back pain, anxiety and headaches, insurance companies are increasingly covering acupuncture as a complementary treatment, said Kim.
About 3 million people in the U.S. currently use acupuncture as part of their health care, she said.
The IP3 team provided more than 200 acupuncture consults in 2013 to hospitalized patients. Most of the patients Kim sees are undergoing cancer treatment and use acupuncture to help manage chronic nausea from chemotherapy or to relieve discomfort from other aspects of their treatment.
Cynthia Kim, MD, EdD, opens the pink box that contains the tools she uses to perform acupuncture on her young patients. Credit: David Law
Acupuncture has been shown to reduce nausea by up to 70 percent, according to Kim. The treatment, which very rarely has side effects, can also help with post-surgical pain.
Controlled studies of acupuncture in pediatric patients have shown its usefulness in managing nausea after surgical removal of tonsils and adenoids and following eye surgery to correct strabismus. It has also been shown to help reduce chronic headache pain in children. Just how acupuncture works is not well understood, but it may stimulate the release of neurotransmitters such as endorphins and serotonin or otherwise inhibit pain transmission.
Acupuncture is based on the theory that energy flows along meridians, or channels, in the body, and that blockages in this flow lead to illness.
Acupuncturists memorize thousands of pressure points along major and minor meridians that are believed to affect body functions, said Kim. She often applies acupuncture to a nausea pressure point along the forearm, but points around the ear are also useful in managing the stress and anxiety that can accompany hospital treatment.
Laser Acupuncture Offers Alternative to Needles
Traditionally, acupuncture involves inserting very thin needles into the body, but there are a number of variations on classic acupuncture that are also effective, including adding electrical stimulation to the acupuncture point, or simply applying pressure.
Laser acupuncture is a particularly popular option for young children. It uses infrared light from a device that resembles a small flashlight to deliver an imperceptible dose of thermal energy to the pressure point. Research has shown laser acupuncture to be as effective as needles, said Kim, which is a boon for young patients who may become anxious at the sight of yet another needle, even one that is painless.
"They'd much rather see me use my little red light," said Kim with a smile.
Effective acupuncture is tailored to an individual's personality traits, so Kim typically spends a half-hour with patients during treatments to get to know them. She clearly relishes the time she spends with each child.
"Acupuncture involves touching, and that is a part of the healing process that is not emphasized in western medicine," she said.
After evaluating a patient to see if symptoms are likely to respond to acupuncture, Kim typically administers five treatments over the course of several weeks. She then teaches parents and children how to treat these same points on their own with acupressure. About half of the children who receive treatment during their hospitalizations also use acupuncture on an outpatient basis, often through the IP3 service's weekly clinic.
Now that acupuncture is incorporated into pediatric care at UCSF, the team plans to add to the body of research on how it can best be used.
Kim is conducting a controlled trial using laser acupuncture on young patients who undergo renal biopsies each year at the children's hospital. The biopsy involves inserting a large needle into the kidney, a procedure that can be painful and make patients anxious.
The study is comparing actual to sham treatment by means of pre- and post-treatment patient surveys. Preliminary data suggest a 50-percent decrease in the use of pain medications and anxiety, said Kim.
Via Shaftesbury Clinic Bedford
Night sweats and hot flashes are common symptoms of menopause in the U.S. There you are going about your day, when all of a sudden, the heat of the sun emits from your core. The bud of many jokes, “the change” does not have to be so dramatic.
The word menopause simply means cessation of menses. Ideally, it ought to be just that and without symptoms. Acupuncture can help.
How Acupuncture Works
Acupuncture can help regulate your hormones and therefore, regulate your temperature and stop profuse sweating. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we all have yin and yang energy in our bodies. In a perfect world, they are balanced and in harmony. In the real world, they are anything but and when they become noticeably imbalanced, our health suffers. As women age, it is common in the U.S. for their yin to become depleted. This of course affects their yang as well, resulting in night sweats, hot flashes, and irritability.
What acupuncture can do is help replenish your yin (which in effect, helps your yang). It can help restore harmony and balance and therefore, get rid of night sweats and hot flashes. Clinically, I have had success with helping women (and men, too!) relieve night sweats and hot flashes with acupuncture alone.
