Acupuncture Continuing Education

Acupuncture Continuing Education News

Acupuncture News and Research

Researchers have discovered that acupuncture successfully relieves the adverse effects of antidepressant medications on sex drive and function. Acupuncture ups sexual function and drive for SSRI and SNRI patients.Men showed overall improvement in sexual function across a broad spectrum of health concerns. Acupuncture also enhanced relief from both anxiety and depression in the male group. Women benefitted from a more targeted response to acupuncture therapy rather than the broad spectrum of relief experienced by the men. Specifically, women benefitted from increased libido and vaginal lubrication as a result of acupuncture treatments.

Patient taking SSRIs (serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and SNRIs (serotonin noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors) for the treatment of depression may experience sexual dysfunction as an adverse effect from the medication(s). It is estimated that SSRIs and SNRIs have a 50% to 90% chance of inducing sexual dysfunction. The researchers sought to determine whether acupuncture may help in the management and resolution of these unwanted side-effects.

A standard protocol for the acupuncture treatments was performed. A Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) intake of the health history was taken following by the assessment of a TCM differential diagnosis. Ordinarily, the acupuncture point prescription is then customized based on the intake assessments. For purposes of this study, the acupuncture point prescription was standardized to eliminate variables from the research. The same acupuncture point prescription was administered to each patient over a 12 week period. The acupuncture points used in the study were P6, HT7, UB23, GV4 and K3.

The researchers measured significant improvements in sexual function for both the male and female groups in the study. They noted that, “This study suggests a potential role for acupuncture in the treatment of the sexual side-effects of SSRIs and SNRIs as well for a potential benefit of integrating medical and complementary and alternative practitioners.” These findings are consistent with other research. Researchers from the University of Nevada and Montana State University conclude that acupuncture is “effective for reducing some FSD (female sexual dysfunction) problems….”

In related research, investigators at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan determined that acupuncture eliminates hot flashes and benefits patients suffering from mental depression. Additionally, the researchers concluded that acupuncture increases sex drive, mental clarity and overall energy levels in patients. The investigators note that acupuncture “appears to be equivalent to drug therapy” and is “a safe, effective, and durable treatment.”

Another recent study concluded that low frequency electro-acupuncture improved menstrual frequency and balanced sex steroid levels in women with PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome. The sex steroid levels in the electro-acupuncture group improved significantly, acne markedly decreased and menstrual regularity increased. In yet another study, acupuncture was found effective in alleviating schizophrenia and the side effects of psychiatric medication. Acupuncture caused a decrease in the “side effects of antipsychotic medication; decreased auditory, visual and tactile hallucinations; decreased anxiety and paranoia; improved sleep patterns… increased motivation including increased sex drive and ambition to further themselves in education and work; improved socialization and concentration… reduced addictive behavior in relation to alcohol and cigarettes; improved diet and weight loss; and improved exercise regimes.”

The extensive body of research on acupuncture and its effects on sexual function and sex steroid levels shows a positive correlation between acupuncture treatments and improved clinical outcomes. The new study of acupuncture for the treatment of sexual dysfunction caused by SSRI and SNRI side-effects went so far as to suggest an integrative medical model based on the findings. The investigators noted that there is a “potential benefit of integrating medical and complementary and alternative practitioners.” This new way of looking at medicine as a cooperative pooling of resources focused on positive patient outcomes is perhaps the medical model of the future.

Khamba, Baljit, Monique Aucoin, Millie Lytle, Monica Vermani, Anabel Maldonado, Christina Iorio, Catherine Cameron et al. "Efficacy of Acupuncture Treatment of Sexual Dysfunction Secondary to Antidepressants." The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2013).

Acupuncture and Female Sexual Dysfunction: A Time-Series Study of Symptom Relief. Alice Running, Julie Smith-Gagen, Mary Wellhoner, and George Mars. Medical Acupuncture. doi:10.1089/acu.2011.0867.

Paley CA, Johnson MI, Tashani OA, Bagnall AM. Acupuncture for cancer pain in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD007753. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007753.pub2.

Lee H, Schmidt K, Ernst E. Acupuncture for the relief of cancer- related pain-A systematic review. European Journal of Pain 2005;9 (4):437–44.

