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All things acupuncture in Bedford, England, courtesy of acupuncturist Helen Smallwood at Shaftesbury Clinic
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Acupuncture can treat physical and mental discomforts of chronic pain

Acupuncture can treat physical and mental discomforts of chronic pain | Acupuncture Bedford |
Acupuncture can treat physical and mental discomforts of chronic pain


Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Feb. 03 2015, 3:07 PM EST

Last updated Tuesday, Feb. 03 2015, 3:19 PM EST

22 comments54531421714AA

“Aging is not for the faint of heart. Moving from my bed to the toilet to pee in the middle of the night for the fourth time can feel like an Olympic endurance event. As I made my way to the bathroom last night, I think the snapping and popping of my achy joints actually woke up my wife. I am always tired and just can’t move like I used to. It hurts too much when I try.”


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– Stephen, 61

Stephen is a new patient at my clinic. Suffering from chronic low-back pain and osteoarthritic knees, he was interested in trying acupuncture to help alleviate his pain.

Anyone living with chronic pain knows that it amounts to much more than physical discomfort. Anxiety and depression, fatigue, sleeplessness, lack of drive, a weakened immune system and disability often accompany long-term pain, suggesting that the condition is more of a whole-brain disorder than simply erratic pain signalling.

Moving through life in a body that reminds you of its significant limitations with every movement can have a devastating impact on your mental health and quality of life. Like it is for many Canadians, this is Stephen’s reality.

It is estimated that one in five Canadians suffer from chronic pain. With an aging population this number is likely to climb. Statistics Canada reported that roughly 27 per cent of seniors living at home and 38 per cent of those living in health-care institutions suffer from chronic pain – and 60 per cent report that it interferes with most daily activities.

By definition, chronic pain is any pain lasting more than 12 weeks. It is different from acute pain, a normal sensation that acts like a warning of possible injury. Chronic pain, which can persist for months or more, may begin after an initial trauma or injury, such as a back sprain, as it did many years ago for Stephen. There may also be an unresolved cause, such as illness. In some cases, however, the cause remains unknown.

Pain itself often modifies the way the central nervous system functions. A patient can actually become more sensitive and experience greater pain with less provocation. This is called “central sensitization.” Patients are not only more sensitive to things that should hurt, but ordinary touch and pressure can also become painful. Their pain can have an “echo,” which fades more slowly than in other people.

The physical toll of chronic pain is obvious. The emotional toll is not, but can be equally devastating. The emotional stress of chronic pain can amplify the experience, creating a vicious cycle. Anxiety, depression, hopelessness, anger and fatigue interact in complex ways with chronic pain and may decrease the body’s production of natural painkillers. Even the body’s most basic defences may be compromised. There is considerable evidence that long-term, unrelenting pain can suppress the immune system.

Treating patients with chronic pain presents many challenges. There are no standards, and traditional medical approaches commonly tend to look at chronic pain as a secondary problem. This opinion, however, is changing. Clinicians who specialize in treating chronic pain now recognize that it is not merely a sensation, like touch or smell, but rather is significantly influenced by how the brain processes pain signals. More and more experts and institutions are beginning to define chronic pain as a disease.

This shift is leading many clinicians to recommend acupuncture – often thought of as a last resort – as a therapy of choice. Acupuncture is increasingly being recognized by Western medicine as an effective alternative or adjunct to conventional treatments for a long list of conditions, including headache, menstrual cramps, joint pain, low-back pain and asthma, as well as for the side effects of chemotherapy and nausea related to pregnancy.

Although acupuncture has long been used to treat chronic pain, its effectiveness has been a controversial topic among physicians and scientists. This is largely because no biological mechanism has been identified to explain how the insertion and stimulation of specialized needles at specific points on the body generates lasting effects.

In an extensive analysis, published in 2012 in JAMA Internal Medicine, data from nearly 18,000 individuals involved in 29 high-quality clinical trials demonstrated that acupuncture is an effective treatment for chronic back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, shoulder pain and headaches. Acupuncture has been shown to be more than just a placebo.

I commonly use acupuncture in my practice as a pain management tool for patients suffering from chronic pain. After more than 15 years of experience, nearly every day I witness a patient’s positive response to acupuncture that cannot be explained using Western medicine. It is understood that acupuncture triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkilling chemicals, and affects the part of the brain that governs serotonin, a brain transmitter involved with mood, resulting in pain relief. But there is more to it than that. Acupuncture triggers a healing response that is still not clearly understood.

Stephen is not looking for a miracle or the ability to wind back time. A pain-free walk to the toilet in the middle of the night, however, would make him a happy man. With an open mind and a good sense of humour, this is where his journey will start.

Health Advisor contributors share their knowledge in fields ranging from fitness to psychology, pediatrics to aging.

Dr. Dwight Chapin, B.Sc(H)., D.C., is the clinic director of High Point Wellness Centre in Mississauga (, team chiropractor for the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts and on-site clinician for employees of The Globe and Mail. Follow him on Twitter @HighPtWellness.

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Bedford Acupuncture's curator insight, September 12, 2016 5:33 PM
"In an extensive analysis, published in 2012 in JAMA Internal Medicine, data from nearly 18,000 individuals involved in 29 high-quality #clinical #trials demonstrated that #acupuncture is an effective treatment for #chronic #back and #neck #pain, #osteoarthritis, #shoulder #pain and #headaches. Acupuncture has been shown to be more than just a placebo."
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Ear Acupuncture Aids In Weight Loss

Ear Acupuncture Aids In Weight Loss | Acupuncture Bedford |

Recent study shows that acupuncture can help in weight loss.


Ear acupuncture has been proven to aid in weight loss. According to a new research, putting five acupuncture needles in the outer ear may help people lose extra pounds. Ear acupuncture therapy is rooted on the theory that the outer ear represents all parts of the body. One needle will be inserted to the area for hunger and appetite while the other needles are for the various key points in the ear.


Researchers from Korea conducted a study that was published in the BMJ Journal Acupuncture in Medicine. This type of alternative medicine was first used in France in 1956. Dr. Paul Nogier first used this method when he observed that his patients' backache was cured when a burn on the ear has been done. From then on, he started mapping the key points of the outer ear that are linked to the different parts of the body.

For the study, the researchers compared the effectiveness of acupuncture in helping obese people lose weight. Using a randomized controlled clinical trial, they studied 91 Koreans who included 16 men and 75 women. The participants have a body mass index (BMI) of 23 and above. They were divided into three groups wherein one group received a five point acupuncture treatment, the other with one point acupuncture treatment and the last group used a control treatment.

According to the lead researcher, Sabina Lim, from the department of meridian and acupuncture in the Graduate College of Basic Korean Medical Science at Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea, "If the trend we found is supported by other studies, the hunger acupuncture point is a good choice in terms of convenience. However, for patients suffering from central obesity, continuous stimulation of five acupuncture points should be used. Increased metabolic function promotes the consumption of body fat, overall, resulting in weight loss."