Research studies on acupuncture and hot flashes/night sweats
Bothered by hot flashes? Acupuncture might be the answer, analysis suggests: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140714122812.htm
Research Study: Using traditional acupuncture for breast-cancer related hot flashes and night sweats: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20954961
Via Shaftesbury Clinic Bedford
MINNEAPOLIS --Shabazz Muhammad hates needles.
So before Timberwolves director of athletic therapy Mark Kyger started pressing some into the left side of his calf, Muhammad stopped him.
"You're certified to do this, right?" the mild-mannered, ultra-aggressive forward asked Kyger. "I don't want you hurting me."
Kyger is, of course, a well-trained physical therapist. And the work he's carried out to alleviate pain in Muhammad's left ankle has kept the second-year pro -- and his team -- afloat lately.
Nursing a sore ankle since late last month, Muhammad is averaging 16.4 points on 52.4 percent shooting and five rebounds in his past seven games. The pain is severe enough that, in a normal situation, he would have sat out the Wolves' games against Houston, San Antonio, Golden State and/or Portland in the past week.
But these are not ordinary times at the Target Center. With five players out due to injury, Minnesota can't afford to lose any more personnel.
So in the needles go. And on goes Muhammad.
"It hurts a lot," he said Friday morning at the team's shootaround. "It's got me screaming sometimes -- well, not screaming, but like, 'ah.'"
Timberpups Tracker: Dec. 10 edition
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Acupuncture stimulates specific points in the skin as a means of relieving pain. Muhammad, 22, had never had it performed on him before, but says within 24 hours of treatment, his ankle feels somewhat right again.
It tends to wear off or tighten up in the middle of games, he said. In Wednesday's win against Portland, he scored all 11 of his points in the first half.
But he wasn't fully himself, missing a handful of dunks and faltering down the stretch. "I couldn't get that extra . . . lift. I was disappointed. I can't wait till this ankle gets right. It's just sore, though."
An MRI taken Monday afternoon came back negative. Trainers have told Muhammad he can't injure himself any worse by playing.
And when he's at full capacity, he's one of the league's most improved players.
After barely getting off the bench last year under Rick Adelman -- Muhammad averaged 7.8 minutes, 3.9 points and 1.4 rebounds in 37 appearances -- Muhammad has been the top performer among crop of youthful talent, coach and president of basketball operations Flip Saunders said. With a motor that never stops and a slimmed-down body that can run longer and jump higher, Muhammad averages 11 points, 3.4 boards and 17.8 minutes per game in his second NBA campaign.
"He's been our most efficient young player," Saunders said.
And Kyger's work has helped. Muhammad's gone through it four times so far, with hopes more than a one-day break between games will give the ankle time to actually heal. The Wolves host the Lakers this Sunday and travel to Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, so rest will continue to come at a premium.
"Hopefully, we can string up a couple days where we can get off, but right now, I'm just trying to show that I can play despite injury," Muhammad said. "That takes a great mindset to do."
Via Shaftesbury Clinic Bedford
2 FEBRUARY, 2015 - 00:30 APRILHOLLOWAYScientists discover new tattoos on 5,300-year-old Otzi the Iceman mummy
Scientists have discovered four more tattooed lines on ‘Ötzi the Iceman’, a 5,300-year-old mummy, bringing the total number of tattoos to 61. Researchers are still divided over whether the tattoos were purely decorative, had religious significance, or held a therapeutic purpose.
Ötzi the iceman, as he has been named, was discovered by German tourists in the Oetz Valley, Austria, in 1991. He was originally believed to be the frozen corpse of a mountaineer or soldier who died during World War I. However, tests later confirmed the iceman dates back to 3,300 BC and most likely died from a blow to the back of the head. He is Europe's oldest natural human mummy and, remarkably, his body contained the still intact blood cells, which resembled a modern sample of blood. They are the oldest blood cells ever identified. His body was so well-preserved that scientists were even able to determine that his last meal was red deer and herb bread, eaten with wheat bran, roots and fruit.
