Acupuncture Continuing Education

Acupuncture Continuing Education News

Acupuncture News and Research

Acupuncture helps in the recovery from a stroke, a cerebrovascular accident (CVA). Researchers from Guangdong Chinese Medicine School concluded that acupuncture significantly improves patient motor functioning and overall quality of life. Heilongjiang Traditional Chinese Medicine Second Affiliated Hospital researchers conducted an independent clinical trial and concluded that acupuncture is an effective treatment for functional hand impairment after a stroke. In another study, researchers from the Heilongjiang Provincial Academy of Chinese Medicine concluded that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of constipation due to a stroke. Scalp points for needling a stroke patient.

Guangdong Chinese Medicine School researchers achieved a total effective rate of 90% using acupuncture with 46.67% of patients experiencing very significant motor improvements. Upper and lower limb motor functioning and the ability of patients to perform activities of daily living significantly improved. Brunnstrom Approach categorizations significantly improved for both upper and lower limb functioning. The Barthel Activities of Daily Living (ADL) index improved from a base average of 38.80 to 55.80.

A semi-protocolized acupuncture point prescription was applied to the patients. Manual acupuncture was applied to Neiguan (PC6). Lifting, thrusting, and twisting was applied to elicit deqi and manual stimulation continued for an additional three minutes after the arrival of deqi. Bird-pecking technique was applied to Renzhong (DU26). Lifting and thrusting was applied to Sanyinjiao (SP6) until the lower limbs twitched at least three times in response to the needling. Jiquan (HT1) and Chize (LU5) were stimulated until movement of the upper limbs was elicited at least three times. Weizhong (BL40) was needled next. Manual acupuncture was applied until there was lower limb twitching at least three times. The aforementioned Xing Nao Kai Qiao acupuncture technique was applied every other day. On alternating days, Bo’s abdominal acupuncture was applied.

Supplementary points were added for specific conditions on days when the Xing Nao Kai Qiao acupuncture was performed. For pseudobulbar palsy (inability to control facial movements), Fengchi (GB20) was added. For aphasia, Jinjin and Yuye were added. Yifeng (SJ17) and Fengchi (GB20) were added for dysphagia (difficulty swallowing). Jiache (ST6) was added for deviation of the mouth. For drooping of the eyelids (blepharoptosis), Yangbai (GB14) and Yuyao were added. For discomfort or a dragging sensation in the upper limbs, Quchi (LI11) and Waiguan (SJ5) were added. For spasticity of the fingers with an inability to stretch, Hegu (LI4) and Houxi (SI3) were added. Sensory disorders were treated with Bafeng and Baxie. 

Acupuncture and herbs alleviate restless leg syndrome (RLS). Researchers tested two forms of treatments and the findings indicate that acupuncture combined with herbal medicine is both safe and effective for the treatment of RLS. The total effective rate for acupuncture plus herbs was 95.24%. RLS anatomy

Restless leg syndrome (a.k.a. Willis-Ekbom disease) is characterized by a need to move the legs. The symptoms are typically worse at night and tend to lessen upon movement. An uncomfortable feeling in the legs including aching, pulling, itching, and a crawling sensation are characteristic of RLS.

The etiology of RLS is often considered unknown in biomedicine, however, several causes and exacerbating factors are known. Iron deficiency is common among RLS sufferers and is correlated with restless leg syndrome. Peripheral neuropathy, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and kidney diseases are correlated with RLS. Pregnancy related RLS typically occurs in the third trimester and usually resolves approximately one month after delivery. Several types of medications are linked to RLS including certain antiemetics, antipsychotics, antihistamines, and antidepressants.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) principles, RLS is closely related to Zang-Fu organ imbalances, especially in the liver, heart, and kidneys. Treatment principles including balancing yin and yang, promoting qi and blood circulation, nourishing the spleen, dredging the sanjiao meridian, and regulating the du and ren channels.

Two forms of acupuncture were tested for efficacy: body style acupuncture, eye region acupuncture. Both forms of acupuncture proved effective. The body style acupuncture included needling of the following acupoints:

  • Baihui, DU20
  • Sishenchong, extra
  • Fengchi, GB20
  • Anmian, extra
  • Shanzhong, REN17
  • Shenmen, HT7
  • Neiguan, PC6
  • Xuehai, SP10
  • Zusanli, ST36
  • Sanyinjiao, SP6
  • Taixi, KD3
  • Taichong, LV3

Mild reinforcing and reducing techniques were applied to acupuncture needles of 0.5 to 1.0 inches in length. Stimulation was applied to elicit deqi. Needle retention time was forty minutes per acupuncture session. Ten acupuncture treatments were applied to each participant in a period between ten and twenty days. Eye region acupuncture was applied to the following eye micro-acupuncture points: xiaojiao, liver, kidney, heart. The same frequency of treatment and session duration applied to the eye micro-acupuncture protocol of care. 