Elizabeth Jedel, Fernand Labrie, Anders Odén, Göran Holm, Lars Nilsson, Per Olof Janson, Anna-Karin Lind, Claes Ohlsson, and Elisabet Stener-Victorin. Impact of electro-acupuncture and physical exercise on hyperandrogenismand oligo/amenorrhea in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 300: E37–E45, 2011.

Ronan P, Robinson N, Harbinson D, Macinnes D. A case study exploration of the value of acupuncture as an adjunct treatment for patients diagnosed with schizophrenia: results and future study design.. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2011 May;9(5):503-14. Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, Kent, UK.

Chinese Medicine dietetics is the topic of this weekend’s featured live webinar at for acupuncture continuing education CEU and PDA credit online. Dietetics for acupuncture CEU credit live webinar is this Sunday. Prof. Jeffrey Pang, L.Ac. and Adam White, L.Ac. will present recipes for the treatment of urogenital and metabolic disorders. Special topics include food treatments for high cholesterol, high triglycerides, diabetes, weight loss, urinary tract infections (UTI) and chronic kidney conditions including nephritis. Visit the HealthCMi website and reserve your space for the June 30th online live video presentation. The course is valid for 4 CEUS/PDAs and runs from 9am to 1pm (Pacific Time) on Sunday.

This webinar is pre-approved for NCCAOM Diplomate PDA credit, which applies to almost every acupuncturist in the United States. Special pre-approvals are also for California Acupuncture Board CEUs, Florida Board of Acupuncture CEs, Texas Medical Board CAEs, CTCMA & CAAA acupuncture continuing education credit and more! Massachusetts acupuncturists can apply the credits towards their herbal medicine requirement.

The webinar covers the healing properties of individual food items. Some foods are common to most supermarkets. Specialty foods found only in Asian supermarkets are also covered. In addition, how to cook with Chinese herbal medicines in entrées is covered.

Adam White, L.Ac. noted, “I want to put a bit of fun into this online workshop. Chinese medicine dietetics features healthy eating and I want licensed acupuncturists to genuinely enjoy working with herbal medicines in everyday dishes.” He noted that getting flavors to work correctly is at the heart of popularizing Chinese medicine dietetics cooking techniques.

Prof. Jeffrey Pang, L.Ac. is the Department Chair of Five Branches University for both the theory and herbal medicine departments. His favorite classes are those on dietetics. His love for Chinese medicine dietetics comes through in his presentations. Participants have the opportunity to ask questions during the seminar via text on their computers and smart devices. Users can access the course on laptops, smartphones, iPads, iPhones, Android phones and more.

The webinar features photographs of the herbs and foods covered in the lecture. This is both useful and fun. Participants will learn special medical applications for common foods and learn how to identify less common foods with powerful medicinal value. The webinar is an opportunity for licensed acupuncturists to relax and enjoy learning Chinese medicine dietetics. To see a sample of a previous online webinar, take a look at the video below. Although the sample below is small, the actual webinar fills the entire screen for ease of visibility.

 To purchase or learn more click the following: Chinese Medicine Dietetics.


Live Webinar Sample




Some of the Foods in Our Webinars





Bamboo Shoots




A new MRI investigation confirms that acupuncture point UB60, located in the ankle region, regulates vision. Acupuncture point UB60 benefits the eyes as seen in MRI studies. The amazing correlation of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to biomedicine is that UB60 has been indicated for the treatment of vision and hearing disorders, respectively, for over 1,000 years.

This new study was conducted through a collaborative effort between Kyung Hee University (Korea) and Kyung Hee Hospital. Important control mechanisms for the MRI investigation included a comparison of verum acupuncture and sham acupuncture needle insertion groups. In addition, the effects of pain induced by needle stimulation were eliminated by incorporation of both pre-anesthetic MRI readings and post-anesthetic MRI readings. The researchers discovered “that specific effects of acupoint BL60 [UB60, Kunlun] are to control vision sense as used in the clinical setting.”

The fMRI images were taken under the strictest control settings. All images were taken with a Tesla whole body MR scanner with an 8-channel head coil. Participants were placed into the magnetic bore head in a supine position wearing helmets lined with foam padding. This helped to enhance image quality and accuracy by reducing motion artifacts. The use of anesthetics to rule out interference in the cortical activation of visual areas of the brain by pain sensations induced by the needle helped to increase accuracy. The findings with non-anesthetic and anesthetic verum acupuncture show that acupuncture stimulation at UB60 regulates visual areas of the brain. By ruling out pain with anesthetics, the effects of superficial pricking of tissues is eliminated from cortical measurements. Notably, this is not an isolated finding and other research confirms that UB60 benefits vision.

