Acupuncture Continuing Education

Acupuncture News and Research

 

BL19 Danshu

Guangdong Province Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital researchers find acupuncture with moxibustion produces similar positive patient outcomes rates as the drug paroxetine for treatment of mild to moderate depression. In the study, true acupuncture produced similar results as paroxetine (a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, SSRI) and significantly outperformed a sham acupuncture control group. A total of 105 patients met the eligibility criteria and were randomly assigned to three study groups (acupuncture, paroxetine, control).

acupuncture needles

Heilongjiang University of Traditional Chinese Medicine researchers find acupuncture clinically effective for the treatment of progressive bulbar palsy, a disease that is a variant of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Progressive bulbar palsy is a rare illness involving the brain stem. Patients often have dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), weakness of facial and extremity muscles, loss of speech, and difficulty with chewing. In a controlled study of 90 patients receiving acupuncture treatments, researchers conclude that acupuncture has a 96.7% total effective rate for the treatment of bulbar palsy. In addition, 100% of all patients receiving acupuncture within two weeks of onset demonstrated significant improvements.

basal ganglia

Acupuncture suppresses methamphetamine addiction. Daegu Haany University and Qiqihar Medical University researchers investigated acupuncture as a means of suppressing intravenous methamphetamine self-administration. Based on the results of a controlled laboratory experiment, the research team concludes that the application of acupuncture to an acupoint located on the wrist suppresses methamphetamine self-administration via the GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptor system. The researchers suggest that acupuncture is “a useful therapy for the treatment of methamphetamine abuse.” [1]

SP6 ST36

Researchers find acupuncture effective for the treatment of obesity. Results were obtained by implementing a protocolized body acupuncture point prescription without a diet or exercise program. [1] In a five week clinical trial, patients receiving acupuncture achieved a 2.9 kg mean weight loss and the decrease in mean BMI (body mass index) was 1.43. The laboratory findings, including serum levels of insulin, leptin, ghrelin, and cholecystokinin are consistent with the results. The controlled study documents that sham acupuncture does not produce significant positive patient outcomes, only true acupuncture achieves clinical results. Based on the evidence, the hospital researchers conclude that acupuncture treatment regulates weight for patients with obesity.

digestive system

Hunan University of Chinese Medicine researchers find acupuncture effective for the treatment of functional dyspepsia (indigestion). Results from the investigation demonstrate that acupuncture is effective for alleviating upper abdominal pain and burning, nausea, and belching. In a semi-protocolized clinical trial, two primary acupuncture points were proven effective for the treatment of functional dyspepsia (abdominal discomfort or pain with no known organic cause identifiable with endoscopy).

abdominal acupoints

Acupuncture and herbs are effective for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. In research conducted at the Yunnan Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture plus herbs produced a 46.56% total effective rate. Using only herbal medicine produced a 16.17% total effective rate and using only acupuncture produced an 13.24% total effective rate. [1] The researchers conclude, “Acupuncture combined with herbal medicine has a synergistic therapeutic effect on erectile dysfunction.”

LI20 maniken

Acupuncture soothes nasal allergy symptoms. Investigators at Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine Affiliated Hospital conducted a meta-analysis of 30 independent clinical trials with a sample size of 2,602 allergic rhinitis patients. [1] The researchers (Tang et al.) conclude, “Acupuncture, either used alone or combined with other treatments such as moxibustion, herbal medicine, and western medicine, were proven to have both short and long-term clinical benefits to allergic rhinitis sufferers.” The following is a basic overview of common acupuncture points used for the treatment of allergic rhinitis across the multiple studies in the meta-analysis:

low back needles

Researchers find triple acupuncture combined with warm needle acupuncture safe and effective for the treatment of lower back pain. In a clinical investigation, Xianning Hospital researchers tested the efficacy of acupuncture for the treatment of dorsal ramus syndrome, which is characterized by lower back pain, spasms, and radiculopathy. The results of the investigation reveal that triple acupuncture combined with warm needle acupuncture has an 80% total effective rate for the alleviation of dorsal ramus syndrome. Another group receiving standard acupuncture protocols without triple needling or warm needle stimulation achieved a 66.7% total effective rate. 

abdominal acupuncture

Researchers determined that a combination of acupuncture and McKenzie physical therapy produces excellent results for patients with cervical spondylosis, a painful disorder caused by intervertebral disc degeneration. Patients receiving only acupuncture had a 96.7% total effective rate and patients receiving McKenzie therapy had a 63.3% total effective rate. However, when the two therapies were combined into a comprehensive treatment protocol, the total effective rate was 100%. 

knee arthritis

Acupuncture combined with moxibustion is more effective for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis than meloxicam (a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug). Researchers from Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine quantified the curative effect of warm needle acupuncture using micro-CT (computed tomography). [1] In the study, acupuncture combined with moxibustion successfully improves the condition of the osteoarthritic knee bone structure. In addition, knee cartilage scores document that acupuncture with moxibustion reduces inflammation and accelerates knee cartilage repair. 