Acupuncture alleviates impairment and dysfunction of the sense of smell, dysosmia. Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine researchers conducted an acupuncture clinical trial of ten patients with dysosmia. Acupuncture achieved a total effective rate of 90%. Two patients completely recovered, three patients achieved excellent clinical improvements, four patients achieved significant clinical improvements, and one patient demonstrated no signs of improvement. The results indicate that acupuncture restores olfaction. Olfaction points

The acupuncture treatments were applied using a semi-protocolized acupuncture point prescription. The primary acupuncture points were applied to all patients and secondary acupuncture points were applied based on differential diagnostics. Patients were needled with 0.25 x 40 mm Hua Tuo brand acupuncture needles. Mild reinforcing and reducing manual acupuncture techniques were applied to elicit deqi. Manual acupuncture was applied twice per acupuncture session. Total needle retention time was thirty minutes per acupuncture session. Acupuncture was applied once per day for seven consecutive days followed by a one day break from treatments. This process was performed three times for a total of twenty-one acupuncture treatments.

The primary acupuncture points were:

  • Baihui, DU20
  • Shangxing, DU23
  • Yingxiang, LI20
  • Shanyingxiang
  • Tongtian, BL7
  • Fengchi, GB20
  • Hegu, LI4

Supplementary acupoints were chosen based on three differential diagnostic patterns. For blood stasis, Xuehai (SP10) was added. For liver deficiency with qi stagnation, Taichong (LV3) was added. For qi deficiency with poor blood circulation, Zusanli (ST36) was added. The total effective rate was 90%. 

Acupuncture alleviates chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Research published in the Guangxi Medical Journal finds acupuncture effective for the relief of fatigue, depression, and other symptoms of CFS. Chronic fatigue syndrome is characterized by severe fatigue that does not improve with rest. Additional signs and symptoms include memory loss, cognitive impairment, sore throat, lymph node swelling, musculoskeletal pain, and headaches. Etiologies may include viral infections, stress, and other factors. The clinical trial reveals that a special type of acupuncture has a high total effective rate and a significant total recovery rate for patients with CFS. Qihuan needling.

Conventional acupuncture was compared with Qihuan acupuncture. The total effective rate and total recovery rate were significant in both groups. Although both forms were effective, Qihuan acupuncture produced a higher percentage of positive patient outcomes as part of the total effective rate. Conventional acupuncture produced an 80.85% total effective rate and Qihuan acupuncture produced a 95.83% total effective rate.

Qihuan acupuncture produced a superior total recovery rate to conventional acupuncture. Of forty-eight patients receiving Qihuan acupuncture, a total of sixteen patients had a complete recovery. A total recovery was defined as a complete resolution of all symptoms and the patients were able to return to a normal social and work life. Of forty-seven patients receiving conventional acupuncture, ten had a total recovery. As a result of these findings, Qihuan acupuncture is regarded as an important method for the treatment of CFS.

Qihuan acupuncture involves several Chinese medicine principles. Qihuan acupuncture benefits the Zang-Fu organs. In addition, Qihuan acupuncture benefits qi, alleviates depression, restores the liver, promotes blood circulation, and relieves heat and toxins. According to Chinese medicine principles, CFS affects many Zang-Fu organs including the spleen, liver, and kidneys. As a result, the effectiveness of Qihuan acupuncture is well-suited for this type of treatment.

Qihuan acupuncture is the application of eight acupuncture needles in a 0.5 inch radius around the navel at 45 degree angles forming a complete circle. A different way to visualize the acupoint locations is at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock to CV8 (Shenque) plus the areas halfway between each clock designation for a total of eight directions. Needle depth maximum was set to 0.8 inches and needle retention time was thirty minutes per acupuncture session. 

Acupuncture is an effective treatment for atherosclerosis. Researchers from the Qian’an Hospital of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) investigated the efficacy of acupuncture for the treatment of carotid artery related atherosclerosis. The study compared two types of acupuncture treatments with drug therapy. One acupuncture protocol produced significantly greater positive patient outcomes than drug therapy. Another acupuncture protocol produced equivalent results to drug therapy. Atherosclerosis affected by needling.