The researchers studied the activation of specific brain areas by UB60 and compared it with sham acupuncture. Sham acupuncture did not activate visual areas but the verum acupuncture did. The researchers note “these results confirm the specificity of acupoint BL60 as suggested in previous studies and suggest the clinical usefulness of BL60 in body reorientation via a pain-related or pain-unrelated pathway.” The researchers also noted, “Recent research showed that this acupoint activates bilateral regions within the visual cortex through interhemispheric visual-visual transmission, as well as adjacent regions in nonvisual cortices. Additionally, tempospatial analysis showed vision-related acupoint specificity, including BL60.”

Another recent study confirms acupuncture point specificity. The study revealed that needling acupuncture points causes specific brain patterns associated with traditional TCM treatment indications. This study also verified the results against a sham acupuncture group. Verum acupuncture elicited activation of brain centers related to the functions and indications of the acupuncture points as designated by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

LV3 (Taichong) and ST44 (Neiting) were stimulated and MRI measurements confirmed unique brain responses for each point. The researchers note that, “Acupuncture at adjacent acupoints elicits distinct cerebral activation patterns, and those specific patterns might be involved in the mechanism of the specific therapeutic effects of different acupoints.” LV3 stimulated the middle occipital gyrus, an area of the brain associated with the visual cortex. LV3, although located on the foot, is an acupuncture point that has been used for the treatment of visual disturbances for over 1,000 years. The researchers note that, “The results confirmed the view that therapeutic effects of acupuncture may work through the central nervous system pathway.” The study also notes that Traditional Chinese Medicine indications for acupuncture point ST44 are for the treatment of toothaches, sore throat, stomachache, swelling and pain of the foot. MRI imaging demonstrated that ST44 activated areas of the brain associated with pain processing. The researchers commented, “Our results provide supplementary neuroimaging evidence for the existence of acupoint specificity.”

In yet another study, researchers discovered that acupuncture points CV12 and UB32 stimulate the internal organs associated with their respective TCM functions and indications. Electrogastrogram and HRV readings verified unique properties of stimulation to the heart, stomach and intestines.

An additional MRI study discovered unique brain activation of centers related to migraines when acupuncture points TB5 (Waiguan), GB34 (Yanglingquan) and GB20 (Fengchi) were needled. Traditionally, these points are indicated for the treatment of migraines in the TCM system. PET-CT neuroimaging revealed that these acupuncture points “induce different cerebral glucose metabolism changes in pain-related brain regions and reduce intensity of pain” for patients with migraines.

The Eyes Have It
Getting back to the first study on UB60, the MRI findings demonstrating that this acupoint stimulates the visual cortex correlates to TCM functions and indications for this point. In TCM, UB60 is a Jing River and Fire point. It functions to disperse wind, clear the channels, relax the sinews and muscles and benefits the lower back. UB60 is traditionally indicated for visual dizziness and dimness of vision with severe eye pain, especially when combined with acupuncture points UB10 (Tianzhu) and GV13 (Taodao). UB60 is also indicated for redness, swelling and pain of the eyes. In addition, UB60 is used to relieve upward staring of the eyes induced by epilepsy. UB60 is also commonly used for the treatment of headaches, lower back pain, stiff neck, ankle pain, heel pain and difficult labor. 


Kim, Na-Hee, Seung-Yeon Cho, Geon-Ho Jahng, Chang-Woo Ryu, Seong-Uk Park, Chang-Nam Ko, and Jung-Mi Park. "Differential Localization of Pain-Related and Pain-Unrelated Neural Responses for Acupuncture at BL60 Using BOLD fMRI." Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013 (2013).

M. Dong, W. Qin, J. Sun et al., “Tempo-spatial analysis of vision-related acupoint specificity in the occipital lobe using fMRI: an ICA study,” Brain Research, vol. 1436, pp. 34–42, 2012.

G. Li, R. T. F. Cheung, Q.-Y. Ma, and E. S. Yang, “Visual cortical activations on fMRI upon stimulation of the vision-implicated acupoints,” NeuroReport, vol. 14, no. 5, pp. 669–673, 2003.

