Acupuncture combined with supplemental Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) modalities is effective for the treatment of mammary gland hyperplasia. The added TCM modalities included moxibustion, herbal medicine and TCM style emotional and behavioural counseling. After three months of acupuncture/TCM care, the patients with mammary gland hyperplasia showed measurable signs of improvement including reductions in breast lump size and significant relief from breast pain.
The controlled study included two groups. Group 1 received counseling and the herbal formula Xiao Yao San (Rambling Powder). Group 2 received earlier counseling intervention, Xiao Yao San and acupuncture. The research was conducted at the Hospital of TCM, Surgery Department in Shaoguan City, Guangdong. A total of 200 patients with mammary gland hyperplasia were randomly divided into the two groups. During the investigation, both groups took a formula based on Xiao Yao San at one dose per day starting one day following the end of menstruation. One course consisted of one month and both groups took the decoction for three courses. In addition, both groups received routine TCM counseling.
TCM theory classifies mammary gland hyperplasia in the breast nodule category. One pathogenesis of breast nodules is liver qi stagnation and depression that results in phlegm stagnation in the breast collaterals. The focus of the counseling was to improve the free flow of qi and to prevent stasis by benefitting the emotions. Xiao Yao San was administered to benefit the qi and blood, smooth the flow of liver qi and to benefit the emotions. Acupuncture was applied to unblock the breast collaterals and to benefit the qi and blood to eliminate swelling and to remove stasis.
Acupuncture needling was applied to Jianjing (GB21), Chize (LU5), Zusanli (ST36) and Qimen (LV14). Moxibustion was applied to ST36. Acupuncture and moxibustion were applied once daily. The retention of needling was 20 minutes. One course consisted of 10 days and the entire treatment lasted for three courses. Among acupoints applied in the study, GB21 alleviates depression and stagnation in the Shaoyang channel. ST36 regulates qi and blood and yin and yang. LV14 eliminates local swelling and LU5 clears the upper jiao to dispel depression and stagnation.
According to TCM theory, unresolved emotions may pathologically congeal qi, phlegm and blood in the breast region. TCM counseling intervention included regular discussions on anxiety and depression and included emotional therapy and behavioral therapy. TCM counseling intervention utilizes the principle of mutual generation between the five elements, guiding the patients to control, regulate and dispel the effect of negative emotions.
After the conclusion of the treatment, the total effective curative rate for the acupuncture group was 94.0% compared with 86.0% for the control group. The SAS (Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale) and SDS (Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale) scores for the acupuncture group were much lower than those for the control group. The recurrence rate for the acupuncture group was 9.0% compared with 45.0% for the control group. The scores regarding size of breast lumps, breast pain and other forms of pain for the acupuncture group were also much better than those for the control group.
The researchers note that positive clinical outcomes were achieved with acupuncture, herbal medicine and TCM counseling. Reductions in breast lump size and breast pain were significant. Patients also reported significant improvements in dispelling negative emotions such as anxiety and depression. As a result of objective and subjective data, the researchers conclude that TCM is effective in treating mammary gland hyperplasia.
Ci, Dilan, Huoqun Yu, Liping Geng, etc. “Observation of curative effect of acupuncture combined with early nursing intervention in the treatment of mammary gland hyperplasia.” China Medical Herald 11.10 (2014): 101-105.