Drug therapy, involving the administration of 20 mg of simvastatin per day, was compared with standard acupuncture needle insertion and threading needling insertion.
Simvastatin, also known by the brand name Zocor, is a statin drug used to lower LDL cholesterol levels and triglycerides while increasing beneficial HDL cholesterol levels. Uses of simvastatin include lowering the risk of stroke, heart attack, coronary heart disease, and other disorders of the heart. The group receiving simvastatin had a 36.76% total effective rate. Standard acupuncture produced a 40% total effective rate and threading acupuncture (Tou Xue) produced a 66.7% total effective rate.

Atherosclerosis involves plaque buildup inside arteries that is composed of cholesterol, fatty substances, calcium, fibrin, and cellular waste. Threading acupuncture produced the best clinical results of the three study groups with the greatest reductions in carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT). The IMT of extracranial carotid arteries is widely used as a measurable index of atherosclerosis.

The researchers concluded that acupuncture successfully regulates high and low shear blood viscosity. The viscosity of whole blood reflects the ability of blood to move freely through the vessels. It is a measure of blood flow resistance and includes both thickness and stickiness as parameters. High blood viscosity increases friction against vessels, impedes oxygen delivery, and increases demands on the heart to move blood. As a results, elevated blood viscosity is linked to cholesterol level disorders, hypertension, and many other cardiovascular disorders.

High shear rate blood viscosity occurs during systole, the normal contraction of the heart. The blood is moving faster when the heart is pumping and the blood is thinner. Low shear rate blood viscosity is during diastole, when the heart is at rest and dilated. The low shear rate viscosity is significantly greater than the high shear rate viscosity. Threading acupuncture significantly downregulated both high and low shear rate blood viscosity levels and outperformed simvastatin. In addition, threading acupuncture reduced plasma viscosity more than simvastatin. Overall, threading acupuncture produced the greatest improvements in the hemorheology index, a measure of blood flow properties.

Threading acupuncture produced the greatest reductions of LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol. The same applied for reductions of triglycerides. Overall, threading acupuncture produced the most significant improvements in blood lipid indices of the three groups. 

Acupuncture relieves knee pain. Maternal and Child Health Hospital of Zhoushan City researchers investigated the effectiveness of electroacupuncture and moxibustion for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis. Patients receiving electroacupuncture had a 60% total effective rate and patients receiving manual acupuncture with moxibustion had a 48.89% total effective rate. Knee articulations

A closer look at the results demonstrates important clinical differences between electroacupuncture and moxibustion. Electroacupuncture had a higher rate of positive patient outcomes for relief of pain. Electroacupuncture also excelled at relief of knee stiffness in the morning. Electroacupuncture had a shorter duration of time between onset of treatment and relief of pain. Electroacupuncture outperformed moxibustion in the ability to restore daily living activities.

Manual acupuncture with moxibustion outperformed electroacupuncture in the time between onset of treatment and relief from knee stiffness with swelling. The results indicate that electroacupuncture and moxibustion have different clinical advantages. Moxibustion reduced swelling more readily while electroacupuncture provided a more significant analgesic effect.

The study involved randomization of ninety osteoarthritis patients into two groups, electroacupuncture and moxibustion. Acupuncture was applied with patients in a supine position. Acupuncture needles were 0.3 x 40 mm. Perpendicular insertion at local points was applied. Primary acupuncture points included:

  • Xuehai, SP10
  • Xiyan
  • Zusanli, ST36
  • Yinlingquan, SP9
  • Shenshu, BL23

Supplementary points were added to the protocolized acupuncture point prescription based on differential diagnostics. Sanyinjiao (SP6) was added for patients with continuous pain. Weizhong (BL40) was added for patients with severe pain intensity. 

Acupuncture alleviates dementia and cognitive impairment. Researchers from the Anhui University of Chinese Medicine demonstrate that acupuncture has a 90% total effective rate for the treatment of vascular dementia. Researchers from the Heilongjiang University of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) demonstrate that acupuncture improves cognitive abilities for patients with non-dementia related vascular cognitive impairment. In addition, researchers from the Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine demonstrate that acupuncture has an 88% total effective rate for the treatment of chronic cerebral circulatory insufficiency (CCCI). The human brain is affected by needling exteriorly.

The studies demonstrate that acupuncture benefits patients with disorders linked to impairment of blood flow to the brain. Vascular dementia involves difficulty with reasoning, memory, and thinking. Vascular cognitive impairment with no dementia (VCIND) is prodromal dementia characterized by mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Chronic cerebral circulatory insufficiency is cerebral vascular insufficiency often caused by atherosclerosis or a stroke. Dizziness, tinnitus, blurry vision, depression, confusion, memory loss, and general senility are common characteristics of this disorder.