Liu, Hua, Jian-Yang Xu, Lin Li, Bao-Ci Shan, Bin-Bin Nie, and Jing-quan Xue. "fMRI Evidence of Acupoints Specificity in Two Adjacent Acupoints." Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013 (2013).

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

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

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

A new study finds acupuncture effective for relieving menstrual pain. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, periodic pelvic pain associated with dysmenorrhea is related to several differential diagnoses including cold stasis in the lower abdomen. Acupuncture relieves menstrual pain. In this investigation, researchers measured skin temperatures on the lower abdomen after the application of the warming needle technique to see if there is a relationship between warmth and comfort levels. The investigators made some important discoveries.

At the onset of the menstrual related abdominal pain, thermographic measurements revealed that the skin temperature is lower at the exact area of pain when compared with surrounding areas. The researchers discovered that acupuncture relieved the lower abdominal pain when incorporating the warming needle technique. After the application of acupuncture, skin temperatures returned to normal at the exact area of pain and matched the temperatures of surrounding areas. The researchers concluded that there is a relationship between skin temperatures and pain levels.

The researchers note that acupuncture delivered immediate and effective pain relief in this human clinical study. At the onset of menstrual pain, the skin temperature of acupuncture point CV4 (Guanyuan) was 4ºC lower than the surrounding areas. This acupuncture point is on the midline of the abdomen, 3 cun below the navel. Note that 1 cun is approximately 1 inch. Warming needle technique is when either moxibustion or an electrical heating device is used to warm the needle.

CV4 is a Traditional Chinese Medicine acupuncture point that is historically indicated for the treatment of abdominal pain, diarrhea, irregular menstruation, dysmenorrhea, leukorrhea, nocturnal emissions, hernia and enuresis. Given its historical use, it seems that the researchers have chosen the study of this point based on its location and traditional indications. According to TCM theory, CV4 is the Front Alarm point of the small intestine and functions to nourish and stabilize the kidneys, regulate Qi and restore Yang. It is also noted as an intersection point of the three leg Yin acupuncture channels.

The researchers find that when acupuncture restores normal temperatures to the lower abdomen, the pain is eliminated. Acupuncture point CV4 is known for its warming, Yang restoring, intrinsic properties. Combined with warming needle technique, the investigators were able to uncover the relationship between relief of cold stasis and the relief of pain.

This study is consistent with existing research. Another study of 66 patients with menstrual pain finds that acupuncture combined with cupping and moxibustion is an effective treatment approach for the relief of menstrual pain. The patients had significant relief of menstrual pain within 2 - 6 acupuncture treatments. As in the prior study, CV4 was one of the primary points used for the elimination of menstrual pain. In addition, this study employed the use of other acupuncture points: SP10 (Xuehai), K3 (Taixi), SP8 (Diji), SP6 (Sanyinjiao). All 4 of these additional acupuncture points are located on the legs.

The choice of SP6 for this second study matches that of yet another study finding acupuncture effective for the treatment of menstrual pain. In this additional study, blood samples were taken from control groups and the SP6 acupuncture group. The researchers were looking for a positive relationship between pain relief using SP6 and a change in plasma prostaglandins levels (PGE2, PGF2a, TXB2, 6-keto PGF1a). Although acupuncture effectively reduced or eliminated menstrual pain, no positive relationship between the pain relief and prostaglandins levels were established. The researchers concluded that the analgesic effects of SP6 are not mediated by prostaglandins in the bloodstream.

Huang, Tao, Bin Han, Lu Wang, Ingrid Gaischek, and Gerhard Litscher. "Warming Needle Eases Severe Pain During Menses: A Case and Thermographic Measurement." Medical Acupuncture 25, no. 3 (2013): 227-231.

World Journal of Acupuncture - Moxibustion. Volume 22, Issue 2, 30 June 2012, Pages 68–70. Acupuncture and moxibustion combined with cupping for primary dysmenorrhea in 66 cases. Ming-gao LI, De-chen LI, Shu-ren LI.