The first group had needles inserted in their acupuncture sites for shen-men, stomach, spleen, hunger and endocrine. They were left there for a week. After one week, another set of needles were inserted to the points on the other year. The process was repeated for 8 weeks. On the other hand, the second group only had one needle inserted for the course of 8 weeks. For the last group, they received the five point treatment but the needles were removed after insertion.

Also, they were asked to have a restricted diet but not a weight loss diet. They were also barred from doing additional exercise during the test. For measurements, their BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, body fat, and percentage body fat were gauged. Those who finished the trial in the five point therapy group had noticeable differences in their body mass index. The results were significantly different with 6.1% reduction in BMI for the first group, 5.7% for the one point group and no difference for the control group. Apparently, all the markers were reduced in the first group. Hence, the study showed that using five-point acupuncture in the ear can aid in weight loss and overall health.

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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 Bedford |

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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Nibali’s Secret to a Tour de France Win: Acupuncture - The Daily Fix - WSJ

Nibali’s Secret to a Tour de France Win: Acupuncture - The Daily Fix - WSJ | Acupuncture Bedford |

VIERZON, France—The mere mention of one of Vincenzo Nibali’s secrets on his way to victory at the Tour de France on Sunday is enough to make any cycling fan nervous: Needles on the bus. Almost every day.

But these aren’t the kind of needles that have dented cycling’s credibility for decades. When Team Astana uses them to treat Nibali, nothing is injected, nothing is extracted.

We’re talking about acupuncture.

“It’s those little extra details that can help us,” Nibali said when he was asked about the treatment by a Belgian television station. “Maybe now others will also use this technique.”

This summer in France, Astana seemed to be the only team to bring its own acupuncturist to the Tour, a Belgian named Eddy de Smedt. For most of the year, he runs a private acupuncture practice and treats athletes outside of Brussels. But for the past three years, he has also worked for the Kazakh cycling outfit, including at last year’s Tour and last spring’s Giro d’Italia.

“There’s four doctors, two osteopaths, 10 to 12 physios, and then you’ve got me,” he said on Saturday

Throughout the Tour, De Smedt has visited with all of the Astana riders twice a day—once before stages in the soigneur’s room at the back of the team bus and once at night in the team hotel. Working quickly and carefully, he uses six to 10 needles about an inch long at key points along the riders’ legs, feet, hands and even their heads, he said, “to promote recovery and relaxation of the muscles.”

Once they’re in, De Smedt turns and twists the needles to stimulate those points, an image that isn’t for the squeamish. Although the cyclists didn’t take long to buy into it, especially Nibali.

As for the other kind of needles, Nibali has answered the inevitable questions about doping on most days during this Tour, especially as he racked up the most stage victories (four) of any champion since at least 2006. His directeur sportif, Team Astana’s Giuseppe Martinelli, insisted Nibali’s victory was clean.

De Smedt pointed out that acupuncture can’t cure anything structural — strained muscles stay strained, a broken collarbone stays broken. But it can work as a palliative measure. “If a rider has some pain, the goal is to keep him in the Tour,” he said. “Then after, a correct medical diagnosis should be done.”



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The long ride - acupuncture in horses

The long ride - acupuncture in horses | Acupuncture Bedford |
For Martina Stiel Perez, reading between the neighs comes as effortlessly as reading between the lines must seem for a discerning mind.


Having bonded with horses since childhood, Martina Stiel Perez’s mastery of veterinary 
physiotherapy and acupuncture equips her in running Equisit, a freelance horse 
training, treatment and rehabilitation services in Doha. By Anand Holla
THE CONNECT : Martina Stiel Perez’s association with the stable goes back to her childhood days in Cologne, Germany. Photo by Najeer Feroke