The Anhui University of Chinese Medicine researchers randomly divided sixty vascular dementia patients into two groups. Group one received scalp acupuncture with a long needle retention time. Group two received thirty minute acupuncture sessions. The group with the long scalp acupoint needle retention times demonstrated a 90% total effective rate. The group receiving acupuncture with thirty minute needle retention times achieved a 66.7% total effective rate.

Group one received scalp acupuncture at the following acupoints:

  • Baihui, DU20
  • Sishencong (extra point set)
  • Shenting, DU24

DU24 and Sishencong were needled towards DU20. Manual acupuncture needle stimulation, including rotation, was applied to each needle. The acupuncture needles at the scalp acupoints were retained for eight hours.

Supplementary acupoints included Fengchi (GB20), Yintang, Zusanli (ST36), and Taixi (KD3). Additional acupoints were added based on differential diagnostics. For liver and kidney deficiency, Ganshu (BL18) and Shenshu (BL23) were applied. For phlegm stagnation, Fenglong (ST40) and Zhongwan (CV12) were added. For blood stasis and meridian blockage, Xuehai (SP10) and Geshu (BL17) were added.

ST36 and KD3 were applied with tonification manual acupuncture techniques. The other supplemental points were applied with mild reinforcing and reducing techniques. Total needle retention time for supplemental acupoints was thirty minutes per acupuncture session. Manual stimulation was applied once every ten minutes during each session. Acupuncture was administered once per day for five contiguous days followed by a two day break from treatment. The total treatment period was eight weeks comprised of eight courses of acupuncture care. 

Acupuncture relieves shoulder pain, inflammation, and range of motion impingement. Researchers from the Yuxi Hospital of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) investigated the efficacy of acupuncture for the treatment of acute shoulder periarthritis. Commonly known as frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis, this condition is an inflammatory disorder of the rotator cuff and surrounding tissues that leads to pain and immobility of the shoulder. The investigation reveals that acupuncture has a total effective rate exceeding 90%. Hui style acupuncture involves application of Ashi points.

One hundred shoulder periarthritis patients were randomly divided into two equal acupuncture groups. One group received a style of acupuncture known as the Hui approach. The second group received conventional acupuncture treatments. The Hui acupuncture group had a 96% total effective rate and the standard acupuncture group had a 94% total effective rate. The scores indicate that acupuncture effectively reduces shoulder pain and improves range of motion. Moreover, the Hui acupuncture approach to care shortened the total treatment time needed to resolve the condition over standard acupuncture therapy.

A key component of the Hui acupuncture style is the elicitation of deqi at the acupuncture points. Traditional functions of this style include relieving spasms, dredging the meridians, and expelling stasis. The Hui acupuncture style for periarthritis involved the application of GB34 (Yanglingquan, Yang Mound Spring) and Ashi acupoints. The treatment protocol begins with the patient in a seated or supine position and GB34 is needled with a rapid insertion technique on the affected side. 

Acupuncture and herbs relieve osteoporosis and increase bone mineral density. Research published in the Journal of Clinical Acupuncture and Moxibustion demonstrates that acupuncture and herbs reduce pain, numbness, and dizziness while improving walking for patients with osteoporosis. Compared with a control group receiving only standard medical care, a group receiving standard care plus acupuncture and herbal medicine achieved significantly greater positive patient outcomes. Female model with back shu points and bladder channel points.

A total of eighty osteoporosis patients were randomized into two groups. Group one received calcium carbonate with vitamin D orally and injections of Calcitonin-Salmon. Group two received the same medications plus electroacupuncture and herbal medicine. The specific calcium carbonate with vitamin D pills used in the study were Caltrate 600+D supplements. This is used for preventing calcium deficiency and is used in the treatment of osteoporosis related bone loss and weak bones due to conditions such as osteomalacia. Calcitonin-Salmon is an endocrine-metabolic agent used for regulating bone metabolism by blocking bone resorption. As a result, it is useful for treating osteoporosis and bone related Paget disease.

One tablet of Caltrate 600+D was given once per day at night. Calcitonin-Salmon was injected once per day. A total of four weeks of care completed the treatment regimen.

Electroacupuncture was applied to primary acupoints including:

  • Ashi points
  • Shenzhu, DU12
  • Pishu, BL20
  • Shenshu, BL23
  • Qihai, CV6
  • Mingmen, DU4
  • Yaoyangguan
  • Juegu, DU3

Disposable acupuncture needles (0.25 x 40 mm) were inserted to a depth of 25 to 50 mm. Manual stimulation was used to elicit deqi at the acupoints. Upon arrival of deqi, electroacupuncture was applied using a 60 Hz continuous was set to patient tolerance for intensity levels. Total needle retention time per acupuncture treatment was thirty minutes. 

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