One of the more surprising discoveries about Ötzi, was the series of tattoos found all over his body. His body art consists of sets of parallel lines and crosses, which were made by making small incisions in the skin and then rubbing them with charcoal and herbs.
A cross-shaped tattoo on Ötzi's knee. (radiolab.org)
It was long believed that Ötzi had around 50 tattoos on his body; however, some researchers suspected there may be others, no longer visible to the naked eye due to the darkening of his skin over time.
Live Science reports that scientists from the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman at the European Research Academy in Italy, used cameras with specialized lenses that capture different wavelengths of light, ranging from ultraviolet light to infrared light. Using this equipment, the researchers discovered a set of previously unknown tattoos, a set of lines, located on the lower side of Ötzi’s right ribcage, bringing the total number to 61.
The 61 lines that make up the tattoos on Ötzi, a 5,300-year-old iceman found in the Italian Alps in 1991. Credit: Marco Samadelli
Identifying the full array of tattoos on Ötzi is important for learning about why he may have had them. Until fairly recently, it was believed that the tattoos were merely decorative, however, a 2013 study in the journal Inflammopharmacology revealed that the tattoos were found in all parts of the body that showed evidence of wear and tear, including his ankles, wrists, knees, Achilles tendon, and lower back, leading the researchers to suspect that the tattoos were used therapeutically to relieve ailments like rheumatism and arthritis. Furthermore, the tattooed areas were found to lie approximately over acupuncture medians. If the tattoos were indeed therapeutic, they may constitute the earliest evidence of acupuncture.
The new ribcage tattoo is not located on the iceman's back or on a joint, but "on the other hand, he could have suffered from chest pain," said Albert Zink, the study's senior researcher, whose paper has been published in the Journal of Cultural Heritage.
A spokesman for the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology had said, in relation to the 2013 study, that if indeed the tattoos were created as a form of acupuncture, “people of the Iceman's times would have known not only about nature around them, but also about the human body and its reactions - I think this is remarkable.”
on 03 January 2015.
Researchers have discovered an anatomical structure located at acupuncture points. Wang, et. al., have identified a “vessel-like structure” made of “calcitonin gene related peptide (CGRP)-positive neurofibers in local tissues” at acupuncture points. The researchers discovered that “CGRP-positive nerve fibers were found to distribute in the dermis and subcutaneous layers of local tissues of acupoint ST 44, ST 36 and ST 32, mainly concentrating around the vessel-like structure.” They add, “CGRP-positive neurofibers are an important element in the local tissues of acupoint ST 44, ST 36 and ST 32 regions….”
Miyauchi, et. al., note, “The calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) plays important roles as a neurotransmitter/neuromodulator in the central nervous system, and as a potent vasodilator when secreted from peripheral, perivascular nerves through its specific receptors.” Wang, et. al,. used a laser confocal microscope to make the discovery of CGRP positive nerve fibers at acupuncture points. This research solves one piece of the biological mystery behind the structure and mechanism of acupuncture’s effective actions on human health.
CGRP is a type of neurotransmitter. Nerve fibers that are positive for the presence of CGRP play many roles in human physiology. For example, Hara-Irie, et. al., note that “CGRP-positive nerve fibers could be a crucial element in bone metabolism during bone growth and development.” Kunst, et. al., from the Yale School of Medicine (New Haven, Connecticut) note that CGRP is “a wake-promoting neuropeptide that regulates sleep maintenance at night.” Evans, et. al., from the University of Miami School of Medicine (Miami, Florida) note that CGRP is “a potent vasodilator neuropeptide.” The density of nerve fibers containing CGRP located at acupuncture points may correlate to the ability of acupuncture to stimulate signal conduction and induce health benefits.
Hongbao Ma of the Department of Medicine, Michigan State University (East Lansing) notes, “Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) is a 37 amino acid vasoactive neuropeptide that is widely distributed in central and peripheral nervous systems in mammals. CGRP was discovered in 1982 by molecular cloning of calcitonin (CT) gene.” Ma adds, “CGRP is secreted by primary afferents and causes primary hyperalgesia, and its expression increases in (the) dorsal horn under sensitization conditions. CGRP plays (an) important role in blood pressure system.” Given the discovery of CGRP in 1982, it is not unusual that the vessel-like physical structures of CGRP associated with acupuncture points have only recently been discovered.