Shi, Guang-Xia MSc,†Liu, Cun-Zhi PhD; Zhu, Jiang BSc,;Guan, Li-Ping MSc; Wang, De-Jin MSc; Wu, Meng-Meng MSc. Effects of Acupuncture at Sanyinjiao (SP6) on Prostaglandin Levels in Primary Dysmenorrhea Patients. Clinical Journal of Pain: March/April 2011 - Volume 27 - Issue 3 - p 258–261.

New research demonstrates that acupuncture stimulates brain cell proliferation in the cerebrum. The researchers note that electroacupuncture “exerts a neuroprotective effect in ischemic stroke.” The researchers also successfully measured the biochemical pathway by which acupuncture exerts this medical benefit to the brain. Acupuncture helps brain cell proliferation after a stroke. Stimulation of two acupuncture points was shown to activate the extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK) pathway, an important protein communication pathway involved in cell proliferation.

The experiment measured the biochemical responses to electro-acupuncture delivered to acupuncture points LI11 (Quchi) and ST36 (Zusanli), bilaterally. LI11 is located at the lateral end of the transverse cubital crease, a point located somewhat near the elbow. ST36 is located near the anterior crest of the tibia on the lower leg. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, both acupuncture points are related by their location on the hand and leg Yangming channels respectively. The traditional uses of these acupuncture points varies greatly in many clinical circumstances. According to TCM theory, both ST36 and LI11 are He Sea and Earth points thereby giving them another similarity beyond sharing placement on a Yangming channel. Interestingly, a common pairing of ST36 is with LI10. ST36, Zusanli, is translated as leg three measures and LI10, Zhousanli, is translated as arm three measures. This refers, in part, to each acupuncture point’s ability to strengthen patients with weak conditions. Here, the researchers paired ST36 with LI11 instead.

Traditionally, LI11 is commonly used to quell inflammatory conditions such as sore throats, toothaches, red & painful eyes, urticarria, various skin conditions and febrile diseases. LI11 is also used for the treatment of upper limb paralysis. ST36 is commonly used to nourish and strengthen patients with weak bodily constitutions. However, it is indicated for inflammatory conditions including enteritis, gastritis and breast abscesses. ST36 is commonly used by licensed acupuncturists for the treatment of gastric pain, vomiting, abdominal distention, diarrhea, constipation, mastitis, edema, asthma, anemia, indigestion, mania and neurasthenia. ST36 is also traditionally indicated for the treatment of apoplexy, shock and hemiplegia.

The investigators noted that electro-acupuncture “significantly ameliorated neurological deficits and cerebral infarction” in cases of cerebral injuries. In addition, specific biological responses showed a healthy stimulation reaction to the application of electro-acupuncture. The researchers discovered that electro-acupuncture significantly increased phosphorylation levels of ERK and protein expression of Ras, cyclin D1 and cyclin-dependent kinase. All of these findings led to the conclusion that acupuncture “exerts a neuroprotective effect in ischemic stroke.”

There have been numerous studies with similar conclusive evidence demonstrating the beneficial effects of acupuncture after a stroke and for brain repair. A study of the acupuncture points TB3 (Zhongzhu) and TB5 (Waiguan) demonstrated the ability of these points restore hand function and walking after a stroke. The study also concluded that general activities of daily living function improved.

Another study discovered that acupuncture is able to “promote the proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells in the brain… accelerate angiogenesis and inhibit apoptosis.” The research measured acupuncture’s role in angiogenesis, the physiological process involving the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels. Acupuncture at GV20 (Baihui) and GV14 (Dazhui) increased neural repair following cerebral ischemia. These researchers also noted that acupuncture points GV20 (Baihui) and GV26 (Shuigou) regulate cells which “increase the release of nerve growth factors (NGFs) to make nerve cells survive and axons grow, synthesize neurotransmitters, (and) metabolize toxic substances….” The investigation also revealed that needling acupuncture points CV24 (Chengjiang), CV4, (Guanyuan), GV26 (Shuigou) and GV20 (Baihui) “could inhibit excessive proliferation of the hippocampal astrocytes and promote cellular differentiation.”

Just last year, a study revealed that acupuncture is an “effective therapy for CVS (cerebrovascular vasospasm) after subarachnoid hemorrhage.” This is important because cerebral blood vessel spasms lead to vasoconstriction and subsequent cerebral ischemia, which causes necrosis and may lead to a stroke. In this study, acupuncture at points Baihui (GV20, Du20) and Fengchi (GB20) were tested. The researchers note that the acupuncture group’s medical improvements were ““superior to that in the conventional treatment group.” Also, patients receiving acupuncture combined with medications showed greater improvements that those who only received medications.