For Martina Stiel Perez, reading between the neighs comes as effortlessly as reading between the lines must seem for a discerning mind. “If a horse misbehaves, it’s almost always because of pain,” she says, seated on a large couch at her sunshiny residence.
Perhaps the only person in Qatar to offer freelance horse physiotherapy, acupuncture, riding and training services, the German specialist finds it second nature to uncover their problems and treat them.
“Many people work with horses but they may not be trained for this,” she says, “Sometimes, they get afraid for no reason or they become aggressive, and in turn make the horse aggressive when the horse perhaps was only afraid.”
A devoted horse rider and trainer, Perez’s mastery of veterinary physiotherapy and acupuncture equips her in running Equisit, a one-woman-show that offers freelance horse schooling, riding lessons, training and rehabilitation services apart from the treatment, of course. 
That’s why misreading the signs is something this horse doctor can’t stomach. “Many a time, I have entered a stable only to be told by the grooms: Take care, this is a crazy horse. But the horse is not crazy. Maybe, the horse is afraid or in pain,” Perez says.
“Horses are good creatures,” she continues, “They aren’t aggressive by nature and don’t want to cause you any harm. If a horse ever kicks you or bites you, it is preceded by 10 signs which you could read – maybe, it will swish its tail or pinch its ears back to tell you it is unhappy.”
Having bonded with these gentle giants ever since she can remember, Perez has fine-tuned her sensibilities to impressive frequencies. Back in Cologne, Germany, where she grew up, Perez had begun riding horses regularly by the age of eight.
“In Germany, there’s this system where all young girls go to the stable, to help clean it and tend to the horses,” she says, “Someone, then, would give you an opportunity to walk with the horse or teach you something.” 
Perez was fortunate to get to help who she calls “one of the best instructors in Germany” and get taught in return. “I could learn from the best horses. That’s where it started,” she says, smiling. 
Be it meeting and feeding her neighbours’ ponies or riding a little pony Sisi, Perez learnt a great deal, early on. “When you have your horse, you have to take care of it, and learn responsibility and discipline. Come rain or snow, I had to take the horse out every day or else it would get sick,” she says.
Riding Sisi through the open fields of Cologne meant the world to Perez. “That pony, back then, was my best friend. I knew it would wait for me and we would go out and have fun together. You have horses that teach you something and get you to the next level, and there are those that aren’t useful in your riding career but you instantly forge a special bond with them. Just like there are humans you like and there are humans that you like better,” she says.
Her parents, though, ensured that she goes to University for some solid education because “you don’t believe you can actually make a living out of treating or training horses.” 
Soon, Perez became a translator of French, English and Arabic to German. Translating human languages, then, became her second interest, while deciphering horse-speak remained the dearest.
“I didn’t let go of it,” Perez says, “Over the years, I got myself thoroughly trained in various aspects related to the horse.” That included everything from being qualified with a Degree of Horse Physiotherapy awarded by the German Institute for Horse Osteopathy (DIPO), to a Degree of Horse Acupuncture awarded by the German School of Paracelsus.
“I studied physiotherapy because when riding, you realise you can’t move ahead with a horse because something in his body is bothering him,” she says, referring to a discipline that involves massaging, stretches, and mobilisation moves for horses, “Then, I got interested in the biomechanics of the horse – how the body and the muscles work, and it led me to physiotherapy and acupuncture.”
A treatment derived from ancient Chinese medicine, acupuncture involves the insertion of extremely thin needles into specific points on the body to manipulate the flow of energy or Qi. “It tries to find the imbalances in the body and tries to set off the self-healing mechanisms within us,” Perez says. “It’s interesting because sometimes I couldn’t figure out a solution to the horse’s problem in Western medicine, but would find it in acupuncture. So it’s a great combination,” she says.
In the years she lived and worked in Dubai and Bahrain, Perez trained horses of all breeds and various disciplines, and even participated in big-ticket horse shows. With training, her focus has been in preparing the horses for dressage competitions (Called the highest expression of horse training, in Dressage, the horse and rider are expected to perform from memory a series of predetermined movements).
It is only after she moved to Qatar, three years ago, that Perez has been able to pursue her passion in full flow by offering a variety of equine services. “Until I moved to Qatar and started Equisit, my horse pursuits remained on the side as I worked for banks. Somehow, you have to finance all the private courses and equipment, too,” she says, “Qatar is a terrific opportunity as it has many horses in a small area, and also, nobody else does what I do.”
It wasn’t easy beginnings though. “I started working in one of the clinics for race horses at the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, and made some contacts in two months. Soon, people would call me to ask if I can come to treat their horse,” she recalls.
That brings us back to Perez’s talent for reading her subjects. “If a horse is in pain and becomes aggressive in my presence, I need to win its trust by being quiet, talking to it softly, and being gentle,” she explains.
This approach is quite different from that of a vet’s, who would prefer to sedate the horse so as to desensitise it to the treatment. “For me, that’s impossible. I need the reaction because I need the horse to lead me to its pain,” Perez reasons, “Physiotherapy goes to the root of the problem. With medicines, you can only treat the symptoms.”
And therein lies the key – Perez always unravels the source of the problem. “A horse’s body is always in a state of imbalance when it is not in its natural environment,” she explains, “Horses don’t get fed or exercised the proper way.  While a horse would usually run 16 hours a day in the open field, and consume food in small amounts through the day, you won’t find any stable today where the horse can do that.”
Moreover, they are fed thrice a day, Perez adds. “It’s way too much food because their stomachs are very small. Since hay and water is all that a horse really needs, everything else we feed it is like fast food,” Perez says, “A horse won’t find grains in nature just as we wouldn’t find burgers in nature. Yet, horses are fed with grains.”
Usually, they suffer from back problems or are lame, causing them to limp. A muscular issue or blocked joints, Perez says, can be solved first by manual therapy and later by treating the muscles. “As for the behaviour problems, Chinese medicine offers answers,” she adds. 
Perennially at beck and call, Perez would zip off almost every day to whichever stable would require her services – until she took a break during her pregnancy. Ever since she has had a cute little baby girl Katarina, she has now been stepping out only twice a week.
At the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, Perez treats the race horses, while at the Qatar Equestrian Federation and Al Shaqab she treats the Show Jumping ones. At Sheikh Faisal’s stable Al Samarriyah Equestrian Centre, she treats school horses and endurance horses. “It’s very interesting for me as I get to treat horses of different disciplines,” Perez says.
One of the memorable experiences for Perez was last year, when she accompanied the riders of the Qatari Armed Forces for the Show-Jumping event the CSI2* Sharjah Ruler Cup International Championship 2014. “It was wonderful because I would treat the horses there, and would get an immediate feedback on whether they had done a good job or not,” she says.
There are also times when she feels empowered to pull off miracles. “Once, a very famous stallion was lying in a box. It was suffering from a chronic disease in the hoofs, and the pain was so excruciating that it couldn’t stand,” Perez reminisces.
“In Europe, we would euthanise such a horse to spare it from suffering. Here, this isn’t done easily – you leave it to God’s decision,” she continues, “I got called to treat this horse. Eventually, it could stand on its legs and could do its job as a breeding stallion again.”
While treating so many horses, does she not get affected by the grief and pain they are in? “Every horse affects me personally,” she says, “That’s why if somebody calls me, I can almost never say no. I really don’t have a day off. If I know that a horse is in pain or is on its way for a big competition, I will rush to help.”

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Yale Stress Center is providing acupuncture > Yale Medical Group | Yale School of Medicine

Yale Stress Center is providing acupuncture > Yale Medical Group | Yale School of Medicine | Acupuncture Bedford |
Yale Stress Center is providing acupuncture

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Friday, January 23, 2015

  Press Releases

Providers at the Yale Stress Center are sticking needles in people—and providing significant relief from symptoms for many of them.

The Stress Center began offering acupuncture last year primarily to treat chronic pain, but also to treat such conditions as anxiety, depression, fatigue, insomnia, and migraines, as well as nausea induced by chemotherapy. The list goes on.

“Patients do want to have options, and acupuncture is another tool,” said Eunjie Klegar, M.D., a Yale Medical Group psychiatrist who studied acupuncture at Harvard during her psychiatry residency and is one of two providers using it at the Yale Stress Center. “People hold stress or anxiety in different body areas. Acupuncture treatments can help retrain the body so that the same pain pathways are not being used all the time,” she said.

Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific pressure points along the skin of the body using thin needles, and it comes in different forms. Dr. Klegar practices a Japanese, palpation-based style of full-body acupuncture that involves palpating a reflex point as well as another more distal point where she inserts the needle to provide relief. “The patient might feel pain, or I might feel tightness that I can use to determine the distal point that will give instant feedback on that reflex,” Dr. Klegar said.

Xoli Redmond, PsyD., a Yale Stress Center psychologist, is certified in the administration of auricular, or ear acupuncture, a treatment that involves inserting very fine, sterile needles into five key points in the ear. The needles are inserted for up to an hour, during which time the client sits comfortably and quietly, listening to relaxing music and not speaking.

Patients need to give it time

Patients need not be concerned about pain, said Dr. Klegar. “The needles are very thin—about the thickness of a human hair, and they’re not hollow. Sometimes you can feel the initial pin prick of a needle going in. Some patients don’t notice it; others think it hurts.” Any feeling of pain usually depends on point on the body where the needle is inserted, she said. “There are certain points that are more sensitive than others.” When Dr. Klegar needs to work with an especially sensitive pressure point, she talks to the patient first to make sure they want to continue.

The number of visits required to complete a course of acupuncture treatment varies widely. Dr. Klegar recommends starting with six to eight sessions. Patients with longstanding, chronic issues may choose to visit the center weekly for several weeks; those with acute problems might benefit from more frequent treatments. Acupuncture often works best as part of an overall treatment plan, said Dr. Klegar, who has used it to complement medical care or medication, and in cases where medication is not helping.

Popularity has grown

There are no guarantees that acupuncture will work consistently for everyone—while the technique has been practiced for millennia in China, it hasn’t been studied as extensively as mainstream Western medicine. Research has shown that acupuncture can help manage certain pain conditions, and it has been found to benefit veterans returning from war zones with chronic pain and coping with trauma-related conditions. However, evidence about its value for other issues is still uncertain.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), which is a part of the NIH, has reported that 3.1 million people tried acupuncture in 2007, a million more than in 2002. People surveyed used it to relieve discomfort caused by fibromyalgia, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, low back pain, and other ailments.