Russell, et. al. note, “CGRP is a highly potent vasodilator and, partly as a consequence, possesses protective mechanisms that are important for physiological and pathological conditions involving the cardiovascular system and wound healing. CGRP is primarily released from sensory nerves and thus is implicated in pain pathways. The proven ability of CGRP antagonists to alleviate migraine has been of most interest in terms of drug development, and knowledge to date concerning this potential therapeutic area is discussed.”
Ling Zhao et. al., conclude that acupuncture is effective in the treatment of migraines and reduces pain intensity levels. Zhou et. al., find acupuncture effective in the prevention of migraines and links acupuncture’s therapeutic benefits to its ability to stimulate MLCK expression. The expression of myosin light-chain kinase (MLCK) is involved in the regulation of smooth muscle contraction. The researchers document a correlation between acute migraine attacks and decreases of MLCK via the CGRP signal system. The researchers discovered that applying acupuncture to acupoint GB20 (Fengchi) successfully upregulates MLCK expression and has “preventative and curative” effects for migraine patients.
In another investigation, Morry Silberstein, et. al., conclude that acupuncture points are related to both unmyelinated and myelinated afferent nerve fibers in a unique neuroanatomical structure not found in other areas of the body. The researchers used light microscopy on silver stained sections of acupuncture point P6 (silver stained human cadaver sample) and used confocal light microscopy on a live subject for acupuncture points GB20 and SP6. Control sites were compared with the acupuncture points.
At acupuncture points, it was discovered that a nerve bundle extended to the dermal-epidermal junctions. Each bundle branched into 2 sections perpendicular to each other. This anatomical phenomenon was not observed at the control sites. The researchers concluded that this acupoint neuroanatomical finding suggests that, “acupuncture may incise afferent unmyelinated axonal branch points, disrupting both neural transmission to the spinal cord and crosstalk along meridians, while simultaneously stimulating larger, myelinated afferents, thus explaining both the immediate and long-lasting effects of acupuncture.”
In another body of research by Chenglin, et. al., CT scans reveal unique anatomical structures of acupuncture points. A CT (computerized tomography) scan is a series of X-rays used to create cross-sectional images. In a study published in the Journal of Electron Spectroscopy and Related Phenomena, researchers used in-line phase contrast CT imaging with synchrotron radiation on both non-acupuncture points and acupuncture points. The CT scans revealed clear distinctions between the non-acupuncture point and acupuncture point anatomical structures. Acupuncture points have a higher density of micro-vessels and contain a large amount of involuted microvascular structures. The non-acupuncture points did not exhibit these properties.
The researchers note that the state-of-the-art CT imaging techniques used in this study allow for improved three-dimensional (3D) imaging of a large field of view without artifacts. This greatly improves imaging of soft tissue and allowed the researchers to view this important finding.
The acupuncture points ST36 (Zusanli) and ST37 (Shangjuxu) were shown to have distinct structural differences from surrounding areas. At the acupuncture points, microvascular densities with bifurcations “can be clearly seen around thick blood vessels” but non-acupuncture point areas showed few thick blood vessels and none showed fine, high density structures. The acupuncture points contained fine structures with more large blood vessels that are several dozen micrometers in size plus beds of high density vascularization of vessels 15-50 micrometers in size. This structure was not found in non-acupuncture point areas.
The researchers note that the size of an acupuncture point “can be estimated by the diameter of microvascular aggregations….” They also commented that other research has identified unique structures of acupuncture points and acupuncture meridians using MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), infrared imaging, LCD thermal photography, ultrasound and other CT imaging methods. The researchers commented that many studies using these technological approaches have already demonstrated that physical structures exist at acupuncture points. They note that “the high brightness, wide spectrum, high collimation, polarization and pulsed structure of synchrotron radiation” facilitated their discovery. They concluded, “Our results demonstrated again the existence of acupoints, and also show that the acupoints are special points in mammals.”