Scalp acupuncture has also shown benefits for the treatment of intracerebral hemorrhages (ICH). Clinical investigators note, “The evidence from clinical studies suggested that SA (scalp acupuncture) therapy may produce significant benefits for patients with acute ICH.” The researchers note that studies confirm that scalp acupuncture “has rapid and powerful effects to remove limb paralysis caused either by cerebral infarct or by cerebral haemorrhage….” Research also shows that acupuncture at GV20 and GB7 significantly and beneficially regulates the cascade of endogenous inflammatory chemicals released after a stroke. Additionally, the investigators note that neuro-electrophysiologic measurements of scalp acupuncture responses demonstrate that acupuncture at GV20 and Taiyang improves “coordination and compensation functions among cortical functional areas” in ICH patients.

It is often the everyday aches and pains that follow a stroke that cause difficulty for patients. A large sample size study concluded that acupuncture reduces shoulder pain after a stroke. A meta-analysis of 453 randomized controlled studies investigated the effects of acupuncture for the treatment of shoulder pain after a stroke. The findings were tabulated and the researchers concluded that “acupuncture is an effective treatment for shoulder pain after (a) stroke.”

Xie, Guanli, Shanli Yang, Azhen Chen, Lan Lan, Zhicheng Lin, Yanlin Gao, Jia Huang et al. "Electroacupuncture at Quchi and Zusanli treats cerebral ischemia‑reperfusion injury through activation of ERK signaling." Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine 5, no. 6 (2013): 1593-1597.

Cheng XK, Wang ZM, Sun L, Li YH. [Post-stroke hand dysfunction treated with acupuncture at Zhongzhu (TE 3) and Waiguan (TE 5)]. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2011 Feb;31(2):117-20.

Research advances in treatment of cerebral ischemic injury by acupuncture of conception and governor vessels to promote nerve regeneration. Zhou-xin Yang, Peng-dian Chen, Hai-bo Yu, Wen-shu Luo, Yong-Gang Wu, Min Pi, Jun-hua Peng, Yong-feng Liu, Shao-yun Zhang, Yan-hua Gou. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, Jan. 2012. vol. 10, 1. Department of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Shenzhen Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangdong Province, China.

Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2012 Mar;32(3):193-7. Observation of clinical efficacy of acupuncture for cerebral vasospasm after embolization of ruptured aneurysms]. Jiang YZ, Li C, Xu JY, Lu YZ, Xu R, Han B, Lu WH. Department of Neurosurgery, Wuxi Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine Hospital, Jiangsu Province, China.

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative MedicineVolume 2012 (2012), Article ID 895032, 9 pages. doi:10.1155/2012/895032. History and Mechanism for Treatment of Intracerebral Hemorrhage with Scalp Acupuncture. Zhe Liu, Ling Guan, Yan Wang, Cheng-Long Xie, Xian-Ming Lin and Guo-Qing Zheng. The Third Clinical College of Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou. Department of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, General Hospital, Beijing. Center of Neurology and Rehabilitation, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical College, Wenzhou.

Jung Ah Lee, Si-Woon Park, Pil Woo Hwang, Sung Min Lim, Sejeong Kook, Kyung In Choi, and Kyoung Sook Kang. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. September 2012, 18(9): 818-823. doi:10.1089/acm.2011.0457.

New research demonstrates that acupuncture reduces both depression and anxiety in women with PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome. Acupuncture model fo acupoints is depicted here. The researchers hailed from State University of New York, University of Gothenburg and the Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine. The findings show that acupuncture helps with the emotional component of PCOS. Overall, the researchers note that acupuncture improved the health related quality of life for the patients. Scores for social functioning, energy and vitality, and general health improved for the patients receiving acupuncture. In addition, the control group did not show any improvements in anxiety and depression, however, the acupuncture group showed significant improvements.

Acupuncture was applied 2 times per week for 2 weeks followed by 1 time per week for 6 weeks and another session of 1 acupuncture treatment every other weeks for 8 weeks. The total was 14 acupuncture treatments over a period of 16 weeks. Acupuncture points were selected on the abdomen, lower leg, hand and arm, bilaterally. Manual stimulation and electro-acupuncture were applied to the needles. All patients received the same acupuncture point prescriptions for their treatments.