Anecdotally, Dr. Klegar said, most of her patients benefit in some way. “Some find relief right away. But the general rule of thumb is if you have a chronic condition, don’t expect a cure in one session. The body has to heal itself and you have to give it time to readjust.”

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Minnesota Timberwolves' Shabazz Muhammad enduring needling to keep ankle healthy

Minnesota Timberwolves' Shabazz Muhammad enduring needling to keep ankle healthy | Acupuncture Bedford |

Nursing a sore ankle since late last month, Minnesota's Shabazz Muhammad is undergoing acupuncture to keep him on the court playing.


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 

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."

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Acupuncture Might be the Answer for Hot Flashes | Medindia

Acupuncture Might be the Answer for Hot Flashes | Medindia | Acupuncture Bedford |

In the 2,500+ years that have passed since acupuncture was first used by the ancient Chinese.


It has been used to treat a number of physical, mental and emotional conditions including nausea and vomiting, stroke rehabilitation, headaches, menstrual cramps, asthma, carpal tunnel, fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis, to name just a few. 

Now, a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials which is being published this month in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), indicates that acupuncture can affect the severity and frequency of hot flashes for women in natural menopause. An extensive search of previous studies evaluating the effectiveness of acupuncture uncovered 104 relevant students, of which 12 studies with 869 participants met the specified inclusion criteria to be included in this current study. 

While the studies provided inconsistent findings on the effects of acupuncture on other menopause-related symptoms such as sleep problems, mood disturbances and sexual problems, they did conclude that acupuncture positively impacted both the frequency and severity of hot flashes. Women experiencing natural menopause and aged between 40 and 60 years were included in the analysis, which evaluated the effects of various forms of acupuncture, including traditional Chinese medicine acupuncture (TCMA), acupressure, electroacupuncture, laser acupuncture and ear acupuncture. 

Interestingly, neither the effect on hot flash frequency or severity appeared to be linked to the number of treatment doses, number of sessions or duration of treatment. However, the findings showed that sham acupuncture could induce a treatment effect comparable with that of true acupuncture for the reduction of hot flash frequency. The effects on hot flashes were shown to be maintained for as long as three months. 

Although the study stopped short of explaining the exact mechanism underlying the effects of acupuncture on hot flashes, a theory was proposed to suggest that acupuncture caused a reduction in the concentration of β-endorphin in the hypothalamus, resulting from low concentrations of estrogen. These lower levels could trigger the release of CGRP, which affects thermoregulation. 

"More than anything, this review indicates that there is still much to be learned relative to the causes and treatments of menopausal hot flashes," says NAMS executive director Margery Gass, MD. "The review suggests that acupuncture may be an effective alternative for reducing hot flashes, especially for those women seeking non- pharmacologic therapies."A recent review indicated that approximately half of women experiencing menopause-associated symptoms use complementary and alternative medicine therapy, instead of pharmacologic therapies, for managing their menopausal symptoms.

Read more: Acupuncture Might be the Answer for Hot Flashes

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Acupuncture for Children - The Epoch Times

Acupuncture for Children - The Epoch Times | Acupuncture Bedford |

Where and How to Massage 

There are 363 acupressure points on the regular acupuncture channels and countless extra points, so how do you choose what points to use? An excellent strategy is to have a consultation with a pediatric acupuncturist and have them teach the right points to do for the child’s specific condition.

Another idea is to get an acupressure reference guide that has easy-to-read point location descriptions and that also has recommendations for specific point protocols for the most common pediatric ailments. Once you know the right points, then you’ll have the power to help your child anytime and anywhere.

There are three easy acupressure massage techniques that any parent can easily learn. The first is to locate the point and simply hold down on it, as if the finger were an acupuncture needle. 

The second is to locate the point and then massage it in small circles, either clockwise or counter-clockwise. The third is to locate the point and then stroke the area back and forth. This generally works best for points on the arms and legs.

Remember that with acupressure, a general area is being massaged and that pinpoint precision is not as important as it would be with an acupuncture needle.


Acupressure can be done with either finger pressure or with a metal tool. Most pediatric acupuncturists will stimulate the acupressure points using a metal “shonishin” device. The reason for the use of a metal tool is that it conducts the Qi or energy of the body more efficiently than finger pressure alone. This is why acupuncture needles are made of metal.

For a do-it-yourself acupressure tool, a coin, ring, or other smooth metal object can be used. Some babies and children don’t like to be massaged with a metal tool, though, so for them standard finger pressure will also be effective. Just double the amount of time that is spent on each point. 

Ultimately, the most important thing is that the acupressure points are being massaged, so however it can be done is just fine.

Getting Your Child to Cooperate 

As soon as a baby is old enough to turn over and crawl, administering an acupressure treatment can become quite a challenge. 

While a parent will want them to be still for a few minutes, all they will want to do is be on the move. To get the acupressure done will require some savvy parenting, but just as with diaper changes and necessary medications, a way can be found to do it.

It is usually best to put babies in a highchair or car seat so that they are somewhat restrained during their treatment. Another idea is to go into the bathroom and close the door. 

To engage an older child in the actual massage, stickers can be put on the points, or points can be written on and then washed (massaged) off.

‘Less Is More’

Children respond quickly to acupressure, and this positive response can sometimes cause parents to get carried away and over-treat their kids. It is best to treat chronic conditions once a day and acute conditions twice a day. Chinese Medicine is designed to ignite the body’s own healing energy, so overkill is not necessary. 

With kids, the adage is “less is more.” Start simply with acupressure sessions with children. Pick one condition and treat that for a week. Use two or three points and then add more as needed. Sometimes when one condition is cleared, then other co-existing problems will also disappear. So go slowly and see what happens.

There is nothing esoteric or complicated about practicing acupressure on children. Anyone can do it with some simple instruction, and then it is literally in their hands for whenever it is needed.

It is an effective, inexpensive, and natural remedy with a tradition that spans several thousand years, so you can have confidence in its ability to help with the most basic pediatric complaints. Adding acupressure to your parenting bag of tricks is a great idea—you have nothing to lose, and your child will have so much to gain.

Jennifer Taveras, L.Ac.

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Should acupuncture be regulated?

Should acupuncture be regulated? | Acupuncture Bedford |


Being stuck with needles is more popular than ever as the injured turn to alternative medicines for a cure for what ails them.

The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) paid out almost $2 million for acupuncture treatment in Canterbury last financial year and more than $23 million nationwide.

The Ministry of Health does not, however, recognise acupuncture as a registered medical profession.

New Zealand Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Society president Stephen Xu says patients are at risk without proper ministry regulation. He says practitioners should have a level seven national diploma or a bachelor of acupuncture degree.

While ACC regulates the treatment providers it approves, Xu says ministry regulation is essential for patient security and industry standards.