In another study, researchers used an amperometric oxygen micro-sensor to detect partial oxygen pressure variations at different locations on the anterior aspect of the wrist. The researchers concluded that partial oxygen pressure is significantly higher at acupuncture points. Below are images from the study measuring the increase of partial oxygen pressure combined with an overlay of the local acupuncture point locations. The images map the lung, pericardium and heart channels and their associated local points. Acupuncture points P7 and P6 clearly show high oxygen pressure levels as do the other acupuncture points in the region.
These measurements were not taken at needled acupuncture points. They were taken at the natural resting states of acupuncture points absent stimulation. A truly unique finding, acupuncture points exhibit special oxygen characteristics. Acupuncture points and acupuncture channels are scientifically measurable phenomena in repeated experiments. High oxygen pressure levels indicate the presence of pericardium, lung and heart acupuncture points and channels.
Kunst, Michael, Michael E. Hughes, Davide Raccuglia, Mario Felix, Michael Li, Gregory Barnett, Janelle Duah, and Michael N. Nitabach. "Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide Neurons Mediate Sleep-Specific Circadian Output in Drosophila." Current Biology (2014).
Ma, Hongbao. "Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP)." Nat Sci 2 (2004): 41-47.
Russell, F. A., R. King, S-J. Smillie, X. Kodji, and S. D. Brain. "Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide: Physiology and Pathophysiology." Physiological reviews 94, no. 4 (2014): 1099-1142.
Miyauchi, K., N. Tadotsu, T. Hayashi, Y. Ono, K. Tokoyoda, K. Tsujikawa, and H. Yamamoto. "Molecular cloning and characterization of mouse calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor." Neuropeptides 36, no. 1 (2002): 22-33.
Evans, Bornadata N., Mark I. Rosenblatt, Laila O. Mnayer, Kevin R. Oliver, and Ian M. Dickerson. "CGRP-RCP, a novel protein required for signal transduction at calcitonin gene-related peptide and adrenomedullin receptors." Journal of Biological Chemistry 275, no. 40 (2000): 31438-31443.
Hara-Irie, F., N. Amizuka, and H. Ozawa. "Immunohistochemical and ultrastructural localization of CGRP-positive nerve fibers at the epiphyseal trabecules facing the growth plate of rat femurs." Bone 18, no. 1 (1996): 29-39.
Zhao, Ling, Ji-xin Liu, Ying Li, Wei Qin, and Fan-rong Liang. "EFFECTS OF LONG-TERM ACUPUNCTURE TREATMENT ON RESTING-STATE BRAIN ACTIVITY IN MIGRAINE PATIENTS: A COMPARATIVE STUDY ON ACTIVE ACUPOINTS AND INACTIVE ACUPOINTS." Journal of Integrative Medicine 3 (2014): 234.
ZHOU Pei-juan, LI Bai, WANG Ai-cheng, LIU Chun-yan, WANG Yu, [Effect of Fengchi Point on the Expression of Myosin Light Chain Kinase on Middle Meningeal Artery of Migraine Model rats,] Acta Chinese Medicine and Pharmacology, 2014,(5), R285.5.
Morry Silberstein, Katharine Adcroft, Aston Wan, and Masimilliano Massi. Medical Acupuncture. Afferent Neural Branching at Human Acupuncture Points: Do Needles Stimulate or Inhibit?, doi:10.1089/acu.2011.0823. Department of Chemistry, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia. Department of Pain Management, St. Vincent's Hospital Melbourne, Victoria, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia.
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).
Minyoung Hong, Sarah S. Park, Yejin Ha, et al., “Heterogeneity of Skin Surface Oxygen Level of Wrist in Relation to Acupuncture Point,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2012, Article ID 106762, 7 pages, 2012. doi:10.1155/2012/10a6762.
Zhang Y, Yan X H, Liu C L, et al. Photoluminescence of acupuncture points “Waiqiu” in human superficial fascia [J]. J Lumin. 2006, 119-120:96-99.
Julia J. Tsuei, Scientific Evidence in Support of Acupuncture and Meridian Theory: I. Introduction. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine. 1996, 15(3):58-63.