In a related study, acupuncture successfully induced ovulation in women with PCOS. Acupuncture successfully normalized sex steroid and hormone levels while simultaneously increasing ovulation frequency. In yet another study, electro-acupuncture and manual acupuncture were shown to “improve menstrual frequency and decrease circulating androgens in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).” Moreover, the electro-acupuncture group demonstrated effects in the central brain opioid receptors indicating that electroacupuncture may be “mediated by central opioid receptors….” The manual acupuncture group showed changes in brain steroid receptors indicating that acupuncture “may involve regulation of steroid hormone/peptide receptors.”

The Healthcare Medicine Institute (HealthCMi) covers a wide range of acupuncture and herbal medicine treatments for gynecological concerns including PCOS. HealthCMi offers anytime acupuncture CEU courses for instant download and also offers a schedule of live webinars. All live webinars and anytime courses are valid for acupuncture CEUs, PDAs, CEs, and CAEs throughout the USA, Canada and more. To view a sample of an acupuncture CEU live webinar, please take a look at the video below.

Stener-Victorin, Elisabet, Göran Holm, Per Olof Janson, Deborah Gustafson, and Margda Waern. "Acupuncture and physical exercise for affective symptoms and health-related quality of life in polycystic ovary syndrome: Secondary analysis from a randomized controlled trial." BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 13, no. 1 (2013): 131.

Journal of Acupuncture and Tuina Science, 2012, 10(2), R246.3. Teng Hui, Liu Yu-lei, Wang Jun-ling, Xie Ying. Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shenzhen Maternal and Child Healthcare Hospital, Guangdong, China.

Johansson, Julia, et al. "Acupuncture for ovulation induction in polycystic ovary syndrome: A randomized controlled trial." American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology And Metabolism (2013).

Electrical and manual acupuncture stimulation affects estrous cyclicity and neuroendocrine function in a DHT-induced rat polycystic ovary syndrome model. Yi Feng1,2, Julia Johansson1, Ruijin Shao1, Louise Mannerås Holm1, Håkan Billig1, Elisabet Stener-Victorin1,3 . Experimental Physiology. DOI: 10.1113/expphysiol.2011.063131.

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 treats acne. 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.

Cao, Hui-juan, Guo-yan Yang, Yu-yi Wang, and Jian-ping Liu. "Acupoint Stimulation for Acne: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials." Medical Acupuncture (2013).


Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) therapeutic techniques are effective treatments for lower back pain due to lumbar disc herniations. A new randomized, controlled clinical trial demonstrates that acupuncture and TCM therapy reduces back pain and restores motor functionality for patients with herniated lumbar discs. A sample size of 408 patients receiving a traditional combination of TCM therapies were examined in comparison to a control group receiving health education, pain medications and physical therapy. The acupuncture-TCM group showed significantly greater improvement than that of the control group.

Lower back acupuncture for lumbar disc herniations relieves pain. Low Back AcupunctureThe patients in the TCM group received electro-acupuncture, a Chinese herbal medicine injection of Dan Shen (Salvia miltiorrhiza) and an external herbal medicated plaster during the acute stage. During the subacute stage, patients received Tuina massage, Chinese herbal medicine hot compresses and external herbal medicated plasters. During the chronic stage, patients received TCM functional exercises and external herbal medicated plasters.

The electro-acupuncture was applied to acupuncture points UB25 (Dachangshu) and Baihuanshu (UB30). De qi sensation was achieved followed by a continuous wave pulse of 0.6ms at 20Hz. The electro-acupuncture was applied once per day for 30 minutes. The chief ingredients in the herbal plasters were Zi Jing Pi, Huang Jing Zi, Da Huang, Chuan Xiong, Tian Nan Xing and Ma Qian Zi. The TCM function of the plasters are to enhance blood circulation, resolve blood stasis, eliminate swelling and to alleviate pain. The herbal medicated plasters were applied to the areas of intense pain. The herbal medicine injections functioned to enhance blood circulation and to resolve blood stasis.