Xu estimates acupuncturists have been operating in New Zealand for more than 100 years and ACC recognised acupuncture treatment in 1990.

Last year it paid out on 4816 claims in Canterbury with an average cost per claim of $395. More than 150 practitioners were visited by claimants.

Football goalkeeper Andrew Reid, 18, has torn ligaments in his knee twice in the last four years.

He first received acupuncture treatment in 2010, aged 14. The first appointment was stressful, as the treatment involves inserting fine needles into the body at various trigger points.

"I was really nervous at the start because I thought it would hurt," he said. "But in the end, it just felt a bit weird.

"Once you get over the fact that it's needles, it's not so bad. Basically you just have to be very relaxed when you go in there. It helped a lot."

He has had the treatment three times over the last few years.

A ministry spokesman said while acupuncture was not yet a registered medical profession, investigations were underway to see if it could be included. However, results would not be out until next year some time.

"There is a real public risk for people using acupuncture if there is no regulation in place."

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Therapist Helen Smallwood, Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK40

Therapist Helen Smallwood, Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK40 | Acupuncture Bedford |
Providing professional acupuncture services in Bedford since 2008. Acupuncture is a safe, evidence-based and effective treatment for many...
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Acupuncture Boosts Heart Attack Survival Rates

Acupuncture Boosts Heart Attack Survival Rates | Acupuncture Bedford |
Acupuncture increases the survival rates after a heart attack.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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NCI’s Annual Report on Complementary and Alternative Medicine(CAM)- OCCAM Electroacupuncture May Counter Patients’ Nausea After Chemotherapy NCI CAM Annual Report-FY10

NCI’s Annual Report on Complementary and Alternative Medicine(CAM)- OCCAM  Electroacupuncture May Counter Patients’ Nausea After Chemotherapy  NCI CAM Annual Report-FY10 | Acupuncture Bedford |

Electroacupuncture May Counter Patients’ Nausea After ChemotherapyNCI CAM Annual Report-FY10

Many cancers are treated with chemotherapy agents that circulate throughout the body. When the drugs reach organs and tissues not affected by cancer, they can cause adverse side effects. Among the most prevalent and troublesome side effects are nausea and vomiting, though recently a new class of molecules – known as 5HT3 agonists, and used in combination with corticosteroid dexamethasone pills – have been found to help reduce or even prevent these symptoms.

“But those drugs [5HT3 agonists] work effectively only against what we call acute-onset nausea and vomiting,” said Dr. Jiande Chen, Ph.D., professor of Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch. “Once you get past the first day, many patients suffer from delayed nausea and vomiting, which is really a differ­ent problem altogether, can last for many hours or several days, and is much more difficult to treat.” Patients with advanced cancer can also develop chronic nausea symptoms.

Older patients and others can wear down from the rigors of chemotherapy and many are reluctant to add yet another medication to their treatment regimen, especially if it is supposed to counter symptoms that were caused by medi­cation in the first place. For example, with a drug like cisplatin, “it is not uncommon to find patients choosing to discontinue chemotherapy altogether – even when it is effectively treating their cancer – in order to avoid these debilitat­ing side effects,” explained Dr. Chen.

In China, there is widespread use and accep­tance of acupuncture to treat nausea. “It is encouraging to find more and more practitio­ners and patients in the United States willing to accept this therapy,” he said. Acupuncture relies on the stimulation of very precise points on the body located beneath the skin. Each of these “acupoints” is associated with pain or other symptoms at a specific, usually distant, site in the body. After several thousand years of use, acupuncture practitioners have been able to develop detailed “body maps” for these points. Two of the acupoints that inhibit nausea and vomiting have been found to be PC6 – a few inches above the inside of the wrist – and ST36 – slightly below and behind the knee, Dr. Chen explained. In previous studies, needles inserted at these points and then manually ma­nipulated have produced some results, but they were only partial responses, and worked only against acute vomiting after chemotherapy.

Dr. Chen believes those mixed results were due, not to any limits in acupuncture per se, but rather to how it has been applied. With NCI funding*, Dr. Chen and his colleagues have been testing electroacupuncture (EA), to see if it is even more effective than traditional acupuncture against chemotherapy-induced nausea. Electroacupuncture is a procedure in which pulses of weak electrical current are sent through acupuncture needles into acupuncture points in the skin. Using rats and dogs, their current study is testing the precise location and depth the acupuncture stimulation should be applied; whether to use EA before or after chemotherapy, or both; whether the regimens should be continuous; and also the frequency and intervals of the electric pulses themselves.

The researchers are working on several aspects of EA that would be important in delivering therapy to patients for whom current anti-emetics (drugs to counter nausea and vomit­ing) are not working. That group potentially includes the majority of patients with delayed or chronic nausea and vomiting.

Dr. Chen believes that a successful series of experiments with the EA approach could have a major impact on treating symptoms that threaten the quality of life of cancer patients. “This EA therapy has no discernible side effects on the patient, and therefore we can give it chronically, as necessary, to respond to symp­toms,” he added. Dr. Chen and his colleagues are also testing a system where a small power stimulator is implanted in the abdomen of the experimental animals, with conducting wires leading under the skin to electrodes that have been carefully inserted at the acupoints. The researchers will be able to trigger the EA stimu­lation by an external transmitter, but ultimately Dr. Chen foresees a time when patients will be able to control a similar system themselves.

*Grant number: 1R21CA149956-01


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Who can have acupuncture? Is it safe for children? Yes. Find out more...

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Article by Suzanne CafferkySection: Anxiety

Did you know that PMT/PMS otherwise described as the occurrence of premenstrual physical and psychological changes that women complain about was first mentioned in the writings of Hippocrates in the fourth century BC?

Today, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is still a poorly understood collection of up to 150 cyclical symptoms, that can cause on occasions a range of bearable to severe psychological and physical distress. The psychological symptoms can include depression, loss of energy, irritability, loss of libido and abnormal behavior, with the physical symptoms ranging from headaches, breast discomfort and abdominal bloating that may occur for up to 14 days each month. There can also be painful menstrual issues that can mean that in worse case scenario the woman may only feel well for one week at a time, each cycle. However, these figures are not clear with estimations stating that up to 80% of women suffering with some issues and only 5% suffering severe life disrupting symptoms.

What is clear here is that PMT symptoms only occur when there is ovarian function. Therefore any woman who is pregnant or has gone through the menopause or had her ovaries removed does not suffer with any symptoms. So it is quite clearly a disharmony of the hormones and the second half of the cycle i.e. an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone levels that can be also exacerbated today by poor nutrition, stress and poor sleeping patterns.

From a TCM point of view a balanced woman should not suffer any abnormal issues coming up to her period. Her periods will be regular (24-35 day cycles) and she should feel comfortable. When the body is in balance, a woman will have periods on a regular basis, they also don’t complain about issues such as pain, water retention, emotional upheaval or PMS-related fatigue. So, many of the symptoms associated with PMS (breast tenderness, irritability, cramps, headaches), from a Chinese medical perspective, are simply symptoms of blocked energy. Acupuncture helps to open those blockages thus allowing the energy to flow without restriction, which brings the body back to balance, eliminating PMS altogether by working on the liver qi in particular, blood and the spleen, all energetics that are central to a healthy reproductive system.