Song X J, Zhang D. Study on the manifestation of facial infrared thermography induced by acupuncturing Guangming (GB 37) and Hegu (LI 4) [J]. Chinese Acupuncture & Moxibustion. 2010, 30(1):51-54.
Liu P, Zhou G Y, Zhang Y, et al. The hybrid GLM‒ ICA investigation on the neural mechanism of acupoint ST36: An fMRI study [J]. Neuroscience Letters, 2010, 479: 267-271.
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Published Online First 7 November 2014Abstract
Şerefeddin Sabuncuoğlu (1385–1468?), the author of Cerrahiyetü'l-Haniyye (Imperial Surgery), was a distinguished Ottoman Turkish surgeon. The first illustrated Turkish surgical textbook, Cerrahiyetü'l-Haniyye consisted of three chapters (ie, cauterisation treatments, surgical procedures and fractures and dislocations). Although the main source of the book was Al-Tasrif (Textbook of Surgery) by Albucasis (Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi; 936–1013 AD), Sabuncuoğlu added much new information, his clinical experiences and suggestions. The original illustrations and human figures made Cerrahiyetü'l-Haniyye the first illustrated medical textbook in Turkish and Islamic medicine literature. Cerrahiyetü'l-Haniyye was also a valuable source for acupuncturists. Some new sections and additions revealed that Sabuncuoğlu had knowledge of Chinese medicine. In four sections of Cerrahiyetü'l-Haniyye(ie, toothache, haemorrhoids, eczema and dermatophytosis) Sabuncuoğlu described acupuncture techniques and point locations. It is likely that the Chinese medicine content ofCerrahiyetü'l-Haniyye was derived from Central Asian roots of Anatolian Turkish people.
A Stanford University study finds acupuncture effective for helping infants receiving medical care.
Acupuncture Helps Stanford Intensive Care Infants
on 20 October 2014.
A Stanford University study finds acupuncture effective for reducing the need for sedative medications for neonates and infants undergoing treatments in the intensive care unit. Dr. Golianu, MD (Department of Anesthesiology, Stanford University), Christina Almgren, PNP (Stanford Children’s Health, Stanford University), et. al., note that high doses of opioids and benzodiazepines are often required for neonates and infants for the purposes of pain management and sedation. Cessation from medications lead to withdrawal symptoms and irritability. The researchers cite acupuncture’s documented ability to reduce pain, irritability and withdrawal symptoms in adults.
The research team applied acupuncture in the pediatric setting to see if the therapeutic effects known to help adults also applies to neonates and infants. They concluded that the pediatric patients “tolerated acupuncture well and required a decreased amount of pain medication for treating agitation and withdrawal.” The study concludes, “Acupuncture may be a useful adjunct for managing agitation and withdrawal in neonates and infants in the intensive care unit, and may lead to a decreased need for sedative medications.” Acupuncture points used in the study were Yin Tang, ST36, and PC6 plus acupuncture point protocols developed by the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association.
In a related study, doctors from the University of Washington School of Medicine (Seattle, Washington) conclude, “Our experience suggests that acupuncture therapy is a safe, non-pharmacological option for prevention of emergence delirium in children undergoing general anesthesia.” The doctors note that delirium occurs in approximately 12 - 50% of pediatric patients receiving general anesthesia. They add that pharmaceutical drugs used to manage delirium often produce unwanted adverse effects including “sedation and longer recovery time from anesthesia.”
The study came up with some very interesting findings. All children in the study receiving intravenous anesthesia plus acupuncture required less quantities of propofol, an amnestic-hypnotic drug. A total of 83% of patients did not get delirium. An additional 17% had relatively mild cases of delirium and were able to “communicate the source of distress.” The acupuncture points used in the study were SP8, HT7, and LR3. Needle stimulation was applied to the three acupuncture points. Magnet therapy was applied to ear Shenmen. No complications occurred demonstrating that acupuncture is both safe and effective in the prevention of pediatric emergence delirium.
Acupuncture Points Close-Up
Yintang (M-HN-3, Hall of Impression)
ST36 (Zusanli, Leg Three Measures)
PC6 (Neiguan, Inner Pass)
Kundu, Anjana, Nathalia Jimenez, and Anne Lynn. "Acupuncture therapy for prevention of emergence delirium in children undergoing general anesthesia." Medical Acupuncture 20, no. 3 (2008): 151-154.