The Chinese herbal medicine hot compresses were composed of Cang Zhu, Qin Jiao, Sang Zhi, Mu Gua, Hong Hua, Chuan Xiong, Hai Feng Teng and Lei Gong Teng. The herbs were placed in a gauze bag, decocted for 20 minutes, allowed to reduce in temperature slightly and were then applied to the lower back for 30-40 minutes at a rate of once per day. The TCM functional exercise was the Flying Swallow style (Fei Yan Shi). Here, the patient rests in the prone position, extends the hand backwards and lifts the chest and lower limbs off the bed using the abdomen as the pivot. Intervals of this exercise plus relaxation were conducted once a day with 4-5 repetitions. The function of the exercise program is to strengthen the lower back muscles and increase spinal stability. The intention is to prevent repeated relapses of the condition. The Tuina massage employed the Anrou (pressing & kneading), Tanbo (plucking) and Gun (rolling) techniques once per day.

The control group received health education including instructions as to avoid activities that exacerbate or aggravate the condition. Patients were also instructed to rest and received pain medications and physical therapy. The acupuncture-TCM group was compared with the control group. The researchers concluded, “This randomized controlled clinical trial provides reliable evidence regarding the effectiveness of integrative TCM conservative treatment for patients with low back pain due to lumbar disc herniation.”

Yuan, Wei An, Shi Rong Huang, Kai Guo, Wu Quan Sun, Xiao Bing Xi, Ming Cai Zhang, Ling Jun Kong, Hua LU, Hong Sheng Zhan, and Ying Wu. "Integrative TCM Conservative Therapy for Low Back Pain due to Lumbar Disc Herniation: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial."

New research published by the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine demonstrated the efficacy of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine for the treatment of recurrent pregnancy losses. A team of acupuncturists combined Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) therapies in a clinical study of a 42 year old female in Bellevue, Washington suffering from chronic, recurrent pregnancy losses. Acupuncture and herbs prevent misscariages. TCM Protects PregnacyThe outcome of the study suggests that a combination of acupuncture and herbal medicine enhances fertility and prevents miscarriages. The clinical study tracked the progress of the patient from six months prior to conception to the successful delivery of a healthy boy at full term using Traditional Chinese Medicine as the therapeutic modality to achieve a positive clinical outcome. As a result of these findings, the researchers suggest more research to confirm the level of effectiveness of the procedures.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, chronic miscarriages may be due to a variety of differential diagnoses including: kidney deficiency, Qi and blood deficiency, heat in the blood, trauma and disorders of the Dai, Chong and Ren channels. While there is overlap with biomedical diagnoses, there are many differential diagnostics in the TCM system not found in conventional biomedicine. Several herbal formulas throughout history have been indicated in the TCM system for the protection of the fetus to full term. Shou Tai Wan (Fetus Protecting Pill) is a classic TCM formula for the treatment of kidney deficiency. Tai Yuan Yin (Decoction for Fetus and Essence) is indicated for the treatment of Qi and blood deficiency. Bao Yin Jian (Yin Protecting Decoction) is a classic herbal formula for the treatment of heat in the blood. Si Wu Tang, perhaps one of the most common herbal formulas in TCM, is indicated for the treatment of trauma affecting a fetus. The aforementioned herbal formulas are indicated for a threatened abortion and also for colporrhagia, hemorrhaging from the vagina, during pregnancy. Bu Shen Gu Chong Tang (Kidney Reinforcing and Chong Channel Consolidating Decoction) is also a common herbal formula for the treatment of women suffering from chronic miscarriages.

Given the positive outcome of this recent study on the benefits of acupuncture and herbal medicine in protecting pregnancies, today’s spotlight is on Bao Yin Jian. This herbal formula is comprised of Sheng Di Huang, Shu Di Huang, Bai Shao, Shan Yao, Xu Duan, Huang Qin, Huang Bai and Gan Cao. The Traditional Chinese Medicine function of the formula is to nourish Yin, cool the blood, clear heat and calm the fetus. Indications for use of this formula are bright red colored bleeding during pregnancy, red cheeks and lips, a feeling of excessive heat in the palms & soles, concentrated urination, dry mouth, dry throat and scanty urination. The tongue is usually red with a dry, yellow coating and the pulse is typically slippery and rapid.

Hullender Rubin, Lee, Dara Cantor, and Benjamin L. Marx. "Recurrent Pregnancy Loss and Traditional Chinese Medicine." Medical Acupuncture (2013).