Lots of women attend me for lots of reasons. What is interesting is that whatever the case in front me is, I always ask about the health of the woman’s menstrual cycle. A few ladies have often looked surprised when I ask,but it offers me a telescopic view of the woman’s wellbeing that we don’t have when doing a consultation with a man. Why? It tells me about her qi(energy), state of her blood, deficiencies, stagnation etc……

What is always interesting is the woman who comes for help for say skin issues or back issues for example and they mention along their treatments that this was the first month that they didn’t react/feel teary/ down coming up to their period. This is because TCM looks at the overall woman and treats the root which can be causing layer after layer of very different symptoms that just do not add upto anything in WM terms.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are wonderful for helping and should be something to consider if looking for natural solutions, however we would also recommend various lifestyle suggestions from adequate rest, nutrition and exercise too.

Here is a link to some studies that suggest that Acupuncture can help women with PMS issues including the anxiety and depression that women often suffer for up to half of their cycle –

This study proves that acupuncture helps with PMS –

Written by Suzanne Cafferky

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Cosmetic acupuncture: Younger skin

Cosmetic acupuncture: Younger skin | Acupuncture Bedford |

Have you ever wondered how some of Hollywood’s hottest celebs maintain their youthful, glowing complexions? We want to let you in on one of their best-kept secrets. Cosmetic acupuncture has been used in Hollywood for years by celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Sean Connery, Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow. We got the scoop from practitioner Dr. Monica Talebnia about how this procedure works and its associated beauty benefits.


What is cosmetic acupuncture?

Acupuncture treatments have long been used to alleviate and minimize pain, but this traditional Chinese medicine can also be used to achieve younger-looking skin. Also known as facial rejuvenation acupuncture, cosmetic acupuncture is a natural alternative to cosmetic surgery that provides many of the same skin-saving effects. Results should last for a few years, explains ChicagoHealers.compractitioner Dr.. Monica Talebnia, but this depends on other lifestyle habits that can cause wrinkles, such as smoking and sunbathing. Maintenance treatments are highly recommended.


Would you get a cosmetic acupuncture treatment?
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How does it work?

A holistic medicine practitioner places a series of ultra-fine acupuncture needles into and around wrinkles, facial muscles and pressure points. The placement of the needles increases collagen production and blood and lymph circulation to the face and scalp. With every needle insertion, the acupuncturist creates micro trauma causing the white blood cells to move to the area to repair the lines formed on the skin, explains Dr. Talebnia.


Getting results with cosmetic acupuncture

You should be able to some results right away, but 12 to 15 treatments are usually recommended to achieve full effects. It's generally recommended you go twice a week for six weeks, but this can differ for each person. Speak to your technician to determine your exact needs.

What are the beauty benefits?

Cosmetic acupuncture is known to help a variety of skin concerns including wrinkles, brow furrows, sagging skin, drooping jawline, age spots, acne and crows' feet, to name just a few. Beauty benefits include the prevention of wrinkle formation, minimization of fine lines and improvement in the process by which skin regulates its quality and appearance -- meaning improved skin texture and tone. Cosmetic acupuncture also accelerates anti-inflammatory activity and removes toxins from the skin, resulting in a youthful glow. This procedure also gives existing deep-set wrinkles a much smoother appearance.

What else can you expect?

The acupuncture needles cause more blood to circulate to the face, giving you a glow that no other treatment will, Talebnia explains. "One can feel rejuvenated in and out and look 10 to 15 years younger. The treatment not only improves skin imperfections, but also provides an inner sense of well-being," she adds. In the 10 years of her practice, Talebnia says she has consistently heard from patients how relaxing and soothing the treatment has been. "Patients often are stunned by the effect of this treatment and how great they feel."

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Managing chronic pain in the non-specialist setting: a new SIGN guideline - including acupuncture

Managing chronic pain in the non-specialist setting: a new SIGN guideline - including acupuncture | Acupuncture Bedford |


Chronic pain, defined as pain lasting beyond normal tissue healing time (taken to be 3 months),1 is a syndrome that affects a large proportion of the primary care population. It is ‘significant’ in around 14% of UK adults, imposing a heavy burden on the physical and psychosocial health of sufferers, their families and society, at high cost to the healthcare services.2 It was estimated in 2002 that people with chronic pain account for 4.6 million GP appointments in the UK, at an annual cost to the NHS of £69 million, equivalent to the employment of 793 GPs.3 Although many clinical conditions can lead to chronic pain, there are common underlying neurobiological and psychosocial mechanisms, and the impact is generally independent of the clinical aetiology. Effective assessment and treatment of chronic pain therefore means that GPs should have:

adequate education and knowledge;

access to evidence-based effective management strategies; and

agreed criteria for referral to specialist clinics.

Unfortunately, none of these requirements is generally in place.

Undergraduate training in management of pain is demonstrably minimal, accounting for <1% of programme hours,4 despite its high prevalence and impact. Much of the available evidence for potential interventions is derived from specialist settings or in specific clinical conditions, making it difficult to apply to a general primary care population. Even standard treatments, such as drugs, often lack evidence for effectiveness …

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Mirrors | Acupuncture Relief Project | Volunteer Community Health Clinic | Nepal

Mirrors | Acupuncture Relief Project | Volunteer Community Health Clinic | Nepal | Acupuncture Bedford |
He's sitting in an 8x10 concrete room with two beds in it. There is a small space heater and a post where the rusted, gigantic oxygen tank is tied with a bow made of hemp cord. There are three mudas, or woven stools, sitting on the floor.
Shaftesbury Clinic's insight:

Beautifully written piece about volunteer work abroad.

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Vets successfully using acupuncture on animals

Vets successfully using acupuncture on animals | Acupuncture Bedford |
cynthia maro
is a veterinarian at the Ellwood Animal Hospital in Ellwood City and the Chippewa Animal Hospital in Chippewa Township. She writes a biweekly column on pet care and health issues. E-mail her
Miracles in animal healing: An open mind is the keyStoryCommentsPrintCreate a hardcopy of this pageFont Size:Default font sizeLarger font size

Posted: Sunday, January 25, 2015 4:00 am

By Dr. Cynthia Maro For The Times | 0 comments

As a veterinarian, I remember two cases in which the patients had astounding results that surprised their owners and me.

The first was a dog named Tippy; the second, a cat named Fluffy. Before I tell you about the cases, here is background information.

Doctors do their best to come up with treatments to help their patients get well. When full recovery is not possible, they find ways to get them out of pain and ease suffering.

The problem with healing is that bodies have different chemistry. With the same diagnosis, my body will respond differently to a drug than the next person’s. Additionally, diseases have different manifestations. By that I mean, when two people get the flu, they can have completely different symptoms. Some of this is because of genetics, different diets, age, hormone balance and an infinite number of other biochemical influences.