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It is also supposed to remedy blemished skin. Practitioners claim acupuncture can reduce wrinkles, eliminate fine lines, lift sagging skin and improve skin colour and texture. Its effects last for about three months, and it only takes about 45 minutes.
Hot flushes are common in women with a history of breast cancer. Hormonal therapies are known to reduce these symptoms but are not recommended in women with a history of breast cancer due to their potential adverse effects. The efficacy of non-hormonal therapies is still uncertain.
To assess the efficacy of non-hormonal therapies in reducing hot flushes in women with a history of breast cancer.
We searched the Cochrane Breast Cancer Group Specialised Register, CENTRAL (The Cochrane Library), MEDLINE, EMBASE, LILACS, CINAHL, PsycINFO (August 2008) and WHO ICTRP Search Portal. We handsearched reference lists of reviews and included articles, reviewed conference proceedings and contacted experts.
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing non-hormonal therapies with placebo or no therapy for reducing hot flushes in women with a history of breast cancer.
Data collection and analysis
Two authors independently selected potentially relevant studies, decided upon their inclusion and extracted data on participant characteristics, interventions, outcomes and the risk of bias of included studies.
Sixteen RCTs met our inclusion criteria. We included six studies on selective serotonin (SSRI) and serotonin-norepinephrine (SNRI) reuptake inhibitors, two on clonidine, one on gabapentin, two each on relaxation therapy and homeopathy, and one each on vitamin E, magnetic devices and acupuncture. The risk of bias of most studies was rated as low or moderate. Data on continuous outcomes were presented inconsistently among studies, which precluded the possibility of pooling the results. Three pharmacological treatments (SSRIs and SNRIs, clonidine and gabapentin) reduced the number and severity of hot flushes. One study assessing vitamin E did not show any beneficial effect. One of two studies on relaxation therapy showed a significant benefit. None of the other non-pharmacological therapies had a significant benefit. Side-effects were inconsistently reported.
Clonidine, SSRIs and SNRIs, gabapentin and relaxation therapy showed a mild to moderate effect on reducing hot flushes in women with a history of breast cancer.
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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 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.
5 December 2014
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SPENDING on ancient pain-healing treatment has risen by more than a third in Nottingham in the past four years.
The NHS Nottingham City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which buys and plans health services, spent almost £505,000 on acupuncture therapy in the 2013-14 financial year – £145,000 more than in 2010-11.
The treatment, which derives from ancient Chinese medicine, involves inserting fine needles into certain parts of the body to ease pain.
City GPs and specialist clinics said it had become increasingly popular for patients suffering from problems such as chronic backaches and migraines.
Dr Peter Holden, chairman of the British Medical Association in the East Midlands, said: "There's no question that acupuncture does work in the right patients and some of the reasons for the increasing bill is because we have better access to logical pain management clinics. GPs can't just refer someone to acupuncture – we refer them to a clinic, which suggests ways forward.
"It's not that people are now 'wasting' money on alternative medicine – acupuncture has a proven place and there's sound physiology in the way it works."
In the past, sceptics have dismissed it as a myth relying on the placebo effect.
But the treatment has been approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, though only for chronic lower back pain, chronic tension headaches and migraines, claiming it has scientific evidence.
Dr Arun Tangri, a GP at Riverlyn Medical Centre in Bulwell and GP clinical lead for the city's CCG, said it had carried out a large public consultation, with patients "overwhelmingly" in favour of continuing acupuncture services.
He added: "It can be good because it means people are using less medicine like ibruprofen and co-codamol, which can have long-term side effects, such as damaging kidneys and the liver. People are requesting it more, which is probably because they are getting benefits from it."
Sue Hayes, owner of Riverside Natural Health Centre, at Trent Bridge, said about 10 patients each week had acupuncture at her clinic.
She said: "It's proving to be a popular alternative medicine. I think people are looking in general to other avenues for treatments and don't want to just stay on conventional medicine.
"A lot of people are looking for a more natural and holistic therapy."
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.”
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.
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