BL13 asthma 

Researchers find acupuncture effective for relieving allergic asthma, a type of asthma triggered by allergens (e.g., dust mites, mold, pollen, foods). Symptoms include wheezing, difficulty breathing, itchy eyes, sinusitis, rhinitis, a general feeling of malaise, and sneezing. In a randomized controlled trial of 1,445 patients, acupuncture provided lasting relief for six months. 

LI20 Yingxiang
German researchers confirm the effectiveness of acupuncture for the treatment of allergies and sinus disorders. In an eight week clinical trial, patients receiving acupuncture required less medications and had fewer seasonal allergic rhinitis symptoms than control groups. Likewise, quality of life scores were significantly better in the acupuncture group than in either control group. Based on the evidence, the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin researchers conclude that “acupuncture treatment was more effective than the symptomatic drug intervention.” 
 

knee depiction
Acupuncture stimulates knee osteoarthritis cartilage repair by regulating proteins TGF-β1 and IGF-1. Beijing University of Traditional Chinese medicine researchers determined that acupuncture accelerates articular cartilage repair in the osteoarthritic knee by inhibiting the overexpression of TGF-β1 and IGF-1. With multiple objective laboratory instruments measuring outcomes, the investigation also reveal that acupuncture smooths the surface of knee cartilage while regulating cell proliferation and differentiation. [1] Under the results section of this article, you will be able to read more about this groundbreaking discovery.
 

ankylosing spondylitis
Researchers conclude that acupuncture and herbal medicine provide relief for patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis characterized by inflammation of the spine, joints, tendons, or ligaments. Long-term, AS can lead to ankylosis, which is stiffening and often immobility caused by fusion of bones. Ankylosing spondylitis is categorized in Traditional Chinese Medicine in several domains: lower back pain, kyphosis, spinal rigidity. In the advanced stages of the illness when bone fusion is present, it is categorized as zhu jie yang (bamboo spine). 
 

meniscus

Researchers conclude that acupuncture increases the effectiveness of rehabilitation exercises after knee meniscus repair surgery. [1] Patients receiving acupuncture in a controlled clinical trial had less quadriceps atrophy, limping, locking, pain, and swelling than patients receiving only rehabilitation exercises. Patients receiving acupuncture also had significantly better range of motion, stability, and the ability to walk, jump, and climb stairs. 

knees

Acupuncture stimulates cartilage repair for patients with knee osteoarthritis. Using MRIs, researchers have quantified the therapeutic effects of acupuncture. Within four weeks, acupuncture successfully improves the condition of cartilage in the anterior medial and lateral tibial regions of the knee. In addition, Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) scores document that acupuncture reduces pain and stiffness levels while simultaneously improving physical function. 

Yangbai GB14

Researchers find acupuncture highly effective and that scalp acupuncture is particularly important for post-stroke patients. Scalp acupuncture significantly boosts the effectiveness of body style acupuncture for the treatment of post-stroke facial paralysis. In a randomized controlled trial, researchers determined that the addition of scalp acupuncture to a standard acupuncture therapeutic regimen increases positive patient outcomes by over 20%. In the investigation, body style acupuncture achieved a 71.4% total effective rate. The addition of scalp acupuncture to the treatment protocol increased the total effective rate to 93.1%. [1] Based on the data, the researchers conclude that scalp acupuncture optimizes patient outcomes for patients with post-stroke facial paralysis. 

facial points

Researchers find acupuncture effective for the treatment of Bell’s Palsy—a type of facial paralysis. In one independent investigation, electroacupuncture produced optimal results. In another investigation, warm needle acupuncture combined with vitamin and drug injections produced excellent results. Let’s take a look at the results after a brief introduction. 

DU16 Fengfu

Acupuncture restores normal swallowing in post-stroke patients and investigators document an optimal approach to patient care. Researchers find low frequency electroacupuncture more effective than high frequency electroacupuncture for the relief of post-stroke dysphagia (difficulty or discomfort in swallowing). 

elbow acupuncture

Acupuncture is a proven and effective therapeutic method for the alleviation of tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis). Hubei Hanjiang Hospital researchers compared two Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) protocols. [1] One group used acupuncture plus moxa. The other group used electroacupuncture and rehabilitation training. Both treatment protocols were effective, with the second protocol outperforming the first. Let’s take a look at the results.