Because of these differences, it becomes important to treat the patient rather than the disease. That’s what holistic healing is all about.

Holistic medicine is about making the body healthier, preventing drug side effects, and treating the underlying causes of disease. Sometimes the patient receives Western treatments, such as drugs or surgery. Sometimes it means they get alternative medicines, such as diet change, homeopathy, herbs, acupuncture and supplements, in addition to physical therapies. Other times, combinations of the multiple treatments are needed.

In veterinary school, some of my classmates and I observed the failings of Western medicine. We wanted to learn about therapies employed by alternative practitioners.

Another student and I arranged for foreign vets employed at Ohio State University to give lectures and compare cultural and medical differences. One veterinarian from China demonstrated great results with acupuncture and herbs. Another guest lecturer was from Ohio and had studied in China. He spoke of integrating acupuncture with Western medicine to get faster healing and care.

I decided that I would add these treatments to my veterinary toolbox. When drugs and surgery weren’t options, or caused side effects, Eastern medicine, herbology and physical therapies could offer hope for sick animals and pet owners.

After graduation, I started studying holistic medicine. When pet owners looking for acupuncture care found my name at the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society, I would treat their pets. When other clients told me their animals had been diagnosed with incurable illnesses or paralysis, I would offer alternatives.

After about eight years of doing acupuncture, I started offering it as a first treatment for chronically ill pets, because it worked better for long-term care.

For acute illness and injury, I still provide Western treatments, such as surgery, blood transfusions and IV therapy.

So where do Tippy and Fluffy come into the picture?

Tippy came to me after falling down stairs. When I walked into the exam room, I noticed her head appeared to be attached to her neck sideways. She had the most extreme head tilt. I made the mistake of assuming this just happened.

When I asked the owner about it, he said it was not the problem and she had been like that for years. The problem was that after the current fall, she was limping. The head tilt was the result of a chronic ear infection. I asked for permission to adjust her spine. I figured she had fallen down the stairs because her world was sideways.

After the adjustment, she walked out with no limp, no pain. The owner said it was a miracle, and even I was surprised at how well she did with one adjustment and acupuncture treatment.

Fluffy was another story. She was a small cat who came into the office during emergency hours in labor, trying to have a big kitten, stuck in her birth canal. At midnight, the owner informed me she had $50 in addition to the ER fee. She could not afford a C-section.

I asked for permission to do acupuncture. She and her friend watched as I placed several needles on the cat’s feet and legs. They both looked at me, rolling their eyes. The owner said in a disbelieving tone, “What is this supposed to do?”

Before I could answer, the kitten, which had been stuck in the canal for two hours, came whooshing out.

I was glad the owner was dumbfounded, because she didn’t see the look of amazement on my face. The cat and kitten did well, and the event increased my confidence in doing acupuncture for a wide variety of conditions.

I learn from my patients and their owners every day, and am constantly amazed at the miraculous results. The key to healing is an open mind and a continued search for better results. So, if you or your pet is ill, stay positive, keep looking for improvement. Don't accept pain or "no treatment." You might just find your own miracle.

Dr. Cynthia Maro is a veterinarian at the Ellwood Animal Hospital in Ellwood City and the Chippewa Animal Hospital in Chippewa Township. She writes a biweekly column on pet care and health issues. If you have a topic you’d like to have addressed, please

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Effect of Acupuncture on Immune Function

Effect of Acupuncture on Immune Function | Acupuncture Bedford |

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:

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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Children with Cancer UK | Complementary therapy

Children with Cancer UK | Complementary therapy | Acupuncture Bedford |

National childrens charity funding research, welfare and campaigning projects to help children with all types of cancer. Find information about childrens cancers and fundraising, or make a donation.


Complementary therapy



Complementary therapies are thought to be used by up to a third of cancer sufferers. These therapies may be used alongside the conventional treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery, not as an alternative. 

Complementary therapies are generally used to help with the symptoms of disease and the side effects of treatment. Side effects such as nausea, vomiting, fatigue and pain are well known but depression and anxiety are also very common and complementary therapies can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. 

Some cancer centres offer complementary therapies directly. Some patients will need to seek independent practitioners; in all cases it is advisable to seek advice from your child’s doctor. Some complementary therapies may actually interfere with conventional treatments. 

Types of complementary therapies
There is a wide range of complementary therapies, but they can be broadly categorised as follows. Some of these categories overlap.

Alternative medical systems, such as acupuncture, homeopathy and Chinese medicine.Complex natural products, such as botanicals, and green tea.Energy therapies, such as Qi Gong, Reiki, therapeutic touch and magnet therapy.Exercise therapies, such as Tai Chi, yoga, and dance therapy.Manipulative therapies, such as chiropractic, massage, osteopathy and reflexology.Mind therapies, such as aromatherapy, art therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, imagery, mindfulness and meditation.Nutritional therapies, such as anti-oxidants, macrobiotics and vitamins.Spiritual therapies, such as prayer and healing.

Examples of complementary therapies and their use
This involves using needles that stimulate anatomic points in the skin, causing energy to pass along paths in the body called meridians. This can help a person’s mental and physical health. 

The therapist needs formal training, regulated by the British Acupuncture Council. Acupuncture is NOT an effective treatment for cancer on its own, however it can relieve pain, nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. It is generally considered safe but should be avoided in certain conditions, such as skin that has been radiated, infected skin, those with low platelets or on anti-coagulants.

Visit the British Acupuncture Council for further information 

This involves delivering essential oils to the body, either by being applied to the skin, sprayed into the room, or inhaled. This can overlap with massage, healing touch and Reiki as these methods can also be used to deliver the oils. Again there is no evidence that aromatherapy alone can treat cancer but it has been studied for the treatment of stress and anxiety and to help nausea and pain. 

Aromatherapy has very few side effects and is recognised as being safe but of course allergic reactions or irritation of the skin could occur. Children enjoy choosing the aromas, and can receive these while they are playing.

Visit the International Federation of Aromatherapists for further information

This is an alternative type of medicine based on the principle that a substance taken in small amounts will cure the same symptoms it causes if taken in large amounts. The substances are alcohol- or water-based solutions containing very small amounts of minerals or chemicals. 

Homeopathy is performed by regulated practitioners, but cannot be used alone to treat cancer.  It can however improve the quality of life and reduce fatigue. There is limited safety research but there are no published cases of serious adverse effects reported. Before using any homeopathy you must discuss this with your cancer specialist.

Visit the British Homeopathic Association for further information

Imagery involves mental exercises designed to allow the mind to influence the health and well-being of the body. The patient imagines sights, sounds, smells, tastes, or other sensations to relax them into a daydream state of mind. 

Imagery can be used with standard medical treatment in people with cancer and may be particularly helpful for younger children, to help them relax during conventional treatment, or during their stay in hospital. Evidence suggests it may reduce some of the side effects of chemotherapy. It is considered safe, and can be taught by a trained therapist, then practised at home.

Massage therapy
This involves pressing or rubbing the muscles and soft tissues of the body. There are several types of therapy but a qualified practitioner should have both training and experience, with certification showing the level of achievement. 

Massage therapy is not effective as a sole treatment for cancer but can relieve anxiety, depression, pain and improve general well-being. It is considered safe when performed by a trained therapist, but can cause temporary side effects such as pain. The therapist will know to avoid massaging areas that have blood clots, infection, fractures, open wounds, low platelet counts or known tumour sites.

Visit Massage Therapy UK for further information

Mindfulness meditation:
Mindfulness is a mind-body approach to well-being that can help change the way you think about experiences and reduce stress, anxiety and pain. Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to the present moment, using techniques like meditation, breathing and yoga. It helps a person become more aware of their thoughts and feelings so that instead of being overwhelmed by them, feel better able to manage them. This would be more appropriate for teenagers and young adults rather than young children.

Visit Be Mindful for further information

Natural Products
Natural products, such as herbs, vitamins and supplements are widely available, but there is no scientific evidence to support any particular supplement or diet. Good nutrition is very important and a dietician may be involved with patients who are unable to eat due to their cancer or experiencing side effects from treatment. 

Certain vitamins may even interfere with treatment so it is advised to avoid these altogether. Natural does not mean safe.

Reflexology is a non-intrusive complementary therapy, based on the theory that different points on the feet, lower leg, hands, face or ears correspond with different areas of the body. 

Reflexologists work holistically with their patients and work alongside conventional healthcare professionals to promote better health. Reflexology is a very easy therapy to receive. The therapist will use their hands to apply pressure to the feet, lower leg, hands, ears or face, depending on the type of reflexology chosen. Benefits include feelings of relaxation, wellbeing and lifting mood. Side effects may include transient discomfort during the treatment, but generally the experience should be relaxing. The therapist will avoid skin that has been radiated, infected, or those with low platelets or on anti-coagulants.

Visit the Association of Reflexologists for further information

“Reiki” is Japanese for “universal life energy” and is an energy based therapy. It is based on the belief that a universal energy source supports the body’s own healing process. Practitioners access this energy allowing it to flow through the body to promote wellbeing. The therapist is trained, and places his or her hands over the patient until the therapist feels a flow of energy. The patient may feel a warmth, tingling, or a sensation of feeling relaxed and calm. 

Reiki is not an effective treatment for cancer used alone, but used as a complementary therapy alongside conventional treatments it can be helpful. There are no known side effects.

Visit the Reiki Association for further information

The Sanskrit word yoga is translated as 'union'. The practice of yoga helps to co-ordinate the breath, mind and body to encourage balance, both internally and externally and promote feelings of relaxation and ease. There are more than 100 types of yoga but in the UK the most widely taught form is Hatha Yoga. 

Yoga teaches postures and movements to stretch, strengthen and flex the body, to develop breath awareness, to relax and sometimes to meditate. Scientific evidence does not support it as an effective treatment for cancer but it can improve quality of life.

There are certain medical contraindications, so a patient should always discuss its use with their oncologist.

Visit the British Wheel of Yoga website

Finding a therapist
If you would like to explore the use of complementary therapies for your child it is strongly advised that you first have a discussion with their cancer specialist – and keep the specialist informed of any therapies you may subsequently use. 

Some therapies may be provided by the hospital. The links highlighted above will provide more background information on the more commonly used complementary therapies as well as information on how to find appropriately trained therapists. 

There is limited research into the benefits of complementary therapies in children, adolescents and young adults with cancer for a number of reasons. It is difficult to measure outcomes and the studies that have been done reveal that use is often concealed from the medical team. 

Hopefully future research will provide evidence based data to support the use of complementary therapies in the future.

A 2005 review by a team in the United States looked at studies performed over the preceding decade. These studies found that complementary therapies are commonly used among children diagnosed with cancer. The reasons given include: 

Wanting to do whatever they could to contribute to their child’s healthHelp with symptom managementHopes of improving the immune systemHopes of improving the chance of a cure

The majority were not using complementary therapies due to any dissatisfaction with conventional treatment. An important, recurring finding was that doctors were often unaware of the children’s use of such therapies. Various reasons were given such as “it was not important for the doctor to know”, “the doctor would not understand”, and they “didn’t want to offend the doctor”. 

The use of these therapies should always be disclosed so that safety issues can be addressed. The doctor should also be able to provide evidence-based information on potentially helpful therapies that may be safely incorporated into the child’s care plan.

Further information
The following organisations can provide further information about complementary therapies:

The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council: British Complementary Medicine Association: Federation of Holistic Therapists: Institute of Complementary and Natural Medicine:

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Acupuncture and Cellulitis Treatment | eCellulitis

Acupuncture and Cellulitis Treatment | eCellulitis | Acupuncture Bedford |
Acupuncture involves the use of needles, which are inserted into the patient’s skin at key points around the body. These points are believed to be part of an intricate pathway of energy flowing through the body.

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Acupuncture helps sick owls return to wild in Spain - Yahoo News

Acupuncture helps sick owls return to wild in Spain - Yahoo News | Acupuncture Bedford |
The patient opens his yellow eyes wide but makes no sound as acupuncturist Edurne Cornejo pricks four fine needles into his legs. He was sent to Brinzal, an owl-rescue charity based in a park in the west of the city.
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Acupuncture Migraine Remedy Found

Acupuncture Migraine Remedy Found | Acupuncture Bedford |
Acupuncture eliminates migraines according to new discoveries using scientific investigations.

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[Observation on therapeutic effect of chronic prostatitis treated mainly by warming needle moxibustion].[Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2006] - PubMed - NCBI

[Observation on therapeutic effect of chronic prostatitis treated mainly by warming needle moxibustion].[Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2006] - PubMed - NCBI | Acupuncture Bedford |

[Observation on therapeutic effect of chronic prostatitis treated mainly by warming needle moxibustion].[Article in Chinese]Xue YP1, Zhang SB, Gao T.Author information AbstractOBJECTIVE:

To explore an effective method for increasing therapeutic effect on chronic prostatitis.


Eighty-two cases of chronic prostatitis were randomly divided into two groups. The western medicine group of 42 cases were treated with routine western medicine combined with retention enteroclysis of 30 g Danshen (Red Sage Root) decoction; the warming needle moxibustion plus western medicine group of 40 cases were treated with the western medicine of the western medicine group plus warming needle moxibustion at Guanyuan (CV 4), Qihai (CV 6) and Zhongji (CV 3), etc.


In the warming needle moxibustion plus western medicine grbup, 20 cases were cured, 12 cases were markedly effective, 5 cases were effective and 3 cases were ineffective, the total effective rate being 92. 5%; and in the western medicine group, the corresponding figures were 13, 10, 7, 12 cases and 71.4%, with a significant difference between the two groups in the total effective rate (P < 0.05).


Warming needle moxibustion can increase the therapeutic effect on chronic prostatitis.


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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